Newly formed Five Points Business District of Observatory Hill group activates the commercial district with public events.

By Lauren Stauffer

Tents lined Perry High School’s back parking lot on Sunday, July 1 with local residents and businesses offering a wide variety of new-to-you goods, crafted jewelry, homemade jams, hot dogs and cherry icees on a markedly hot afternoon.“We had a very successful day for our first flea market. The community that came out today asked for more of these events. We will definitely be doing events in June and July next year.” said Dorrie Smith, resident and Executive at large for the Five Points Business District of Observatory Hill.Smith also organized the first annual Light Up Night last December to bring the community together in the business district’s public parking lot. Observatory Hill’s Second Annual Light Up Night will be on the first Friday in December.All proceeds from the flea market benefit Light Up Night so families can enjoy a community evening marked with kid-friendly holiday cheer and local business outreach.

Anchoring Observatory Hill’s business district are corner store Trios Market, First National Bank, Schorrs Bakery, M&A Tax and Notary Service, Childrens Youth Ministry day care, The Crying Onion BBQ caterer, Robert Strover’s photography studio, T-Plates Insurance & Notary, Pittsburgh Barber Lounge, Moriarity Consultants, Riverview Church Thrift Store, Colette’s Styling Salon, Observatory Hill Chiropractic and Pipitone Group.Francine Schmidley, Five Points Treasurer and Manager of Administration at Pipitone Group said, “We will build on what we do around the flea market and Light Up Night every year”. Schmidley has worked off Perrysville Avenue for the last 15 and a half years at Pipitone Group which began building out their design firm in 1998. “[Observatory Hill] is like a second home to me,” she said.“It’s taken us twelve years to get this district going,” said Smith and noted that this is one of many events in the works to help revitalize the business district.Partnering with Perry High School, Five Points is working around Perry HS’s schedule, and community involvement, to organize how active the programming will be moving forward. Information on upcoming events can be found on their website at fivepointsbdohill.org/As in former reports, Observatory Hill has made significant investments to the district’s area with affordable housing, reclaimed land use in two lots as hops gardens, commercial acquisition within the district, and community driven events from board members, business owners and residents.Commercial properties are currently available including the former Mandy’s Pizza shop, Mr. Bill’s Bar, and Heard Funeral Home with agents, volunteer residents, and property owners actively seeking tenants.This article is sponsored by Northside Shop Small. Northside Shop Small is actively engaging Northside businesses, neighborhood business districts, and residents to focus on local shopping for the holiday season and throughout the year. Save the date for Northside’s 3rd Annual Small Business Saturday on November 24, 2018. What’s in your shopping bag?