Recently, the Manchester Citizens Corporation and Fourth River Development hosted several open houses at the Columbus Square housing development in Manchester to showcase a neighborhood taking shape. I am pleased to report that tremendous progress on the project has been made. Led by the Manchester Citizens Corporation, I am proud to have played a part in this community effort by providing significant state funding for this project.

The Columbus Square housing development is a project that, after several years of planning, is transforming a vacant industrial brownfield in Manchester into a new community of homes. Soon, new residents will begin moving into Manchester as sales agreements have been reached on multiple homes. In addition, ground will be broken on three new homes in the very near future. When this project concludes, 31 new homes will be constructed, creating a vibrant neighborhood in an area where industry packed up and left long ago.

The Columbus Square development is a significant project for Manchester and the city of Pittsburgh for it is rebuilding a community. Moreover, market values in Manchester will rise, the tax base will increase, and jobs will have been created. Transforming a vacant brownfield that once served as an industrial base into a community of homes proves what can be done when government makes an investment in economic development and works together with the private sector and an engaged community.

Congratulations to the Manchester Citizens Corporation and all the community, business and government partners that helped make this vision a reality! In my role as Minority Chair of the Senate’s Economic, Community and Recreational Development Committee, I will continue advocating for economic development funding at thSe state level for projects that produce significant community benefit, like this did. Government does have a role to play in economic development and the Columbus Square project is a perfect example of how to leverage government funding to spur private development.   

Senator Wayne D. Fontana
42nd Senatorial District

www.senatorfontana.com