By Andy Medici
The ribbon-cutting for a local townhouse development project became a platform to talk about the economy and community revitalization, with Pittsburgh notables showing up to praise the development and stress Pittsburgh’s strength during an economic downturn.
Don Walko, the state representative for the 20th district, said that the finished townhouse development shows that the area is continuing to pursue projects that will add positive growth to the area. He called East Allegheny “one of the premier neighborhoods of southwest Pennsylvania.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl described what he saw as the positive momentum happening all around the city, pointing out construction work on the new Penguins arena and the casino.
“This community is on the cutting edge and this community is going in the right direction,” Walko said. “We are well-prepared to survive this economic downturn.”
Al DePasquale, from October Development said that it was a great feeling bringing his ideas to fruition, but that it would not have worked without the people from the community. He also thanked the URA, the East Allegheny Community Council and the Northside Leadership Conference.
“We are as much a part of this city as you are and this is where we intend to stay,” DePasquale said.
Nancy Noszka, the director of real estate for the Northside Leadership Conference, said that the EACC came at this project with a goal of integrating the new buildings into the look and feel of the community.
She also announced plans to redevelop up to 30 more properties within the next five years.
The crowd was then invited inside to take a look at the new townhouses, which had been sold before the buildings were even completed.
Joe DiRenzo, a financial analyst for UPMC, bought one of the houses with a friend after looking around the city for the perfect fit. He said after seeing the designs and plans for the new houses, he realized he shared the same vision.
“It was just the right fit,” DiRenzo said. “Everything is real open and laid out well. It makes people feel at home when they come over.”
The project also was the product of collaboration with the East Allegheny Community Council.