On Thursday, May 31 community members, elected officials and residents gathered to celebrate the renovation of the Perrysville Avenue Business District in Observatory Hill
By: Neil Strebig
Earlier today community members and public officials held a ceremonial wielding of paint brushes to commemorate the final step in Observatory Hill’s revitalization project.
The $1.7 million will be invested into the Perrysville Avenue Business District near Observatory Hill’s Five Points (intersections of Perrysville Ave., Baytree Street, East Street, Mairdale Ave.). Properties at 3917, 3923 and 3925 Perrysville Avenue all have confirmed letters of intent from business owners once renovations are complete. The goal is to convent the first floors of the properties into retail space and create 6 second-floor apartments for residential space.
“A business district defines our community,” said Observatory Hill Inc. (OHI) president Dorrie Smith. “It is a representation of the community.”
The Northside Leadership Conference (NSLC) and OHI acquired Mr. Bill’s Tap & Grill Bar at 3923 Perrysville Ave. in 2015. The location was deemed a nuisance bar and residents took action to help secure the property as a key component in the revitalization project. The additional purchases of the adjacent properties helped ensure a future renaissance for Observatory Hill’s Five Points. OBI board member Jason Wrona described the project as an “unprecedented investment” for the neighborhood.
“[It] starts from the ground up,” NSLC executive director Mark Fatla said during the ceremony. Fatla reiterated that the NSLC works with community groups like OHI to make these projects happen. Neighborhood groups take action in their communities and the NSLC does what it can to help “make it happen.”
Vince Finizio of VAF Architecture designed the renovations and P2 Contracting LLC will be handling the construction. Additional funding for the project was provided by the Northside Community Development Fund, Rivers Casino, SSB Bank and Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Article last updated on Friday, June 1 at 2:01 p.m.