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2019 has been a very busy year for the Hill CDC as we continue to facilitate economic and development opportunities in the Hill District. After much dedicated effort, the Hill CDC has three major announcements to share!

1. Funding for New Granada Square Apartments

Last week, the Hill CDC was awarded $1.1 million and $500,000 from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) for the New Granada Square Apartments, which is slated to begin construction next year! This award will bring $11 million in equity to the project. PHFA funding awards include up to $1.1 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and $500,000 in Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) Funds.

The New Granada Square Apartments, built in partnership with CHN Housing Partners, will be a five-story building on Centre Avenue in between the Black Beauty Lounge, 2037 Centre Ave., and the building that houses the Hill District Federal Credit Union, 2021 Centre Ave. The first floor will be reserved for 7,200 square feet of commercial space, and the remaining floors will house 40-units labeled as “affordable,” with the units priced from 20 to 80% of the Area Median Income ("AMI"), averaging below 60% AMI and including 10 Project Based Vouchers from Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh to assist with rental costs. Twenty-seven apartments will be one-bedroom; 13 will be two-bedroom. Many of the apartments will be marketed to those in the arts community.

The total price tag for the New Granada Square Apartments is $13.4 million, which is part of a larger, $55 million New Granada Square redevelopment plan that includes 24,000 square feet of new office space, a performing arts space, a music lounge and restaurants. The epicenter for the development is, of course, the historic New Granada Theater.

The Hill CDC is incredibly grateful to PHFA for this award and looks forward to breaking ground for New Granada Square!

Check out this article from the New Pittsburgh Courier for more information!


2. Closing on Hill House Properties



In August 2018, the Hill House Association held a community meeting to announce that they planned to sell four (4) of their properties to a private developer: Hill House Main, One Hope Square, Blakey Program Center, and Family Dollar. Following this meeting, members of the Greater Hill District Development Growth Fund, State Rep. Wheatley, County Councilman Walton, and Councilman Lavelle helped to get a community process started to dispose of the properties. The aforementioned elected officials filed a Stay of Sale in December to stop the sale.

The URA joined to help facilitate this process by releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) in February 2019. Of the submitted bids that went through the Development Review Panel (DRP), Emeka Onwugbenu of E. Properties with the Hill CDC as its community partner, had the winning bid for the properties at a price of $4.9 million.

Despite claims that they would remain open, Hill House Association announced in June their decision to dissolve the organization and sell the remaining properties to FOCUS Pittsburgh who bought the senior center; and ACH Clear Pathways who is in the process of purchasing the Kaufmann Center, both without engaging in a community process.

This past week, Hill House Association closed on the sale of the four (4) properties to E. Properties and the Hill CDC. The Hill CDC will be a minority owner in the partnership with primary responsibilities around assuring that the properties remain in alignment with the community endorsed Greater Hill District Master Plan and community engagement. In addition, regarding the Blakey Program Center, the Hill CDC is the master lease holder of 8,500 square feet of space within that building. The space will be utilized for programming and other community uses.

To share next steps and answer any questions the community may have, E Properties and the Hill CDC will host a meeting in August.

Check out this article from the Pittsburgh Business Times for more information and stay connected for the announcement of the meeting date!


3. SOKO Community Market



As a first initiative, the partnership between Hill CDC and E Properties and Development, LLC welcomes SOKO Community market on the third Saturday of each month, starting on July 20th. In Swahili the word Soko means "market, fair, and bazaar." This initiative was created as a response to the Hill District Community becoming a food dessert again when Shop N’ Save closed in March of this year. Since then, the Hill CDC has been working diligently with over 10 local partners to find a way to make food more accessible to Hill District residents. The SOKO Community Market will also create opportunities for artists and other small businesses, including prepared food vendors, bringing together nourishment for the body, mind, and soul.

This market will feature over ten fresh produce item’s from the Hill District’s own Ann’s Market, 2-dozen locally grown produce items from Braddock Farms, including cucumbers, zucchini, head lettuce, red tomatoes, chard, kale, collards, mixed salad, dill, cilantro, basil, beets, carrots, and onions courtesy of our partner Grow Pittsburgh!

SOKO Community Market

Saturday, July 20th
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM


Hill House Main
(driveway, side courtyards, and back parking lot)
1835 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

To find additional information, including how to become a vendor, visit!


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Serving the Greater Hill District of Pittsburgh, PA