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Photograph of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson courtesy of New Granada Square Background Document

Called “the crossroads of the world” by Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McKay, Pittsburgh’s Hill District has a rich legacy as the cultural center of African-American life in our city, and the New Grenada Theater is an icon in that neighborhood. It’s famous second floor New Savoy Ballroom hosted the likes of Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. The Art-Deco building was built in 1928 under one of America’s early African American architects, Louis Bellinger. It will be the centerpiece of a redevelopment effort — New Granada Square — designed to help spur the revitalization of Centre Avenue surrounding the Theater and remaining business district.

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Photograph courtesy of Updated New Granada Square RFP

New Granada Square will encompass the 2000 block of Centre Avenue, which includes the iconic New Granada Theater. The Hill District Community Development Corporation (Hill CDC), in conjunction with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), is seeking proposals for this redevelopment. This is an opportunity for developers to partner with the community in the historic Hill District — a neighborhood at our City’s core!

According to the RFP:

The goal is to develop the block as a cultural / commercial / residential site, catalyzing the rebirth of the Hill District and Centre Avenue, through the reflection of cultural history and current destination opportunity.

The 2000 block of Centre Avenue, along with Wylie Avenue, Devilliers and Erin Streets, are considered to be New Granada Square (“Square”). The Theater, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and also has City of Pittsburgh historic structure designation, anchors the development site.

The mixed-use site will include: Restoration and preservation of the Theater, including 40,000 gross square feet of cultural and commercial space; mixed-income rental housing units for current residents, emerging artists, entrepreneurs, and urban professionals; and approximately 7,200 square feet of ground floor retail as a component of the new construction in the block.

Those developers interested in partnering with the Hill CDC, should go to http://www.hilldistrict.org/newgranadarfp, where you’ll find links to the Updated New Granada Square RFP and the New Granada Square Background Document.

This is your chance to be part of the rebirth of one of America’s great, historic neighborhoods!

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Image courtesy of Google Maps

 

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