Ongoing efforts to redevelop commercial corridors in Pittsburgh's South Hills area have received a substantial funding commitment, as The Heinz Endowments has awarded Economic Development South (EDS) a $120,000 grant for organizational capacity building and general operating support.
"These funds represent a serious commitment to Economic Development South, our member communities and our ongoing efforts to redevelop and revitalize our commercial corridors," said Greg Jones, EDS' executive director. "This grant is also testament to the dedication, passion and commitment of the EDS Board and of our member communities.
"I'm delighted that these efforts have been rewarded."
The Heinz Endowments, a nonprofit organization, supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion, according to a news release.
EDS is a nonprofit community development corporation that takes a multi-municipal, corridor-based approach to economic development. EDS works collectively across boundary lines and builds consensus around a common interest in the redevelopment of the corridors—most notably Saw Mill Run/Clairton Boulevard (Route 51), Brownsville Road and Streets Run Road—that serve as neighborhood commercial areas and as transportation linkages around Pittsburgh.
EDS is a partnership between Brentwood, Baldwin and Whitehall boroughs and the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Carrick and Overbrook. That partnership includes representatives from local business organizations, including the Brentwood-Baldwin-Whitehall Chamber of Commerce and the Brentwood Business Owners Association.
EDS is governed by a board of directors made up of representatives of member municipalities and of the local business community.
The mission of EDS, according to a news release, is to facilitate investment and reinvestment, create jobs, and enhance the overall competitiveness of its area by pursuing projects and initiatives that reinforce and revitalize local commercial districts while encouraging long-term, sustainable investment in area neighborhoods.
EDS advocates for regional transportation, planning and economic development policies and programs that help further that mission to encourage multi-municipal cooperation that addresses shared issues and concerns.
The $120,000 Heinz grant will be made over a two-year period and will support the hiring of additional EDS staff members, including a full-time project coordinator/manager to advance ongoing and planned projects and initiatives.
"This will enhance our ability to address community and economic development needs in our member neighborhoods and our marking and branding efforts to improve perceptions and to better attract new businesses and residents," Jones said, "and to provide business assistance services to our existing business community.
"EDS is working on a variety of development projects, as well as initiatives, that help to address transportation, transit, environmental, housing and marketing issues in our communities. This staff position will help us to continue to advance these projects and initiatives."
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