Business Revitalization: Five Points Project
The Five Points area is located within Observatory Hill, at the corners of Perrysville Avenue, Baytree Street, East Street and Mairdale Avenue. This business district had the potential to be reimagined into a newer, renovated and more robust part of the North side, so several community partners came together to do just that.
The Five Points revitalization project has financial backing from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), SSB Bank, Neighborhood Community Development Fund and Rivers Casino – in addition to management provided by the Northside Leadership Conference, according to NEXTpittsburgh. In late June 2022, we were part of a ribbon cutting ceremony and neighborhood celebration commemorating the progress of the Five Points project, which included opening Ida’s Sandwich Shop and revitalizing the nearby Bonvue Street residential development. At the ceremony, Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey and others talked about the importance of the project to the neighborhood.
An Investment in the Future
Our neighborhood partners have been grateful to work on this project together. “The Northside Leadership Conference, along with the Neighborhood Community Development Fund, is pleased to have had the opportunity to assist the Observatory Hill neighborhood with the acquisition, design, development, and repurpose of the property now known as Five Points,” said Dana Fruzynski, Executive Director of the Northside Leadership Conference. “This project will give a much-needed boost to the Observatory Hill Gateway and will hopefully spur additional reuse and rehabilitation projects in the community, particularly along the Perrysville Avenue commercial corridor,” she continued. “We at the Conference look forward to continued cooperation with the community to help Observatory Hill reach their goals.”
Leslee Schaffer, the Treasurer for Observatory Hill Development Corporation and Observatory Hill Inc., couldn’t agree more. “Observatory Hill Development Corporation and its CDC affiliate, Observatory Hill Inc., greatly appreciate the support we have received as we work on the continued investment in our neighborhood,” Leslee said. “The funds we have received from the URA, First National Bank, SSB Bank and the Neighborhood Community Development Fund will allow us to successfully continue our fight against blight, add to the affordable housing stock in our neighborhood and continue to advance the Avenues of Hope initiative for the Perrysville Avenue corridor,” Leslee continued. “We are thankful for our partnership with these funders and with the City of Pittsburgh as we execute our community redevelopment plan for the betterment of all our neighbors.”
Bringing Vitality to the Neighborhood
“The new Neighborhood Community Development Fund offices are located within the Five Points area of Observatory Hill, and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of the community,” said Mark Masterson, Executive Director, Neighborhood Community Development Fund. It’s a neighborhood where a strong sense of community can be felt, and residents in the area agree.
“Observatory Hill is a neighborhood where you feel a sense of community,” said Autumn Williams, a homeowner on Perrysville Avenue and an active volunteer in the Observatory Hill neighborhood. “We have an amazing park where kids can swim and play; humans and dogs can stretch their legs among the trees,” she continued. “Additionally, we now have the beginnings of a revitalized business district.”
Overall, it’s been uplifting to see the renewed sense of hope the neighborhood has experienced through the Five Points revitalization. “It is great to see the improvements the Five Points Project is bringing to the business district in Observatory Hill,” said Denise Colbert, an Observatory Hill resident who is a homeowner on Perrysville Avenue. “Restoring the buildings and the addition of the apartments and the businesses will bring much needed vitality to our area,” she continued. “The blight that has long been a part of that area is now being refreshed and renewed.”
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3923 Perrysville Avenue,
Pittsburgh, PA 15214