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URA Releases Request For Qualifications for the Community-Informed Revitalization of Centre Avenue in the Hill District

Press Release
July 23, 2019

PITTSBURGH, PA (July 23, 2019) – The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) yesterday for multiple developers to participate in the revitalization of various scattered sites along the Centre Avenue Corridor in the Middle Hill neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh.

These sites include a combination of 170 URA and City-owned parcels, 161 of which are vacant lots and nine which contain structures.

The RFQ seeks redevelopments that include ground floor commercial space with compatible multi-story residential, office, and /or flexible space.

The goal of this RFQ is to implement the community’s vision as identified in the 2015 Centre Avenue Corridor Redevelopment and Design Plan and the 2011 Greater Hill District Master Plan, which outline the following priorities:

  • Creating opportunities for minority and local developers

  • Revitalizing Centre Avenue as the neighborhood’s primary retail, institutional, and cultural node as well as a strong residential neighborhood

  • Building upon the African American cultural legacy

  • Creating family-friendly housing without displacement

  • Fostering economic empowerment

  • Producing comprehensive sustainability and quality design

“The redevelopment of the Centre Ave business corridor is occurring at an exciting time. It will become the linchpin between new housing in the area and the upcoming redevelopment of the Lower Hill. Given the planning to date, we have the rare opportunity to intentionally rebuild the corridor in the image and vision established by Hill District residents,” said City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle.

The URA has been working closely with Councilman Lavelle to assemble a unique RFQ process that will increase local small business, nonprofit, and MWBE participation.

Two new funds are available to respondents for additional pre-development financial support and technical assistance: the Neighborhood Initiatives Fund which provides competitive grants to nonprofits to assist with project implementation; and the Equitable Empowerment Fund, a product of a URA and Neighborhood Allies partnership, which provides technical assistance and small grants of up to $5,000 to assist in preparing RFQ responses.

Additionally, the URA will hold Teaming Events and Capacity Building sessions to provide interested respondents with an opportunity to connect, and potentially partner, with MWBE firms which provide relevant professional services.

“With the support of the URA and Neighborhood Allies, we have an opportunity to ensure minority and women-owned businesses take the lead in redeveloping the corridor. We will also have the opportunity to marry smaller MWBE firms with larger developers to help them scale up,” said Councilman Lavelle.

The full RFQ can be found here. Responses are due October 22, 2019. Interested developers should plan to attend the site tours, Q&A sessions, and a final community meeting as outlined in the RFQ.

The URA uses Public Purchase, a web-based e-Procurement service for the automatic notification and transmittal of RFPs, RFQs, and bid opportunities at no charge to vendors. All parties interested in responding to this RFQ or receiving notifications when the URA releases an opportunity must register with Public Purchase and then register with the URA. Instructions for the two-step registration process can be found here. All questions regarding this RFQ should be submitted through Public Purchase.

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