Mooncrest Neighborhood, snowy allyway with telephone wires

Mooncrest Neighborhood Economic Study


Moon Township is located along the Ohio River in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Moon is 12 miles northwest of Pittsburgh and includes the Pittsburgh International Airport and the main campus of Robert Morris University. The Mooncrest Historic District in Moon Township was built during World War II as housing for defense workers.


Moon Township hired Fourth Economy Consulting (with assistance from T&B Planning) to conduct a market analysis of the historic Mooncrest neighborhood and prepare strategic recommendations to improve its economic stability. Officials were seeking additional input to determine what mix of uses would be financially viable or feasible, and which would support the health and stability of the community.

As part of this effort, our team examined the neighborhood and the surrounding area to answer the following questions: 

  • What are the factors affecting the community?

  • What is the opportunity for housing development or improvement?

  • What is the opportunity for office space in the area?

  • What kinds of retail could be supported?

  • What public facilities and services are available?


In addition to the data collection, research, and analysis conducted to answer these questions, our team met regularly with the Historic Architecture Review Board and township staff. Two meetings were held to collect resident input, and additional meetings were held with landlords and property owners.


Our analysis identified limited opportunities for retail or commercial development within the community. Therefore, with the exception of “low impact businesses,” rezoning was not recommended. Rather, in order to reinvigorate the long-term health and vitality of Mooncrest, recommendations were developed around the themes of: building community capacity to support revitalization; developing resources to support ongoing maintenance of existing properties; utilizing legal and financial tools to rehabilitate and occupy vacant and abandoned properties; and restoring the gateway to the neighborhood.


Market Analysis