Ford City Borough, Pennsylvania
Ford City, Pennsylvania is a small town of 3,000 on the banks of the Allegheny River, one hour northeast of Pittsburgh. With assistance from the state, Ford City hired Fourth Economy Consulting to develop a new comprehensive plan with support from Codametrics to update the zoning code. We worked with the Steering Committee, comprised of members of the Planning Commission and the President and Vice President of the Borough Council.
Ford City, Pennsylvania was once the site of the largest Pittsburgh Plate Glass (PPG) manufacturing facility in the world. However, when this site closed in the 1970’s the borough suffered a downturn in the economy and morale. With declining property values, vacant housing, and vacant lots to repurpose, our team was hired to address various community needs and position them for new investment.
Given these challenges, our approach focused on incrementally building property values by addressing housing issues and quality of life, with the goal of attracting more investment and thereby creating a place that was attractive to everyone from young families to retirement-aged citizens. We gathered data and community input through data analysis, surveys, and by facilitating community discussions on crucial topics.
Building on our focus of attracting investment, we held an Opportunity Tour, inviting developers to view the parcels available in Ford City and provide feedback on ways that we could improve the borough’s value proposition.
From these efforts, we developed a comprehensive plan to shape Ford City into a destination of choice for investment and homeowners. The plan extends from 2020 to 2030 and is split into manageable tasks in three-year increments. This includes recommendations on community-led topics, identification of five catalytic projects, and a proposed organizational structure for implementation.
The comprehensive plan provided the framework for the zoning plan, and spurred the transformation of a small parcel of riverfront land owned by the Borough into a park with a boat launch.
Ford City, PA
Economic Development Strategy