Business District and Affordable Housing Strategy
Hazelwood Initiative and their partners, through the Greater Hazelwood Community Collaborative (GHCC), serve the Greater Hazelwood community in Pittsburgh. Though small, Hazelwood is strategically located between downtown and Oakland, and is the home to a 178 acre post-industrial site which is being redeveloped into Hazelwood Green, a sprawling riverfront park and innovation corridor.
Greater Hazelwood recently completed a comprehensive plan, through which there was a clear vision and mandate for the organizations to help the neighborhood manage imminent growth in a way that preserved affordability and created opportunity for existing residents and businesses. They engaged the Fourth Economy team to create a strategy for both revitalizing their business district and addressing the affordable housing gap. As a complement to the comprehensive plan, they were looking for tactical ways that their organizations could work together over the next ten years to ensure equitable growth in their neighborhood.
Our approach blended quantitative data on the housing, retail, and office markets with input from residents and partners about existing activities and opportunities. For the business district strategy, we utilized our signature Market Cards to help residents determine which potential businesses represented the intersection of their dreams and market realities. We then engaged local business owners, small business technical support organizations, and the redevelopment authority to develop strategies for how and where those businesses could be developed in Hazelwood. Similarly, on the affordable housing strategy, we brought potential partners to the table to explore how they could support the community in addressing its affordable housing gap. This process allowed us to create realistic strategies and to build relationships with organizations who could immediately begin to help on implementation.
The resulting strategy is an actionable document that is being used by the Hazelwood Initiative and the GHCC to guide their work. It includes six detailed housing strategies (with number/type of units, locations, funding sources, etc.), as well as six strategies for how to revitalize the business district, including both site/business-specific strategies and broader placemaking strategies.