April 2008 Community Update


Community Plan
A second community meeting was held in Beechview on Saturday, March 29th, as part of the development of the Beechview Strategic Community Plan. Once again, many residents, business owners and other stakeholders from the neighborhood turnout to give their input on what the future of Beechview should be. Participants broke out into groups based on personal interest: residential, commercial, parks and recreation, public works and public safety. These groups developed more specific ideas about what is needed in their neighborhood. The planning consultant, Pashek Associates, will process this information and come back to the community with preliminary recommendations in about a month.

Business District Buildings
Several buildings in the Beechview Business District are currently in foreclosure. The community is trying to work with the foreclosing entities (S+T Bank and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh) to get those properties eventually turned over to responsible property owners willing to invest in the neighborhood. There is developer interest in some of the properties but the risk is still perceived as high. The community is talking with all parties involved to find the right scenario to kick-start redevelopment in Beechview’s business district.

Beechview Family Clean Up
There is a new blog in Beechview and it’s devoted to making the neighborhood cleaner. This blog is featured on the Citizens Against Litter website:

“Beechview residents Max and Bethany Hurwitz have started a new blog, Beechview Family Clean Up. Feeling that ‘a few things need to change’ before they can love their neighborhood, they have decided to ‘get involved in creating the neighborhood that [they] envision.’

As a start, three cleanup events in Beechview have been scheduled: May 10, June 22, and July 19. These are, of course, in addition to the April 19 event, which is happening as a part of the larger Spring Clean Up.

With events like these, litter in Beechview doesn’t stand a chance.”

Other Community News
1. Community leaders are working to get a police substation with bicycle cops and/or a beat cop back in the neighborhood.
2. Community Leaders United for Beechview (CLUB) is getting a boost from community service volunteers.
3. The neighborhood is banking on a splash park to be built there, as promised by the City.

Upcoming Events in Beechview:

04/19/08 – Community Clean-up @ Beechview United Presbyterian Church, 1621 Broadway Avenue (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) For more information, see the Beechview Family Clean Up blog or the Citizens Against Litter website.

05/01/08 – Nationality Night @ Beechwood Elementary School, 810 Rockland Avenue (6:00 p.m.)

05/10/08 – Community Clean-up @ Vanucci Field, Orangewood Avenue and Andick Way (10:00 a.m.)

05/17/08 – Spring Flower and Book Sale @ Beechview Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 1910 Broadway Avenue (10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) For more library events, visit the South Pittsburgh Google Calendar.

06/22/08 – Community Clean-up @ Broadway Avenue + Wenzell Avenue (10:00 a.m.)

07/19/08 – Community Clean-up @ Foodland, 1604 Broadway Avenue (10:00 a.m.)


Businesses on the Move
Some businesses in Brookline are on the move and some new businesses are moving into Brookline. Rumor has it that ALDI’s is looking at purchasing the former Foodland building on McNeilly Road in order to tear it down and build a new facility in that location. The medical office located next to Foodland is to move across the street to the plaza where Amel’s is located. A hardware store could be moving to the former pharmacy on Brookline Boulevard. The small storefront next to the Wine and Spirits store is expected to house a wife and husband team who produce ceramics and false teeth. The previous location of Antonio’s pizza will be home to a husband and wife who will offer photography services and oriental rugs.

One Community
Brookline is home to several community-based organizations but recent activity is bringing it closer to having one voice. The South Pittsburgh Development Corporation and Brookline Chamber of Commerce have been working toward a merger of the two organizations. Both organization’s Boards have approved the concept of merger and now the memberships of the groups must approve the terms of the proposal.

Spring Fling Rings
South Pittsburgh Development Corporation’s “Spring Fling” was held on Saturday, March 29th:

South Pittsburgh Development Corporation’s “Spring Fling” event went very well!  We had great day for it and lots of people stopped in for free flower seeds, coffee, “Redd-Up” Cookies, information about SPDC’s projects and some new members signed up!”

Upcoming Events in Brookline:

04/08/08 – Block Watch @ District Justice Charles McLaughlin’s Office, 736 Brookline Boulevard (7:00 p.m.)

04/14/08 – Chamber of Commerce @ McLaughlin’s Office (6:00 p.m.)

04/19/08 – Community Clean-up @ United Presbyterian Church (side door), 1036 Brookline Boulevard (9:00 a.m.)

04/28/08 – Brookline Area Community Council @ St. Mark’s Church, 933 Brookline Boulevard (7:00 p.m.) April’s BACC meeting will feature guests Jim Motznik, City Councilor, and representatives from City Departments.

05/05/08 – South Pittsburgh Development Corporation @ McLaughlin’s Office (7:00 p.m.)


Cleaning Up Carrick
A group of concerned residents in Carrick, known as Carrick People for Action!, has initatied an effort to clean up Brownsville Road. They are tracking offenses and reporting them to the proper City departments. Thanks to its persistence, the group was recently visited by City Councilor Jim Motznik as well as representatives from Lamar Advertising, the Redd-Up Crew and the Department of Environmental Services. Building relationships with these entities will be important for the success of the group’s clean-up effort. For starters, Lamar has agreed to beautify the ground around some of its billboards.

Neighbors, History and the History of Neighborhoods
Thanks to the Carrick Google Group, neighbors in Carrick and Overbook who share a love of history have come together to form the Carrick-Overbrook Historical Society (featured in a South Pittsburgh Reporter article). The Carrick Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has dedicated the “Carrick Room” in its facility, where historic photos and artifacts will be framed and on display.

Other Community News
1. Turn the Page Books is a new business in Carrick that is bringing back not only the independent bookstore but also the book club and storytime. The store is located at 2611 Brownsville Road.
2. A Sprout Fund mural application was submitted for the side of the Vern’s Electric building.
3. Neighbors are working to get trees planted on Brownsville Road.
4. Nominations are being accepted for the Carrick High Sports Hall of Fame: http://groups.google.com/group/carrickPA/browse_thread/thread/a57983d88587e5a0

Upcoming Events in Carrick:

04/08/08 – 29th Ward Democratic Committee @ Carrick High School Library, 125 Parkfield Street (7:00 p.m.) Wendy Urbanic from the City’s 3-1-1 Response Line will be a guest.

04/12/08 – Carrick-Overbrook Historical Society @ Carrick Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 1811 Brownsville Road (~11:00 a.m.) The meeting time is flexible and the group gathers weekly.


Neighbors, History and the History of Neighborhoods (Part 2)
In addition to the Carrick-Overbrook Historical Society, South Pittsburgh is also home to the Three Rivers Postcard Club and the South Pittsburgh Historians Group. The latter two organizations have just produced their first, joint newsletter.

Upcoming Events in Overbrook:

04/17/08 – Three Rivers Postcard Club @ Fairhaven United Methodist Church, 2415 Saw Mill Run Boulevard (7:00 p.m.)

05/01/08 – South Pittsburgh Historians Group @ Overbrook Firehouse, 2406 Saw Mill Run Boulevard (7:00 p.m.)

All South Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

In the News
The South Pittsburgh Neighborhoods blog was recently featured in an article in the South Pittsburgh Reporter. We’re glad to be noticed!

A Cleaner, Greener City
On April 19th, neighborhood clean-ups will be happenning across the City of Pittsburgh. For more information about how to get involved in your neighborhood, visit the Citizens Against Litter website.