The Six-year Funding Commitment to Support WCDC’s New Strategic Plan Initiatives
WILKINSBURG, PA. (November 2019) – The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation (WCDC) announced today that they have been awarded a six-year, $3 million grant from the Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP). The grant represents the third NPP award since the organization’s doors opened in 2010, and renews the WCDC’s ability to execute programs that enhance the Wilkinsburg community, specifically through the revitalization of its Central Business District. The grant provides funding through The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development’s (PA DCED) Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP) and is made possible thanks to TriState Capital Bank, Highmark, Dollar Bank and the PA DCED.
“I would like to sincerely thank all of our stakeholders, including the PA DCED and our corporate sponsors, for their partnership in our work to positively impact the Wilkinsburg community,” said Tracey Evans, WCDC Executive Director. “We are proud of the work that we have accomplished in the last ten years. We have seen major, multi-million dollar projects like the Lohr Building and the Train Station go from concept to near completion, and programs to help small business owners lead to local entrepreneurship. We look forward to continuing to make progress in our goal to help Wilkinsburg return to the thriving, prosperous neighborhood it once was. A place where people of all ages and backgrounds increasingly want to live, raise their families and do business.”
A DECADE IN REVIEW
As a result of the NPP’s past support, Wilkinsburg is making significant progress and residents’ lives are being improved every day. Since the WCDC opened its doors in 2010:
- Nearly $100 million in public and private investment has occurred
- 27 property owners have renovated their building facades
- 74 vacant storefronts have been filled
- 63 new businesses have relocated to Wilkinsburg
- 370 local entrepreneurs have received small business training
The WCDC has also led the revival efforts of two landmarks in the Wilkinsburg Business District – the Wilkinsburg Train Station and the Lohr Building. These anchor buildings were vacant for a combined 50 years, and now represent a $9 million investment that will bring over 20,000 square feet of office or commercial space to the market.
A FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
The WCDC is making great progress in positioning Wilkinsburg to become the next great Main Street community regarded as a center for creativity, diversity and entrepreneurship. The new year brings with it the much-anticipated completion of the Lohr and the Train Station – two multi-million projects that will have a significant impact on the Wilkinsburg business corridor. The WCDC will now focus its efforts on ensuring that these buildings are occupied by businesses that will contribute to Wilkinsburg’s revitalization. This is all part of the WCDC’s six-year Strategic Plan, which focuses on three major strategic initiatives, each with its own series of goals, objectives, strategies and tactics that will guide the organization’s efforts.
- Business District Prosperity – facilitating the redevelopment of the Wilkinsburg business district, its regional identity and assisting the businesses that call it home.
- Community Vitality – working in partnership with the Borough of Wilkinsburg, residents, business owners and other community stakeholders to tackle issues that challenge us in ways that will enhance success for all.
- Organizational Excellence – operating our community development corporation with efficiency and effectiveness to enable long-term impact.
Evans added, “Just as Wilkinsburg’s challenges didn’t arise over a 10-year period, so too will they not be solved in this short time. We still have a lot of work to do. Thanks to the generous support of the WCDC’s corporate partners, TriState Capital Bank, Highmark Company, Dollar Bank and PA DCED, the strategic plan will help us to realize our vision of Wilkinsburg as a prosperous, healthy and inclusive community.”
ABOUT THE WCDC
The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation (WCDC) was formed with the core mission of driving economic development in Wilkinsburg with an emphasis on strengthening the Central Business District. To fulfill this mission, the organization operates according to its core values of inclusiveness, collaboration, forward thinking, impact, and integrity.