$1.5M tax credit development plan OK’d to revitalize Allentown |

$1.5M tax credit development plan OK’d to revitalize Allentown

A $1.5 million tax credit development plan could spur growth in Pittsburgh’s Allentown neighborhood, officials said Monday.

The six-year plan, with funding from PNC Bank, Dollar Bank and UPMC Health Plan, utilizes the state’s tax credit Neighborhood Assistance Program, which allows corporate sponsors to acquire tax credits for money they spend on development.

It will provide home-owners assistance to improve properties, and neighborhood advocates hope it will entice businesses to move into the East Warrington Avenue business district.

“The Hilltop Alliance will manage the program, which will also support a fresh foods initiative for residents, a neighborhood employment center and children’s education programs,” said Aaron Sukenik, the nonprofit neighborhood group’s executive director.

The program’s partners will collaborate with the Allentown Community Development Corp. Sukenik said the neighborhood has about 2,500 residents “but our business district also serves others from adjacent areas.”

Bank officials said they committed to the program because the neighborhood has a plan to mitigate crime and make facade improvements.

“Allentown’s development plan addresses many relevant issues facing the community. Our funding demonstrates PNC’s commitment to help the organization follow through on its plan,” said Stephanie Cipriani, PNC’s market manager for community development banking.

Carol Neyland, vice president of community development for Dollar Bank, said it wants to assist “vulnerable communities and residents.”

“We look forward to facilitating ongoing revitalization efforts in these neighborhoods,” Neyland said.

Hilltop Alliance will identify problem properties and connect owners with financial assistance and other resources to make improvements. In some cases, the Mt. Washington Community Development Corp., a member of the Hilltop Alliance, may assist in acquiring, renovating and selling properties, Sukenik said.

The neighborhood lies south of Grandview Park, between Mt. Washington and South Side Slopes.

Sam Spatter is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7843 or [email protected].

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