Six-Year, $3 Million Redevelopment Plan Announced For McKeesport
In a press conference made last Friday afternoon, the City of McKeesport announced that they will receive $3 million in state funds to combat blight and promote redevelopment in the city.
Secretary Dennis Davin from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) was joined by U.S. Representative Mike Doyle, State Senator Jim Brewster, and Mayor Michael Cherepko at the Tube City Center on Lysle Boulevard in Downtown McKeesport to make the announcement.
The $3 million, which will be dispersed in $500,000 increments over six years, is a part of a redevelopment strategy approved by the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) and the Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP). These are both DCED tax credit programs that are intended to encourage investment in otherwise distressed areas.
DCED is partnering with Duquesne Light, First Commonwealth Bank, Noble Energy, and UPMC to provide the necessary funds to the city. Duquesne Light and UPMC are also contributing an additional $300,000 to the McKeesport Rising Initiative, McKeesport’s capital improvements project created by Mayor Cherepko in 2017.
“This major investment by these corporations reflects their belief that McKeesport is a great place to do business,” said Secretary Davin during the press conference.
The funds will be managed by the McKees Point Development Group (MPDG), the nonprofit corporation that has been involved in the rehabilitation of the historic Penn-McKee Hotel as well as planned development along the McKeesport section of the GAP Trail and the confluence of the Youghiogheny and Monogahela Rivers.
In the first year of the six-year plan, funds will be used to renovate at least 20 owner-occupied homes in McKeesport, allowing low-income homeowners to remain in their homes. In year two through six of the redevelopment strategy, 15 to 20 owner-occupied homes per year and five to 10 currently vacant homes per year will be renovated. Those homes that are vacant will be resold.
In another project, MPDG will focus on redeveloping blighted downtown commercial properties, especially those across from City Hall between Lysle Boulevard and Fifth Avenue, near the Allegheny County Port Authority McKeesport Transportation Center. A portion of the $3 million will also go towards stabilizing the Penn-McKee Hotel, which needs structural repairs and is currently unready for redevelopment.
The entire press conference is available for viewing here.