Are you an entrepreneur, artist, business owner, restauranteur, or any other person who could utilize a storefront downtown? If so, this post’s for you. Mayor Ravenstahl recently announced the program ‘Project Pop Up: Downtown’, which will provide grants of $1,500-$10,000 per project. The Urban Redevelopment Authority will provide an initial $25,000 for the program, which they hope to supplement with donations from nonprofits and philanthropic organizations.
The program was designed in a similar vein to pop-ups in Seattle, San Francisco and New York. In addition to improving the aesthetic appeal of vacant storefronts, these cities experienced increased foot traffic and decreased crime in the areas where pop-ups appeared. Both large retailers and independent artists/business-owners have inhibited these spaces and have made a substantial impact, whether it comes in the form of an identifiable brand or a one-of-a-kind, homegrown operation. “In a statement, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said vacant storefronts detract from the city’s Third Renaissance. He said the new program will improve the appearance of Downtown streets, increase public safety, stimulate the real estate and business climates and give shoppers new reasons to visit the Golden Triangle.” Post-Gazette.com
The deadline to submit proposals for a pop-up location is at 5PM, Tuesday, September 13. Preferred applicants will be those who creatively bring the space to life not only during the day, but at night, in an effort to cater towards the Light-Up Night crowd. More about the project can be learned here. Available storefronts can be viewed here. Best of luck to all of the entrepreneurs who are taking the first steps to revitalize the downtown neighborhood. Downtown Pittsburgh is better off than it was a few years ago, but this is one of many crucial steps needed to revitalize the neighborhood and entice more people to live downtown.