BRADDOCK (KDKA) — UPMC Braddock Hospital closed four years ago, but what’s being built on that spot and the land around it may surprise you.
“We have this unique opportunity to create what I would call one-of-a-kind spaces,” said Braddock Mayor John Fetterman.
He’s talking about five “creative studio” spaces that will allow people to open a business but also live there.
“Whether you’re an architect, whether you’re a potter, whether you make soap, whether you design video games, you can all do it here,” Mayor Fetterman says.
And he says you can do it with no zoning hassles or super-high storefront rents. Each of the units will go for around $1,000 a month.
“You wouldn’t be able to touch anything close to that in Lawrenceville or East Liberty,” said Mayor Fetterman.
The studios are part of a larger redevelopment. Twenty-five mixed income apartments have been built, for which they had 300 applications.
There are also more traditional retail storefronts, and Allegheny Health Network plans to open an urgent care center.
Across the street, two CMU grads opened a new business this May that’s doing well: The Brew Gentlemen’s Beer Company. A recent garden party they held attracted 1,500 people.
“We’re getting folks from inside the city. We’re getting folks from inside the Mon Valley. We’re getting folks from Braddock,” said co-owner Asa Foster.
As for losing the hospital, the mayor says: “It’s like a divorce you never wanted to go through, but now that it’s final and you’ve moved on, you can see how things are actually better.”
The development is being paid for with a mixture of housing tax credits, private money and even some funds that would have gone to make improvements to UPMC Braddock, had it stayed.
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