By Bob Allen


WILKINSBURG (KDKA) — There is an effort underway to revitalize Wilkinsburg.

There are many vacant buildings in Wilkinsburg that were once part of a thriving shopping district.

But some of the empty storefronts represent new hope in the effort to make a comeback, including opening a restaurant in the train station.

“Wilkingsburg’s business district is very large,” Tracey Evans of the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corp. said. “It is larger than the Waterfront in Homestead. We are trying to bring investment back into the community.”

Plans are in the works to remodel and reopen vacant storefronts on Wood Street by early next year.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“We have four leases right now … and we are working on two more restaurants,” investment partner Brian Sieffert said.

The borough receives traffic on Penn Avenue every day, but the goal is to get people out of their vehicles and onto the sidewalks.

“I hope this is a place for people to walk, businesses to stay open later,” Sieffert said.

WATCH: KDKA’s Bob Allen reports live from Wilkinsburg.

In order to revitalize the shopping district and attract investment, the community must deal with high taxes.

Evans says school taxes have been reduced, but there is also the perception of crime.

“It’s very safe for people who live here,” Evans said.