The long-awaited East Liberty Transit Center was officially opened this week, with politicians and local leaders heralding the neighborhood’s revitalization, but with an eye toward making sure long-time residents aren’t pushed out in the process.
The $150 million, six-acre development relied on nearly two dozen funding sources, including a $15 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2012.
“This project is a great example of how public-private partners can successfully work together to produce a project that reconnects communities and neighborhoods,” says Terry Garcia-Crews of the Federal Transit Administration, who was on hand for the ceremony.
Along with the fully-reconstructed transit station, the project, most of which is still a work in progress, has 3,000 square feet of mixed-use commercial space, which will house 360 housing units, a 554-space parking facility, a bike garage, and the pedestrian bridge which now connects Shadyside to East Liberty.
Mayor Bill Peduto spoke at the ribbon-cutting event, and said the project was about more than just East Liberty, saying it provided a roadmap for revitalization efforts in other parts of the city. “It gives East Liberty the opportunity to flourish while providing a unique opportunity to rebuild neighborhoods next door,” the mayor says.