CEO Note: June 2024

CEO Note


Stefani Pashman, CEO

After months of hard work and the dedication of many of you, we released the downtown vision plan last week, making headlines across the region.

What this region wants and needs from a reimagined downtown is an identity that resonates throughout our neighborhoods, making the Golden Triangle a destination and defining the new Pittsburgh for generations to come. You saw the drawings – a few signature projects that achieve a vision of embracing our rivers, turning barriers into opportunity, establishing mini-neighborhoods throughout downtown, and connecting these communities to those that are just across the river or up the hill. 

But this plan has more to it than these drawings. Real estate conversion projects, in addition to those underway, will bring new housing stock to downtown at all levels of affordability. And the focused efforts of Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, and downtown partners to create a safe, clean, and welcoming downtown will continue. The transformation of our Golden Triangle with the addition of green spaces, reimagined real estate, and new residential amenities like playgrounds and dog parks will create a new identity and, ultimately, a new value proposition for our downtown. This will spur investment in our city in the form of new businesses, new projects, and new neighbors.

This is what our founding fathers (and yes, they were all fathers) had in mind when they created the Allegheny Conference to tackle seemingly unsolvable problems by embracing a steadfast spirit of collaborative, creative work, day after day until they finished.

And that’s what it’s going to take – establishing a plan gives us a roadmap. But now we have to put the details on the plan that will bring our streets, green spaces, and new civic gathering spots to life. We moved swiftly these last few months and once we hit a critical milestone, we shared the news of our vision with the region. Now, we turn to the next phase.

The Path Ahead

The questions echo across the city—what’s next? Where do we go from here? The answer is simple. We do what we have done time and again: We do the work, together, one step at a time.

The first item on the to-do list? Identify and solidify partnerships with the organizations that will take ownership of each catalytic project to ensure we move forward in lockstep. The City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership will spearhead efforts around Market Square. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the City of Pittsburgh, via the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, each own a portion of the 8th Street Block space, and moving forward, the Trust will take a leading role in the transformation of this space. For the Allegheny Descent portion of this project and other riverfront areas, Riverlife will take the lead. And finally, the state will lead efforts to refresh and modernize Point State Park.

Like all projects of this scale and magnitude, the funding will come from a blend of sources: public, private, philanthropic, and corporate. We are working with downtown-focused organizations and various public and private partners to put pen to paper and define our capital plan.    

As we move ahead with these projects to revitalize vital places in our downtown area, what about the people? Public engagement sessions are a key item on the list to tackle in the weeks ahead.

Each of these projects presented is visionary, designed to be a high-level concept that requires a more robust design phase. Throughout this process, we will seek public input on all projects to ensure that we are developing a downtown Pittsburgh that is relevant to all. In the coming weeks, we will share more information on the public input process and how those who live, work, and play in downtown Pittsburgh can get involved. 

We are just getting started.