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Hill District Future Topic Of Community Meeting

PITTSBURGH (KDKA)--As the city continues to work to reunite the Hill District with Downtown, they are looking to revitalize a major corridor in that neighborhood. The Urban Redevelopment Authority wants to bring back Centre Avenue to its former glory.

"People care. People want to see Centre Avenue in the Hill flourish," Salon XO owner Monica Tillman-Smith said.

It's viewed as a major artery for the neighborhood.

"For Hill District residents, it is the place that they have known and loved for many, many years and many, many generations," URA Deputy Executive Director Diamonte Walker said.

A few dozen people packed into the Jeron X. Grayson Community Center on Enoch Street to hear from 11 developers on Saturday morning. They development would go from Dinwiddie Street to Reed Street.

"I had to come out to see what's going on. Have to get involved," Carl Morton said.

He is from the Hill District and it has a very special place in his heart. He wanted to be a part of a new era for his old neighborhood.

"It's important to me. Very important to me," he told KDKA.

The meeting lasted for several hours as people had the chance to ask the developers about their plans to make sure it meets the needs of the people in the area. Some of the developers have plans for all 170 available publically-owned parcels. Others were small businesses with roots in the neighborhood.

Plans came from commercial and residential property companies, a non-profit that promotes African-American women growth, and a salon.

"It's connecting people. It's connecting relationships. That is community," Tillman-Smith said.

She's owned Salon XO in the Hill District for more than two years. She hopes the community can see what revitalizing Centre Avenue will do for the area.

"It has the potential. It has great potential to be a wonderful asset, a wonderful destination location," she said.

The URA hopes to have plans in place and have work started on some of the projects sometime this spring.

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