PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Admitting the city of Pittsburgh has not always gotten economic development right, Mayor Bill Peduto unveiled his new team.
"Pittsburgh is not used to growth. We are very, very good at managing decline," said Peduto.
To reverse that trend, the mayor introduced four new leaders from around the country who will lead an effort designed to grow development in our city: Urban Redevelopment Authority director Greg Flisram and deputy director Diamonte Walker, Housing Authority chief development officer Monique Pierre, and the city's new chief development officer Marty LaMar.
"Pittsburgh has a history, has a rich history, but it doesn't have a 21st century history," LaMar told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.
"Having been in a place like that before, where I've seen something come from a town to a city, that's what gets my juices flowing. That's what put's the fire in my belly to let's do something great."
The mayor called for human-centered development with a renewed focus on affordable housing for residents.
"When we are landlords to nearly 17,000 vacant lots, blighted properties and empty houses, we should be able to convert those houses," Mayor Peduto said.
The mayor also wants to attract companies with jobs beyond the high tech sector.
"Those jobs are plentiful for those with a Ph.D. but not for the people with the GED," says Peduto.
Developers are optimistic.
"It's a great coup to get some of these great people here now," noted Gregg Perelman of Walnut Capital.
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