EZCB In Swissvale Newsletter
(03/21/2017) - Julie Grose, Swissvale Borough Councilwoman and EZCB Board Member, wrote the following article for the Spring 2017 Swissvale Borough Newsletter:
WHAT Is “In the Zone”?
“In the Zone” is a NEW community branch evolving from The Enterprise Zone Corp of Braddock (EZCB) whose message to all is to: Live, Work and Play “In the Zone”!
As a reminder, the EZCB is an I.R.S. designated 501(C)(3) non-profit economic development organization comprised of eleven (11) public and private sector Board Members and approximately 40 general members. Established in 1986, the corporation secured Enterprise Zone grant funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to attract new businesses and assist existing businesses to expand. EZCB represents the county’s designated connected communities of Braddock, North Braddock, Rankin and Swissvale.
In the 30 years EZCB has assisted in over 100 development projects ranging from securing over $2 million in Enterprise Zone State tax credits for United States Steel’s Edgar Thomson Works to a $5,000 loan to a Braddock beauty shop to help repair the roof of the building. EZCB economic development activities in the communities supported by EZCB have leveraged over $400 million in public and private investment, creating over 400 jobs.
In the last two (2) years there’s been a great deal of development that has taken place in the Enterprise Zone. Almost $1.5 million of Enterprise Zone financing assistance was provided leveraging millions of dollars of private investment. Some examples – Phillips Tank and Structure is a firm that specializes in providing design, fabrication and construction of above-ground storage tanks and other related steel and aluminum structures. A software company named Unicentric purchased and renovated a former synagogue and later a Baptist church in Braddock. In Swissvale, two buildings were acquired by an architect and an attorney and are being renovated. In Rankin, an $18 million Flyover Ramp was completed to provide access to the 130-acre Carrie Furnace redevelopment site. There are other commercial properties in Rankin and North Braddock that are under consideration for redevelopment.
In June 2015 a Business Roundtable was held at the Grand View Golf Club in North Braddock. A panel of business representatives and economic development professionals discussed their challenges and successes. It was an interactive session that led to the creation of a Public Relations Committee. The Committee has been meeting since September 2015, and has worked with other organizations to form an official branch called “In the Zone” with a vision to restore the legacy of hard work and business innovation in a historically diverse, value based community consisting of 4 boroughs.
The vision of “In the Zone” is to promote our area as a one stop shop: Live, Work, Play “In the Zone”!
The Zone has gained popularity over the past few years, due to media exposure such as:
• Ninja warriors final was filmed at Carrie Furnace
• Netflix filming several series here In the Zone
• Thrival Innovation (new Annual weekend concert event at Carrie Furnace)
• Carrie Furnace with 138 acres of ready to develop land with 60 acres “shovel ready” RIGHT ON THE WATER.
The zone will continue to grow as a prime spot for filming over the coming years. Our In the Zone hub has been tagged “Hollywood on the Mon”. Our commitment to making the Zone a prime spot for the community, will also allow us to gain the notoriety through film projects as aforementioned.
The future is looking bright for our communities: “In the Zone”!
The zone is the #1 alternative for Allegheny County residents wanting to live outside the city of Pittsburgh
• A safe, affordable, and prosperous community that enables its citizens and businesses of diverse backgrounds to live, play and grow.
• To rebrand Braddock, North Braddock, Rankin, and Swissvale as the #1 destination to work, live, and play.
Shown above is a SNEAK PEEK into the website being finalized for our connected neighborhoods. We look forward to communicating more about the developments and new community initiatives. We welcome ideas! Let’s truly create the next “Hollywood on the Mon In the Zone”! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with great ideas and suggestions. And if you are interested in being on the team be sure to let us know!