Larisa Ortiz Associates is a consultant for LISC’s Corridors of Retail Excellence (CORE) program, which provides local LISC offices on the East Coast and their partner CDCs with expert guidance in starting points for commercial revitalization. Over the course of the projects, the team provides market analysis, technical assistance, support and mentoring to community organizations. In Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington neighborhood, LOA worked with the Mount Washington CDC to demonstrate the potential of the neighborhood as a viable location for business by supporting the growth of existing businesses along the block.
Every year, 1.5 million visitors ride the incline to Mount Washington take in views of Pittsburgh; however, many of these visitors simply make the return trip down without patronizing local businesses. By implementing marketing strategies and decreasing retail vacancies, our strategy aimed to increase the visibility of the neighborhood’s Shiloh Street corridor and attract the interest of tourists and local residents to the businesses currently operating in the area. Our work also served to build the CDC’s capacity to improve tenant mix and overall retail density overtime, which will further enhance the competitiveness of Mount Washington as a destination for visitors. The marketing strategies that were implemented include wayfinding signage, a printed business directory, a “demographic snapshot” to attract investment, a mobile app, and a final press event.