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DEVELOPERS > Opportunities

Opportunities

The Greensburg Community Development Corporation understands the fundamental elements of commercial development projects: return on investment (ROI) and risk. The GCDC helps developers and investors locate an opportunity to make money, complete a project with minimal barriers, and reduce the level of investment risk to an acceptable point.

Several drivers influence development opportunities within the City of Greensburg: cultural district visitors, daytime workforce, vehicle traffic, resident population, and undergraduate and graduate student enrollment.

The Palace Theatre and the collective strength of the Cultural District attracts approximately 105,000 people to the downtown. The universities bookending the City – Seton Hill University and the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg - have a combined enrollment of 4,300 students. More than 12,000 vehicles from the surrounding townships travel through the downtown daily. Greensburg’s daytime workforce exceeds 28,000, with the Westmoreland County Courthouse, Allegheny Energy’s corporate headquarters, and Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital being the largest single employers. Investors and entrepreneurs are putting together projects to capitalize on these market forces.

Market Analysis

Synergy Real Estate Corporation recently conducted a market analysis of Westmoreland County, including the current site conditions of downtown Greensburg, in order to evaluate potential land uses within the city of Greensburg Transit Revitalization Investment District (TRID). The goal was to identify opportunities that are more likely to attract private investment. The TRID covers the same geographic area as the Cultural and Shopping Districts of the City. As a result of this study, Synergy recommended the following downtown development possibilities:

  • Niche opportunities for town center and lifestyle developments
  • New multi-family residential for both market rate buyers and tenants as well as for increasing numbers of seniors and students
  • Specialized retail and office development, particularly as it relates to health care and education
  • Niche hospitality establishments such as a restaurant and bar, a bed & breakfast inn, or a boutique hotel

Synergy analyzed development sites relative to market conditions, current use and property condition, zoning, and the stated goals of the City. Detailed financial, engineering, regulatory, and environmental analyses are needed for each site in order to determine the ultimate feasibility of any given use or new development.

Development Priorities

Residents and City officials have identified the following priority needs in terms of development:

  • Redevelop identified vacant and/or underutilized sites
  • Facilities for Seton Hill University, Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, businesses and organizations
  • Facilities for overnight accommodations, restaurants, and entertainment venues
  • Renovate upper floors of commercial buildings for modern residential units and/or office space
  • Provide a variety of residential units marketed to students, professionals, empty-nesters and seniors

Efforts are underway to fill the demand for apartments by undergraduate and graduate students. As of July 2009, five commercial building owners had completed, or were in the process of completing, the construction of modern apartments targeted toward area college students. The opportunity to complete a small (7,200 sq ft) adaptive reuse project or large-scale (160 unit) apartment complex exists within a 4-block radius of downtown. The enrollment growth of Seton Hill University and University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, combined with the establishment in August 2009 of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicines newest medical school site on the Seton Hill University campus, has strengthened the financial viability of the rental market.

Since 2007, the GCDC and our development partners (the City of Greensburg and the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland) have been marketing the West Otterman Street Development Site for a downtown hotel. Twelve development and hotel management firms have inquired about the site, with several visiting Greensburg. A hotel feasibility study has been commissioned to determine the strength of the lodging market and the financial projection of the development project. It will be shared with interested firms in early 2010. Visitors to the Cultural District and local institutions and businesses, as well as the families of college students and of residents holding weddings and family functions at our many Greensburg houses of worship are the target market for room rentals at the downtown hotel.

The GCDC understands that the long-term success of certain commercial tenants and commercial development projects is based on market forces. We monitor our local market and will help you to minimize project risk and maximize the ROI.

Are you a developer or investor that would like to Think Greensburg? Contact us at 724-689-0040 or gcdc@thinkgreensburg.com.