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Along the Beltline’s Southside Trail corridor, Pittsburgh Yards is eying late-2019 debut

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In preparation, fundraisers want to create a personalized brick trail linking the Beltline to University Avenue

A rendering of the redevelopment dream for the former brownfield site.
Phase 1 of the adaptive-reuse project is nearly ready for occupancy.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation

It’s been decades since Pittsburgh was recognized as a bustling, thriving southside Atlanta neighborhood, but a philanthropy-focused, adaptive-reuse project could soon help tip the scales in the community’s favor.

Pittsburgh Yards, a (rare) community-driven project adjacent to the Atlanta Beltline, aims to repurpose a former brownfield site as the area’s newest mixed-use destination.

But this development—slated to wrap phase 1 construction by year’s end and one day border the Beltline’s Southside Trail—is expected to be a far cry from the other major multi-use builds lining the popular path.

Unlike Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market, and others, Pittsburgh Yards is designed to be a place where neighbors can fill their wallets via steady employment, rather than empty them on $14 burgers.

And now, locals have another opportunity to make their mark on the redevelopment.

Organizers with PY Community Inc. recently launched an initiative that allows neighbors to purchase bricks, which will be engraved with whatever names or messages they want to see “leave a legacy” at the site.

A picture of the interior of an old building with new metal framing inside.
The rehab of the former brownfield site continues.
Ryan Aiken

The effort comes on the heels of news that the Southside Trail, which would one day serve as Pittsburgh Yards’s southern border, could begin construction this fall.

The bricks purchased will be used to form a 15-foot-wide trail between University Avenue and the Southside Trail.

PY Community leaders are calling the future corridor the “Atlanta and West Point tRAIL.”

A picture of new offices being built inside an old warehouse.
Working spaces are coming along.
Ryan Aiken

The 10-year project aims to eventually bring 1,000 new jobs and 1 million square feet to the 31-acre site.

Spearheaded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, as well as developers Core Ventures and Columbia Ventures—a leader in the affordable housing field—the project’s first phase will feature workspace for blue-collar tradespeople, an artisan wing with studios for sewing and jewelry-making, office space, an indoor amphitheater, a commercial kitchen, and a handful of residences priced at 60 percent of the area median income.

A picture describing where the trail will fit on the project site between University Avenue and the Beltline. PY Community Inc.

Development officials are also on the hunt for locals to serve as property manager and community engagement manager, according to Natallie Keiser, an Annie E. Casey Foundation senior associate.

“There is also a reissuance of a call for artists happening,” she told Curbed Atlanta. “Two local artists were identified for two installations, but there are two more installations that need to be matched with artists.”