Downtown Rent Abatement Program

The Downtown Rent Abatement Program (DRAP) aims to foster the development of new, independent businesses in Downtown Pittsburgh, building on existing retail destination clusters or filling needed gaps in retail offerings. Businesses must have a potential location identified and be in active lease negotiations at the time of submitting the application.

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About the Program

This program is designed to assist new businesses that are actively pursuing a location within Downtown Pittsburgh by offering a rent subsidy. This competitive program accepts applications on a rolling basis, and not all applicants are guaranteed funding. The program provides a subsidy of up to 50% of the monthly rent, capped at a maximum of $2,000 per month for 12 months, with a multi-year lease.

Program Conditions

  • The program duration is 12 months
  • The rent subsidy does not support a property build-out period greater than 90 days and will pause if the business is not operating within 90 days. The payment pause will extend a maximum of 90 days.
  • The grantee is required to be operating in the approved property within 180 days of the lease start date, or program award will be void.
  • Property owner must be current on real estate taxes or be on a payment plan, and without any active building code violations.


Before applying, consult with PDP’s Senior Director of Economic Development and review the Downtown Rent Abatement Program Guidelines and Rubric below.

Download Program Guidelines [PDF]

Download Rubric [PDF]

How to Apply:

  • A business identifies an eligible storefront within Downtown Pittsburgh and negotiates a Letter of Intent with the property owner/landlord that identifies the terms that will be incorporated into a lease.
  • The business completes the Rent Abatement application, along with attachments, and returns it to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP).
  • If the application meets the guidelines and criteria, it is forwarded to the Selection Committee, composed of Downtown businesses, residents, property owners and other stakeholders, for consideration toward review and approval.
  • If approved, the PDP will begin providing the Rent Abatement subsidy per the lease term start date.

Funds Disbursement

The funds will be paid directly to the property owner or management, in accordance with the lease. The business owner is responsible for paying the portion not covered by the subsidy.


Please contact Cate Irvin, Senior Director of Economic Development at or 412-325-0157

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