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Small Business Spotlight

Greenwood Plan Non-Profit Celebrates Historic Purchase of Downtown Pitt Building

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

The Greenwood Smithfield project seeks to increase opportunities for Black businesses and entrepreneurs in Downtown Pittsburgh

Image by Adam Michaels Photography

The Greenwood Plan has big plans for the newly acquired Pitt Building in Downtown. Members of the public, the press and local dignitaries attended the ribbon cutting ceremony on February 29 on the steps of 213 Smithfield St. Mayor Ed Gainey, PA State Rep Aerion Abney, other elected officials and community leaders spoke at the event, underscoring the impact of this historic purchase.

The Greenwood Plan, a nonprofit committed to empowering communities through strategic initiatives focused on economic growth, education, and social progress, currently operates Emerald City, a co-working space, on the building’s second floor, which opened in November 2021. The organization announced the acquisition in January after a year of fundraising to convert the 40,000 square foot building, which extends for one block on Smithfield Street from the Boulevard of the Allies to Third Avenue, into a mix-use retail space and incubator for Black businesses, entrepreneurs and organizations.

Image by Adam Michaels Photography

Greenwood Plan Co-Founder Khamil Bailey told the Pittsburgh Courier that through Greenwood Smithfield, the organization seeks to increase opportunities for Black businesses to operate in Downtown. “We want to do that through programming and rent subsidies, giving people the training wheels to be able to get into these spaces and get the revenue that comes with the traffic that comes with being Downtown,” Bailey said.

This purchase holds special meaning, not just for Downtown Pittsburgh, but for communities around the region. In a press statement, Bailey emphasized the significance of the moment: “[This acquisition] signals a rebirth of Black economic growth and a call back to times of economic prosperity for Black people in this country.”

Interested in joining the community at Greenwood Smithfield? Learn more on their website.

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