PITTSBURGH — Boarded-up windows and doors and closed signs have become a somewhat familiar sight on Pittsburgh's South Side.
Hello Bistro on East Carson Street recently closed. It officially closed on Monday, January 15th.
Carson City Saloon also decided to close permanently after closing for two months in July due to safety concerns.
“It's a little sad to see some companies leave, but I hope someone comes in and does something about it because a lot of real estate is left abandoned,” Prince said. he said.
Mikel Prince, 24, lives on 15th Street on the South Side and noticed the storefront was empty.
That's hope. Peter Margittai is president of the Southside Chamber of Commerce. According to him, there is currently about 20% vacancy in this area.
“This is not a good number,” Margittai said. “It's certainly not something everyone should be proud of, it's certainly a business district. But I'll tell you, if you come back next year, the numbers will be even better.”
Margittai said there are already signs of revitalization and new life. He said a new distillery is under construction and the old vault will soon be turned into a Bank of America.
“Everyone is working in lockstep,” he said. “We're talking to each other. We're adjusting.”
Rich Cupka, owner of Cupka's Cafe 2 in East Carson, worries that businesses are closing faster than new ones are coming in. The main reason, he says, is the ongoing violence.
“Southside is one of the best neighborhoods in Pittsburgh in terms of its business district, its proximity to Main Street, its proximity to Oakland and its proximity to downtown,” Kupka said. “It's a great location, but the insecurity has ruined everything.”
Channel 11 reached out to Mayor Ed Gainey's office. He said he did not know how many stores had closed. The government said in a statement that it believed there was a problem with awareness.
The statement reads: “While we believe there are perceived issues on the South Side when it comes to public safety, as announced at yesterday's press conference, our PBP officers are working diligently with businesses and residents to proactively Everyone who lives, visits, or works on the South Side feels safe. ”
Since the Southside Entertainment Patrol began cracking down on crime in July, the city says officers have made nearly 100 arrests.
Kupka said more executives are needed to make real changes to turn the tide and take the company back.
“Security is the foundation of business districts, neighborhoods and cities,” he said. “You have no public safety or anything.”
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