Revitalizing Wilkinsburg’s business district has been one of Garrett’s goals ever since she was a local entrepreneur and member of the borough council. In addition to her political role, Garrett is also the president and founder of Civically, a Wilkinsburg-based nonprofit focused on community development. On April 25, Civically announced they had purchased the historic Hunter Building on Penn Avenue.
The top floors of the Hunter Building will include a mix of office and community space, says Garrett, who adds that her organization is already in talks with several foundations and at least one engineering firm about renting the space, though she declined to name specifics.
The purchase was made possible by a Keystone Communities Award of $350,000 from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Mayor Garrett estimates that the entire renovation will cost $9.8 million over the next several years.