Publisher's page: Work begins on Gladstone Residences; welcoming new people | The Homepage

Updated: Aug 31

Hazelwood Initiative celebrated a major milestone when it closed on the financing for the Gladstone Residences project on July 1. The work can now begin to transform a beloved historic building into a housing development with 51 beautiful apartments, of which 43 will be affordably priced for moderate- low- and very-low-income households.


This will bring the number of permanently affordable rental units Hazelwood Initiative has created to 109. We have also sold 30 homes to low- and moderate-income families, giving them access to the biggest driver of intergenerational wealth for most Americans.


These 139 residences comprise more than 10% of the occupied housing units in Hazelwood. As developers eye Hazelwood for gentrification, Hazelwood Initiative is proud to stand against displacement by creating and maintaining permanently affordable homes. Read the article on Gladstone Residences in this issue.


Hazelwood Initiative is also proud to introduce two new people you may see in the office or around the neighborhood.


New construction projects manager, Raymond Bowman

Construction projects manager Raymond Bowman. Photo courtesy of Raymond Bowman


Where are you from?

I grew up in Freeport, Pennsylvania, about a half an hour's drive from the city.


What are the primary responsibilities of your role?

I am responsible for coordinating the construction of our affordable homes and capital improvements to our rental units. This includes visiting properties and creating a list of everything that needs to be done. Then I collect bids from contractors and make sure the price fits our budget. Finally, I oversee the work as it happens and deal with all the surprises that come up during construction. A lot of our properties come to us in poor condition, and even the ones that are in good shape were built long enough ago that they need significant upgrades.


Why is this job important to you and what about your background helps you to do it well?

Before coming to the Hazelwood Initiative, I practiced for 10 years as an architect. I still have my license. This job allows me to have a more direct connection between what is being built and the people who are benefiting. It lets me leverage my skills to benefit the community. Architects are essentially problem solvers and communicators, and there's no shortage of problems to solve and people to communicate with in this role.


What do you love about this neighborhood?

Hazelwood is such a unique neighborhood. In a segregated city like Pittsburgh, it's one of few truly integrated neighborhoods. I also appreciate the variety of "urban" conditions in this bend of the Monongahela, which I put in quotes because it includes not only the business district and housing, but our greenway and trails too.


Summer intern, Roman Abels

Summer intern Roman Abels. Photo by Juliet Martinez


Where are you from?

I’m from Lincoln Place, so growing up I always shared a school bus with Hazelwood kids.


What are the primary responsibilities of your role?

I’ll be assisting David Brewton, the director of real estate, in addressing the needs of current tenants as well as streamlining the application process for prospective tenants.


Why is this job important to you and how does your educational, professional, or personal background help you to do your job well?

As an Urban Studies student at Pitt with an interest in community outreach, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve a community I have always considered my neighbor. I am passionate about amending the ways we conceptualize community from a governance perspective, including producing and maintaining meaningful, fulfilling and communal public spaces, centering walkability by making streets safer, and asserting the right to housing for all. I believe in locally owned businesses that keep money in the community, as well as community-oriented development that centers the needs and desires of the people who have made their lives here.


What do you love about this neighborhood?

Hazelwood is a breathtakingly beautiful place. There is so much going on here, but it maintains a certain stillness and stability, nonetheless. I admire the resilience of Hazelwood as a historically Black neighborhood and am excited for what the community-centered development of Hazelwood Green could mean for people here.



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