The Hazelwood Initiative provides effective leadership and facilitation to create a healthy community through community planning, business redevelopment, affordable housing development, homeowner reinvestment, and youth programming. HI also serves as a vehicle to address resident concerns and accomplishments relating to various city services and to all community stakeholders.
The mission of the Hazelwood Initiative is to be a community-driven organization, providing a shared stronger voice for Greater Hazelwood by gathering community input to build a sense of hope, harmony and promise, and by supporting human, spiritual and community development.
Board / Staff
Deloris Livsey, Chair
Kristina DiPietro, First Co-chair
Bill Kulina, M.P.A., Second Co-chair
Rev. Leslie Boone, Secretary
Jim Richter, Executive Director
Mitch Margaria, Graduate Intern
The Hazelwood Initiative, Inc., is always seeking new members. Membership lasts a calendar year from January to December and costs as little as $12 per person. It is open to anyone who lives, owns property or works in (or on behalf of) Hazelwood. Membership meetings are held at 6:30 PM on the second Tuesday of every month at the Carbarn located at 5344 Second Avenue. The meetings are open to members and non-members alike.
Members can also join one of our committees: Recruitment and Development, Finance, Communications and the Planning Committee. For membership in HI or any of its committees, please call the HI office at 412-421-7234 or come to one of our meetings.
The Hazelwood Initiative, Inc., serves the four neighborhoods of Greater Hazelwood: Hazelwood, Glenwood, Glen Hazel, and Riverside. Physically, Hazelwood is located at a ‘Mae West’ bend in the Monongahela River, with extensive river frontage well suited for many waterfront activities. And we’re just a short bike, bus or car trip from Pittsburgh’s central business district.
Hazelwood is a long-standing community, still home to perhaps the oldest surviving homestead in the city, the Woods House. The neighborhood also boasts the Carnegie Library of Hazelwood building, currently being reviewed for reuse as a community and non-profit center.
Hazelwood is home to a significant brownfield site in the former J&L / LTV coke works running from the Hot Metal bridge to the Glenfield bridge. This site offers a signficant potential for both commercial and residential development that is highly accessible to both the city core and the Oakland neighborhood. Hazelwood has a great opportunity to redefine itself in the future through ongoing efforts of local residents, churches, city planners, outside consultants, and community organizations, including HI.
Hazelwood Initiative, Inc., (HI) began in 1994 with Mayor Tom Murphy’s initiative to organize maintenance task forces throughout the city. In response, a group of about 15 concerned residents founded the Hazelwood Neighborhood Maintenance Task Force (HNMTF). The group worked with City department representatives from the Bureaus of Building Inspection, Environmental Services, and Public Safety; and the Department of Public Works to address day-to-day maintenance issues in the community. By taking on small community issues and problems such as vacant, abandoned housing, junk cars, and illegal dumping, HNMTF worked through its first few years cleaning up the commercial district and the river’s edge.
By 1996, with assistance and support from Operation Weed and Seed, the organization grew to membership of more than 24. Another 15 to 20 volunteers also could be counted on for specific community projects. These special activities included an annual Operation Clean-Sweep; initiating and planting of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy garden at the corner of Second and Hazelwood Avenues; and acquiring funding for the purchase and installation of holiday lighting for the Second Avenue commercial district. This was the first such lighting the community had seen in almost thirty years.
During the late 1990s, the neighborhood task force joined with a local group opposed to the rebuilding of LTV Steel’s Coke Works. Soon after plans for a new coke plant were defeated, the task force evolved into the Hazelwood Initiative, Inc. Chartered in 1999, HI is a recognized 501(c)(3) community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to betterment of the greater Hazelwood area. This includes Hazelwood, Glenwood, Glen Hazel and Riverside.
HI’s dramatic success at the open of the 21st centry was punctuated by the report, Master Planning in Hazelwood and Junction Hollow’s yearlong community-focused study that identified the future direction for redevelopment of the Greater Hazelwood Area. With this, HI was at the forefront of Community Development. At the direction of the City Planning Department and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, HI took the lead on various projects. These included commercial development along Second Avenue through the City Mainstreet Program and housing development with the Pittsburgh Housing Development Corporation.
HI also advised the Department of Environmental Protection on remediation standards for the former LTV Coke Plant site. As the decade of the 00’s came to a close, HI anticipated working on redevelopment plans for this Brownfield Site with ALMONO, LLP a Partnership of several major Pittsburgh foundations lead by the Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC).
As the new decade opens, HI is involved in many efforts, including to stabilize both residential and commercial property in the neighborhood, support community “greening” efforts and grow the capacity of the organization to better serve its members and neighbors. HI is also facilitating discussions between the ALMONO partners and the community as implementation of the first round of infrastructure improvements on the site draws near.