Coraopolis getting $120,000 economic boost to spruce up storefronts

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. — One Allegheny County community is getting a boost to turn their town into a destination as opposed to one you just pass through. It’s a seemingly small investment, but it’s making a considerable impact on businesses in the center of Coraopolis.

“New restaurants are coming in,” said Project Angels Boutique Owner Alana Welch. “New boutiques.”

Alana Welch owns Project Angels Boutique. Passing through Coraopolis on 5th Avenue, you might have missed it but not now.

“I really think the grant helped me specifically with me being able to make those windows pop more for the people who drive through and actually grab their attention to get them to stop,” said Welch.

Last year, Welch received a $2,500 grant. It’s part of a facade improvement project through the Coraopolis Community Development Corporation.

“They’ve been working with businesses, giving them new facades, dressing up the town,” said Coraopolis Borough Manager Raymond McCutcheon. “We got a lot going on, and we’ve been very fortunate to get a lot of grants.”

“Just to put some life back into the town,” said Coraopolis Community Development Corporation Director of Programs and Communications Meryn Czepiel. “There’s always been life, but we can make it better from here.”

So far, 16 businesses have made upgrades. Another eight just found out they’ll now be able to start making exterior improvements with this money. Those businesses are Fit4Life, Glamorous Productions, Queen Beans Cafe, Cobblehaus Brewing Company, Saged Crystal Tattoo, Taitan Game Shop, H&R Block and Anthony Jr’s Pizzeria.

“Oh, it’s going to help,” said Anthony Jr.’s Pizzeria Owner Will Kelley.

Kelley says that not much has changed in Anthony Jr’s Pizzeria over the last 20 years.

“We want to redo the awning and some other stuff in the front to make it look more inviting as well as some more lighting,” said Kelley.

And Fit4Life Studio already had plans to expand its fitness area and add a juice bar. Now, they have the extra money needed to showcase that.

“It’s going to help us make the outside of the building beautiful,” said Fit4Life Studio and Fresh Bar Owner. “It’s going to help make this street beautiful and our community. And it’s going to help promote our businesses.”

It’s a six-year program. By the end of it, 48 businesses will benefit from the $120,000 in grants.

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