New Granada Square

Celebrating the Groundbreaking of the New Granada Theater!

May 2023 marked a momentous time for the Hill District of Pittsburgh as the groundbreaking ceremony for the revitalization of the Historic New Granada and residential retail took place. With a vibrant atmosphere filled with anticipation and appreciation, the event saw an impressive turnout of residents, sponsors, elected officials, and notable community members, all united in their support of the work undertaken by the Hill Community Development Corporation (CDC).


The groundbreaking gathering commenced with Jake Wheatley, Chief of Staff to Pittsburgh Mayor Gainey, delivering an inspiring speech. Wheatley praised the endurance and strength of Marimba Milliones, the President and CEO of Hill CDC and her team, the driving force behind the project, emphasizing their unwavering determination to break through barriers and forge a brighter future.

Following Wheatley's remarks, William Generett, Jr., Senior Vice President of Civic Engagement and External Relations at Duquesne University, and New Granada Capital Campaign Chair, took the stage to introduce Marimba Milliones and noted the steadfast and courageous leadership that she has provided. Milliones expressed her heartfelt gratitude and offered opening remarks, highlighting the collective effort that brought the Historic New Granada project to fruition.

Continuing the series of introductions, Milliones invited Brent Leggs, Executive Director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund and Senior Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to share his insights. Leggs spoke passionately about the importance of preserving cultural heritage and commended the efforts to revive the Historic New Granada as a testament to the community's dedication. He spoke to the national significance of the project and the Hill CDC's leadership. The event further gained momentum as Harmonii Gray gave a young person's perspective on New Granada Square expressing her gratitude and excitement as a resident. David K. Roger, President and Trustee of the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, took the stage, emphasizing the foundation's commitment to the project and its potential for transformative impact.

During the event, Marimba Milliones made an exciting announcement revealing that two famous Pittsburgh natives, Billy Porter and Lamman Rucker, would serve as celebrity chairs for the New Granada Capital Campaign. The inclusion of these well-known personalities further demonstrated the profound impact and reach of the Historic New Granada project.

Following the groundbreaking ceremony, a reception unfolded in the Community Room at the New Granada Apartments on Centre Avenue. The celebration continued, fostering an atmosphere of hope, unity, and excitement for the bright future that awaits the Hill District community, thanks to the vital work of the community and its supporters.
The groundbreaking event for the Historic New Granada and residential retail project not only symbolized a new chapter for this historic icon but also served as a powerful reminder of the resilience, hope, and collaborative spirit of the Hill District. With sponsors, elected officials, and notable community members lending their voices of support and encouragement, the lively event marked the beginning of a transformative journey towards revitalization, promising a brighter future for generations to come. 

The Hill CDC would like to thank the Hill District community, without whom this project would not possible. We would also like to thank our sponsors and funders, each of which has made an immense and important contribution toward the completion of this project and the conservation of the Hill District's important legacy. The future of the Hill is looking brighter every day thanks to your guidance, contributions, and efforts!




Preference will be given to artists and creatives.


New Granada Apartments and Retail Groundbreaking


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Starting Construction June 2021

The New Granada Square is a mixed-use redevelopment of most of the city block that includes the historic New Granada on Centre Avenue in the heart of the historic Hill District.  Separate projects make up the development that includes artists apartments, cultural/performance space, commercial/retail spaces, restaurants and offices.

The New Granada Square Apartments is being co-developed by the Hill CDC and CHN Housing Partners to be 40 apartment units (24 apartments will be 1 bedroom and 16 apartments will be 2 bedrooms). The housing will be targeted for artists who have connections to the African-American community. The first floor will have five spaces that combine for a total of 5,000 sq. ft., and the largest of those is designed to accommodate a 1,500 sq. ft. restaurant.


New Granada Square Apartments & Retail

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The historic New Granada building and offices have as an anchor tenant the University of Pittsburgh’s Community Engagement Center.  Located on the upper floor of the historic theater building, and connected to the upper floor of the new construction, this 20,000 SF space will allow the University to interact in a more impactful way with the Hill District residents.  The second floor of the historic structure 40,000 square foot building will be restored as a flexible event hall that will easily accommodate over 900 attendees for performances, as well as a spectacular venue for special and corporate events. The first floor of the historic building will include both a food hall offering multiple cuisines and a community event space that will accommodate approximately 100 people. The new construction on the western side (left side in the image) of the historic structure will be will have a full-service restaurant on the lower floor next to the public plaza and will have office space located above. Finally, and not least of all is a rooftop dining and viewing deck.

What the Historic New Granada Building Restoration Means