Why You Should Keep an Eye on These Pittsburgh Neighborhoods
Not in the spotlight just yet, but they could be soon.
Racheallee Lacek, global real estate advisor with Piatt Sotheby’s International Realty and one of the region’s top agents, has her eye on other areas that residents are rediscovering. Just cast as host of the Pittsburgh version of TV’s “The American Dream” real estate show, she has special expertise in condo development and new construction and works with several trade organizations to keep the pulse on what is happening beneath the surface. Among her picks:
Rich in history and housing stock, this area on the North Side “has the most historically significant collection of architecture of any neighborhood in Pittsburgh,” according to the Manchester-Chateau Neighborhood plan released in 2017. Data from the West Penn Multi-List show that from 2022 to 2023, average home prices in Manchester rose 37% from $235,000 to $322,000. There are plans to extend the light-rail system through the neighborhood on its way to Bellevue and Emsworth and other improvements, which Lacek says are “key indicators for the neighborhood.” Piatt Companies is developing Esplanade, an inclusive 15-acre riverfront community that will bring housing, commercial, hospitality and entertainment to the post-industrial site. Democratic lawmakers U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and U.S. Rep. Summer Lee earlier this year announced a $1.4 million investment from the federal infrastructure law to help fund a study exploring ways to reconnect the two neighborhoods that were split when State Route 65 was built in the 1960s.
“You cannot go down a street in Manchester without seeing the seeds of revitalization in the works,” she says.
This borough is tiny — just .6 square miles — but rich in history, dating back to the Industrial Age in the late 19th century and the Homestead Steel Works. An economic driver is the Carnegie of Homestead Library and Music Hall (founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1898), which also houses an athletic club. The complex high on the hill actually sits in Munhall, but for every 50 shows held at the music hall, the Carnegie brings more than $1 million to the Waterfront and Eighth Avenue business districts, according to its website. East Eighth Avenue is lined with independently owned storefronts. Average home prices have risen from $77,000 to $93,000 during the first half of 2023 (compared with the same time last year) and inventory has jumped by 200% over that same period, says Lacek, adding “Homestead has a lot of investors who are purchasing blighted properties.”
The boom is well underway in this Allegheny rivertown, which is within the Fox Chapel School District. First, there is a thriving Main Street that travels the length of the tiny borough, where restaurants, bakeries and small businesses are cropping up amid historical social clubs that keep the community tight. Coffee shop Redhawk Coffee Roasters has a laid-back retro vibe on Canal Street while beer lovers are drawn to Dancing Gnome Brewery, Hitchhiker Brewing Co. and Tortured Souls Brewing — a trio of destinations that can be bookended with one of the area’s old-style, family-owned restaurants, Gran Canal Caffe.