The Roxian Theatre, McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation (MRCDC) banner revitalization project, has been named a finalist in the Urban Land Institute – Pittsburgh (ULI) 2019 Placemaking Awards for Excellence’s Catalytic Place category.
In 2017, local entrepreneur John Pergal, owner of Lawrenceville’s Thunderbird Cafe & Music Hall, and several partners in a public-private partnership bought the Roxian Theatre from the MRCDC with intentions of renovating the existing vacant, 1920’s-era Art Deco vaudeville theatre to its former grandeur.
MRCDC has leveraged the completion of the Roxian to successfully request a $1.9 million grant from PennDOT, to add to the $1.1 million in funds that it has already attracted to the street project, to complete the first phase of a downtown streetscape reconstruction project.
The $3.5 million first phase will rebuild a redesigned roadway and public right-of-ways from the Chartiers Creek bridge on Linden Street to McDonalds Way and will include new sidewalks, pedestrian amenities, lighting, bike and transit facilities, smart signalization, stormwater management features and separated sewer systems, among other things.
The Roxian Theatre will also impact the development of the public space along Chartiers Creek, with anticipated attention being given to creek access, but more specifically to the connection being worked on to build a creek crossing into an expanded Sheraden Park from downtown McKees Rocks.
Additionally, MRCDC has been working with the City of Pittsburgh on creating public space along the Chartiers Creek, which is also the municipal line between Pittsburgh and McKees Rocks.