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Core Community Projects

                                                                            Professional Planning and Business Development
 

Our organization works closely with our most important stakeholders - Latrobe's residents and business owners. Our plans have been thoughtfully developed with senior level planning professionals along with comprehensive community input and visioning sessions from the community at large over the past decade. 

Central to our efforts is bringing new life into Latrobe by capitalizing on our community assets, increasing foot traffic and bringing new businesses into downtown.  below is a snapshot of a few of our current undertakings!    


Welcome to the Neighborhood Sign and Latrobe Mural 

Take a look below at how the Latrobe community came together to pull off this ambitious landmark project!

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Business Incubator and Consulting
 

We offer free consultation for current and start up businesses through our team of consultants.  We have assisted numerous businesses prior to opening their business and have also helped retain jobs by assisting newly opened businesses.   Product consulting, web design, business plans, and strategic marketing, e commerce and retail integration are areas which we focus our expertise on to help you grow what you do best.  Contact our office anytime, we are here to help or visit our incubator page.


Downtown Infrastructure Projects
 

As the community development arm of the City of Latrobe we leverage our connections and work thoughtfully to ensure all visual based improvements in Latrobe are sustainable for years to come and when possible, have a historic preservation based ethic.  We have worked for a number of years to upgrade our highway style lights to proper historic style, cast iron LED decorative light posts.  Through support of the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation and partnering with the City of Latrobe, we have been pulled off the first phase of this ambitious $345,000 project.  We also assisted in the design and implementation of the ambitious 3.4 million dollar CMAQ project that resulted in all new traffic lights, crosswalks, paved streets, a number of underground utilities being upgraded.  This transformational project has brought Latrobe into the future while properly preserving the fabric of our history for decades to come, while other areas of town are also being planned.

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                   Strategic initiatives to proactively address Residential Blight

 

After initiating a blight study with Westmoreland County we have been implementing strategies to more aggressively tackle blighted and abandoned properties in our residential neighborhoods.  We currently offer a NAP Tax Credit Program through a generous $150,000 donation by Robindale Energy which helps rehabilitate 5 owner occupied properties in Latrobe.  We have also created a 3 year master plan, partnering with the City of Latrobe, realtors and numerous agencies to ramp up our efforts to make transformational changes.  Key to this efforts has been additional staff, such as Steven Gifford who serves as our lead consultant from Red Desk Creative.  These projects that will benefit Latrobe for years to come which will soon be implemented.



 



Commercial Facade Renovation and Preservation

 

Our design team led by Historic Interpreter and Architect Steve Patricia, M.A provides the direction for our core building renovations and restorations.  This committee also has other contractors, architects, and city officials dedicated to  preserving and enhancing our downtown infrastructure.  For more examples of a few of these many projects, please visit our Facade Page. 

                                           Streetscape         
          

Over the past several years we have drastically improved the look and feel of downtown with top-of-the-line street furniture.  From benches, bike racks, to planters, trash cans and banners (new designs coming in 2016!).  As part of our overall Street Scape master plan we haved teamed up with Keystone Ridge Design out of Erie Pa and Special Lite Company, here in Latrobe/Derry area to provide a new look and function to our town that will last a lifetime.  The Mr. Rogers theme will continue to permeate much of our designs in the coming year.  If  you are interested in sponsoring some furniture, please see our Streetscape page today! 

                                               Creative Place-making

 

Creative place-making addresses areas that are decapitated or offer minimal to no use and makes them into more viable, functional and accessible areas for the public.  These projects tend to offer temporary or permanent solutions to such troubled areas.  Partnering with Latrobe Public Works Department we maintain and make improvements to strategic and highly visible areas of downtown throughout the year.  

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                                                                Street Trees 
 

Many years ago hundreds of street trees were improperly planted into the sidewalks.  As they died, tripping hazards were left throughout downtown.  To address this we have begun making sidewalk corrections and modifications.  Led by our lead horticultural specialist, Jim Walter in partnership with the Mini Garden Group we continue to plant columnar, salt resistant street trees throughout Latrobe while providing ongoing maintenance and watering.   In a downtown dominated by concrete and asphalt, street trees play a critical role in decreasing traffic speeds, increasing property values and providing overall beauty that leads to a desire to visit downtown for both services and shopping. 

                                                                 Community Vegetable Gardens

 

We initiated the Latrobe Community Vegetable Gardens in partnership with the Latrobe Mini Garden Team that is responsible for planting thousands of flowers annually.  Our goal is to give our residents, who may not have enough space for a garden at home, the opportunity to plant a vegetable garden of their own by providing well maintained, quality garden plots for them.  For more information, please call (724) 805 – 0112 or e-mail tracy@latroberevitalization.org

                                  Lincoln Avenue Rails to Trails Greenway 
 

 The Latrobe Foundation completed a comprehensive study and assessment of the rail bed running from State Route 981 in the north to State Route 982 which had been acquired by the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation. The conclusion of the study, paved the way for the rails to be removed and recycled.  After this was completed, community planning students from IUP completed a year-long project to transform Lincoln Avenue into a "Complete Street."  These concepts include a vision to slow traffic, install bike lanes, install a trail and develop a one of a kind sustainable greenway with rain gardens and strategically planted trees. In the fall of 2013, an aggressive tree planting took place behind the Carpenter Technologies-Latrobe Specialty Metals plant.  In 2014, the City of Latrobe was awarded a $250,000 matching implementation grant in partnership with the LCRP and Latrobe Unity Parks & Recreation to construct the proposed walking/biking trail. Today the trail is complete and is heavily used and enjoyed by so many in the community!  The whole story is here: http://keystonefund.org/success-story/uniting-a-divided-town/

 

                                         The Lloyd Avenue Gateway Improvement Project

 

Over the past 12 years, 4.6 million has been invested in dramatically improving this corridor (State Route 981) which sees over 17,000 vehicles a day. Once known for blight and overhead wires, this entrance point into the City has greatly improved with the removal of deteriorating properties and the construction of new homes. Many of the utility poles have been removed and have been replaced with single post decorative lighting. The current phase of this project has given Latrobe national press with the installation of stamped and dyed pervious concrete (which rain water passes through) and the careful planting of salt resistant, columnar trees. As tree guards will be added in the spring, further removal of the difficult to maintain grass strip is also planned along with the completion of more decorative lighting and the removal of the final poles. Increased home values, cleaner air, a new business and overall beautification are the results to date, with the help of many partner organization.

 

 

    

Latrobe Serves matches young, middle age and even those of much older age who love Latrobe with projects of their choosing.   The image to the right shows needed maintenence of one of our many creative place-making projects (This hour long project was so easy and fun two young children made a lasting impact!)   While most of our service and beautificaiton projects occur over spring, summer, and fall there are also a few opportunites over the winter months as well.   Please consider filling out the below form to be added to our growing list of volunteers and you will be contacted by our organization.   We need your help to make Latrobe the safest, most walkable, bikable, sustainable and family-oreinted small town in PA!  

             Latrobe Serves

 

Sign up to join our growing list of volunteers and get involved when your schedule allows! 

We will be in touch shortly expect an email from us soon!

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