Making a Difference in Greensburg, Pennsylvania

The Counselors of Real Estate enriched community engagement by shifting the focus to the possibilities of what downtown Greensburg can become. Having an outside group facilitate the conversations helped the community to see Greensburg through a new set of eyes and understand the blueprint for how to achieve revitalization. Momentum and a synergy centering around taking action were the largest success items in addition to the actionable plan.
Justin Capouellez, Field Representative, REALTORS® Association of Westmoreland, Indiana and Mon Valley

“We really like the recommendations. The team has helped us look at it from a different perspective. Hearing the team’s input has started to change how we see the downtown. It’s exciting that the team believes we have a marketable downtown – that we have amenities that people want. It was refreshing and energizing to hear that outside perspective. People have been calling my office saying, ‘I want to be a part of this.’ That energy that was created is a bonus. Overall, I am very happy.”  
John Stafford, Former Executive Director, Greensburg Community Development Corporation 

“I want to thank our Consulting Team. They spent countless hours in downtown Greensburg and in meetings with officials. We are proud of the work we have been doing to move Greensburg in the right direction. I am really excited about this project, and I want to thank for you giving us this opportunity.” 
Mayor Robert Bell         


Clients: The City of Greensburg, with population of approximately 14,900, is located 35 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County. The Realtors® Association of Westmoreland, Indiana and Mon Valley (RAWIM) serves more than 500 Realtor® members in the three counties. The Greensburg Community Development Corporation (GCDC) seeks to advance community development in Greensburg. Through Transforming Neighborhoods, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) partnered with The Counselors of Real Estate® Consulting Corps and issued a call for proposals for strategic real estate problem solving. The project submitted by the RAWIM REALTORS® in conjunction with the City of Greensburg and GCDC was selected. 

Here’s an Overview of the Project From the Client:

Challenge: Greensburg has seen slowly declining population since the 1980s, largely due to the collapse of the steel, coal, and other manufacturing industries. The city has an aging housing stock, numerous blighted properties, and a downtown lacking vibrancy. While downtown is active with employees and visitors during daytime business hours, the streets tend to clear out by the late afternoon, and a number of downtown properties are vacant or underutilized. The community desires a more vibrant downtown. The CRE Consulting Corps was asked to bring its objective, unbiased expertise to identify action steps to leverage unused or underutilized real estate assets in the City’s downtown which may spur reinvestment and revitalization downtown.  

Assessment: In July 2023 the Consulting Corps team visited Greensburg, toured the area, examined market data, reviewed prior plans, and interviewed more than 60 stakeholders including elected and appointed officials, University and hospital leadership, funders, community representatives, developers, business leaders, representatives of the REALTORS® and many other stakeholders. In addition, the team developed a survey to solicit community input, obtaining more than 230 responses.

Findings and Recommendations: While the City has numerous assets, including the courthouse, theater, museum, and university, Greensburg has seen slowly decreasing population and increasing vacancies in its downtown.   To help create a vibrant downtown, the team identified redevelopment opportunities, development process recommendations, communications strategies and related action steps. The specific parcels, their potential use, funding sources to address financing gaps, and detailed recommendations are included in the report.

What a great team! I was inspired to see my colleagues bring so many problem-solving ideas and methods to bear in Greensburg, and particularly enjoyed their ability to stay fair and balanced no matter what. 
Jackie Buhn, CRE, Greensburg Consulting Corps Team Leader


Team: The team was led by Jackie Buhn, CRE, Philadelphia, PA. Panelists were Dennis Davis, CRE, Boston, MA; Bob Dietrich, CRE, Franklin, KY; Blair Kincer, CRE, Rockville, MD; Bob Rajewski, CRE, Myrtle Beach, SC. 

*Scroll down to Rebuild, Renew, Reimagine – Empowering Communities through Revitalization*