Sustainability

The OBID envisions Oakland as one of the nation’s most innovative sustainable communities, and we’re in an ideal position to help make that happen. Working with our membership, our partners and local government, we are proud to be a part of a great team focused on developing and implementing forward-thinking strategies to eliminate waste, increase efficiency and educate the business community.

 

Sustainable Restaurants Program

Working in partnership with Sustainable Pittsburgh, the OBID wants to help your restaurant save money, increase business, and gain positive recognition. Oakland is one of four business districts selected by Sustainable Pittsburgh as the focus for participation with the program. We invite you to become a Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant and help us promote a community of sustainable restaurants that look to stand out as leaders by demonstrating commitment to the future of Oakland and our region.

The Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant program aims to build a stronger restaurant community and Pittsburgh region. Created with a team of local chefs and restaurateurs, its two-year designation provides a way to cut costs and attract more customers.
Designated Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants will receive the following perks:
• On a first come, first serve basis, the OBID will provide a matching grant up to $1,500 to support businesses with the implementation of sustainable practices. There are also resources, incentives, workshops, guides, organizations, and one-on-one assistance from the Sustainable Pittsburgh and OBID team to help you earn designation

  • window clings and menu decals to display the sustainable restaurants’ designation level to guests
  • a promo kit to share the great news about your business with the public
  • each restaurant is provided an online profile found on an interactive map and listings within the program website: sustainablepghrestaurants.org
  • marketing campaign and ads designed to push consumers to dine at designated restaurants

Feel free to visit the website at www.sustainablePGHrestaurants.org and review the included brochure to learn more about the program. For more information, contact 412-258-6647 or dine@sustainablepittsburgh.org.

 

Pittsburgh 2030 District

The Pittsburgh 2030 District is a collaborative, nationally recognized, but local community of high performance buildings in Downtown and Oakland that aim to dramatically reduce energy and water consumption, transportation emissions, and improve indoor air quality while increasing competitiveness in the business environment and owner’s returns on investment. The Pittsburgh 2030 District is a strategic initiative of Green Building Alliance, and currently represents nearly 70% of the total real estate square footage in downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland.

 

Cleaning & Beautification

Block By Block

The OBID contracts Block By Block, a nationally recognized maintenance contractor, to provide cleaning services for the District. A crew of five dedicated members works seven days per week to ensure that the commercial corridor remains free of litter and debris. We collect more than 24,000 pounds of trash annually!
Of course, litter removal is just the first step in creating an attractive streetscape. Our crew also removes weeds, graffiti, illegal flyers, stickers and staples from our infrastructure. During the fall season, the crew also ensures that the leaf buildup is removed along with the typical litter and debris. The crew also uses a hot-water pressure washer to remove gum, grease, dirt and grime from all of our district’s sidewalks to give our district a special shine.

 

Sestili Nursery

To further enhance our pedestrian corridor, the OBID contracts Sestili Nursery, a local Oakland business, to plant and maintain flower baskets and sidewalk planters through spring, summer and fall annually.

 

Safety

The OBID partners with over ten local law enforcement agencies to keep our district safe and to ensure our membership stays up-to-date on the latest happenings. We are especially honored to work with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the University of Pittsburgh Police who keeps a watchful eye on the everyday life in Oakland. Our staff also participates in the planning process of the Responsible Hospitality Institute’s plan for Pittsburgh. More information on RHI and the current planning process can be found HERE.
The OBID staff is also constantly vigilant for any issues in the district which may cause a pedestrian safety hazard and works with member businesses, property owners and appropriate municipal agencies to resolve it.

 

Graffiti Abatement

The OBID offers direct assistance to our membership to combat the issue of graffiti by providing resources for removal and prevention. OBID encourages all members to report any vandalism on your property to 911. The OBID also encourages members to report vandalism to the City of Pittsburgh Mayor’s Service Center by dialing 311 or visiting http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/311/form/. The 311 response line is able to provide removal services in appropriate situations free of charge. In the event that the City of Pittsburgh is unable to remove the graffiti, the property owner may be notified that removal by other means may be necessary.

For more information on the effects of graffiti, www.graffitihurts.org is an excellent resource, or for more information, please contact Jonathan Winkler at 412-683-6243 ext. 20 or via email at: jonathan@oaklandbid.org.

 

Business Recruitment and Development

OBID’s Business Recruitment Development program has been developed to strengthen the competitive edge of central Oakland’s commercial district by increasing retail diversity and by reducing storefront vacancies. The program provides education, outreach and coordination of information and activities that work to build critical relationships between retail tenants and property owners.

To help maintain a vibrant business district that will continue to attract customers, the OBID helps to reduce storefront vacancies by providing tenant recruitment assistance to our member property owners. Using the various communication tools that reach an audience of more than 1,500 local and regional stakeholders, the OBID will promote available commercial spaces, promote grant and funding incentives and connect prospective tenants to our property owners. Since 2011, the OBID has assisted over 30 member property owners and more than 55 prospective tenants.

 

OBID coordinates:

  • Commercial Property Listings: provided as a direct service to OBID property owners to help get the word out about available space in Oakland. All information is accessible by the public at onlyinoakland.org/listings. If you would like to add to this listing, please contact Jonathan, jonathan@oaklandbid.org.
  • Retail Market Study: In an effort to assist our member property owners to recruit targeted retailers to the district, OBID brought on the services of GAI Consultants, Inc. to develop Central Oakland’s first retail market study in over a decade. The Study is used primarily as a marketing tool to help with recruiting new retail tenants to the area. For a copy, please email jonathan@oaklandbid.org.

 

Promotion and Marketing Program

OBID is committed to marketing Oakland as a whole community that offers multiple experiences. Creating a “buzz” for Oakland has brought positive attention to the community while enhancing the image of Oakland as a great place to live, to work, to hang out in and to locate your business. The Only In Oakland campaign features a comprehensive website (www.onlyinoakland.org) highlighting Oakland shops and restaurants, attractions, cultural amenities and more. With more than 100,000 people in Oakland daily, there are many audiences including students, employees, residents and visitors, and OBID has designed a variety of events and initiatives aimed at raising awareness of businesses in the district and at increasing foot traffic into the businesses including:

  • Drink for Pink benefiting Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh (annual)
  • Oakland For All – Beyond Accessible’s Ramp Crawl (annual)
  • Oakland Forever community festival (annual)
  • Oakland Restaurant Week (twice a year)
  • Shop Small Shop Oakland campaign (annual)
  • And many others

OBID has also developed a variety of cross-marketing initiatives working in partnership with the following local and regional organizations:

  • Carlow University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History
  • Oakland Task Force
  • Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
  • Pitt Athletics
  • Schenley Plaza
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • UPMC
  • URA of Pittsburgh
  • VisitPITTSBURGH

 

Outreach & Communications

The OBID works to keep all of our members up-to-date on what is happening in our neighborhood, opportunities to engage with the organization and ways to improve their businesses. Each week the OBID sends out a weekly e-newsletter to over 3,500 people with a plethora of relevant and timely information about our membership, available promotional opportunities, commercial real estate listings and much more. The OBID also sends a quarterly print newsletter to each of our members including commercial property owners and business owners. Social media plays a key role in marketing OBID’s marketing endeavors, posting to Facebook (1,500+ followers) and Twitter (2,500 + followers) regularly. We want to stay in touch with you! If you would like to hear more from us, please contact Jonathan, jonathan@oaklandbid.org.

 

Government and Institutional Liaison – OBID Advocates for our Businesses

 

As the voice for the Oakland business community, the OBID staff and Board are dedicated to the advocacy of our business district! OBID has formed strong relationships with our elected officials and with various government offices at the City, County, State and Federal levels. The OBID acts as a liaison between our members and government offices and we have assisted our owners on a variety of issues from zoning and permits to parking and public safety.
Currently, the OBID is involved with a variety of government projects currently underway that will impact the Oakland business community, including the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s proposed Bus Rapid Transit project connecting Downtown, Oakland and the City of Pittsburgh’s proposed Bike Share program.

 

OBID Member Opportunities

The University of Pittsburgh provides an employee discount platform that provides a broad range of discounts and the opportunity to purchase certain voluntary benefits at group rates through payroll deduction. The program, known as “PittPerks”, includes many practical discounts. This program was initiated in 2015 and new offerings are being added frequently.