Last summer, the middle of the 4200 block of Powelton Ave. was a big vacant lot where a blighted building had been demolished. A year later, we observed an interesting looking project called Bigham Place, the exterior of which was nearly completed. When it's finished, Bigham Place will serve formerly homeless women with special needs and their children.

In the past

We first told you about the People's Emergency Center plan for this site in 2012, and revisited the site last fall shortly after workers broke ground. Designed by Digsau, the structure looks somewhat like the two-door half-car Fiat's that are a graphite color with neon orange rims. The building is that graphite color and according to renderings, a number of the window frames will be painted orange. When it's finished, which appears like it could be before winter, it will include landscaping out front as well.

Current view

Located across the street from Drexel's Vidas Athletic Complex, the 8,400 sqft building will include two two-bedroom and five three-bedroom units. It was made possible by a $210K grant as part of a $960K affordable housing grant package to groups across the city, made under the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh's Affordable Housing Program, in 2013.

Another view shows there's blight next door

Better view

Still, this block of Powelton Ave. could use some help for the distressed properties next to Bigham Place, that, with its design and landscaping should brighten the street. The project makes the block look much better, but the home right next to it is boarded up (though it was purchased in August 2013 for $20K). Same with 4240 Powelton Ave., which last changed hands in April of 2014. It would be a surprise if both properties don't get renovated in the very near future.