Dollar Bank Awards $200,000 to Neighborhood Allies in Support of the Centralized Real Estate Accelerator

Mar 30, 2021

The Centralized Real Estate Accelerator is an innovative solution for creating positive change in underserved low-income neighborhoods and attractive returns for investors through the revitalization of commercial corridors and real estate development

From left to right: Matt Madia, Director of Real Estate Services, Neighborhood Allies; Presley Gillespie, president, Neighborhood Allies; Morton Stanfield Jr., senior vice president for community development, Dollar Bank; and Frank Buonomo, vice president for public affairs, Dollar Bank.

The Centralized Real Estate Accelerator (The Accelerator) was designed to address the problems within Pittsburgh’s community development system. It empowers early stage for-profit and non-profit developers and property owners to achieve their vision by growing technical capacity, increasing financial readiness, and building professional networks. The Accelerator focuses on community-based organizations, resident developers, and small business owners with the goal of creating more opportunities for community ownership in Black and Brown neighborhoods, as well as a pipeline of investable projects.

Acting as a capacity builder, convener, and source of strategic financing, The Accelerator’s goal is to create positive change in underserved low-income neighborhoods while producing attractive returns for investors due to scale and diversification. As community needs evolve, the Accelerator will be forward-thinking and adaptable with its partners and provide new tools to support economic opportunity.

Support from Dollar Bank will go towards the Accelerator’s agenda of wealth building through real estate for entrepreneurs of color, including:

  • Gaining a fuller and more nuanced understanding of the business districts in communities of color throughout Pittsburgh’s rapidly changing real estate market
  • Engaging neighborhood entrepreneurs in the benefits and potential pitfalls of real estate ownership
  • Building a pipeline of investable projects that revitalize commercial corridors, improve business sustainability and resiliency, and increase wealth for entrepreneurs of color.

“Investments like this from Dollar Bank allow us to build confidence and capacity in community-based developers, increasing capital absorption in low-income neighborhoods, said Director of Real Estate Services at Neighborhood Allies, Matt Madia. “Investments into the Accelerator, position us to work in conjunction with broader civic initiatives like Avenues of Hope to revitalize commercial corridors in disinvested communities.”

“We are at a time where extraordinary challenges exist within our communities. This critical funding will help reduce barriers for our smaller community-based developers, small businesses, and nonprofit partners while increasing access to the capital and technical support they need to succeed”, says Presley Gillespie, Neighborhood Allies’ President. “We are thrilled to receive these resources and put them to work building community ownership and wealth, especially in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.”

“We are thrilled to receive these resources and put them to work building community ownership and wealth, especially in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.”

Presley Gillespie, President of Neighborhood Allies

With this support and partnership with Dollar Bank, Neighborhood Allies will be positioned to deploy the Accelerator to breakdown and address the common barriers that have long been weaved throughout traditional community real estate development and revitalization efforts.

“Dollar Bank is honored to partner with Neighborhood Allies to help foster positive change in underserved communities in our region,” said Dollar Bank president and CEO, Jim McQuade. “By pledging our support to the Neighborhood Allies Real Estate Accelerator program, we will work together to advance racial equity in real estate by collaborating with early stage developers of color, helping them obtain assets in their communities to help grow generational wealth.  At Dollar Bank, we believe that together with our community partners, we can collectively bring positive and systemic change in the neighborhoods we serve.”

About Neighborhood Allies: Neighborhood Allies’ mission is to support the people, organizations and partnerships committed to creating and maintaining healthy neighborhoods. Our vision is a Pittsburgh with healthy neighborhoods that are thriving, resilient, and livable for all. We strive to support this mission by creating community partnerships, connecting distressed and transitioning communities with valued/vetted resources, and communicating and celebrating progress and success. For more information visit:

About Dollar Bank: Dollar Bank has assets of more than $10.1 billion. Today, Dollar Bank operates 81 locations throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia and has over 1,400 employees. For more than 166 years, Dollar Bank has grown to become a large, full service, community bank committed to providing the highest quality of banking services to individuals and businesses.  Dollar Bank ( is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Top Header Image Photo Credit: Prototyping Larimer Stories by artist John Peña, photo by OPA