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Subway at 101 South Water Street

101 South Water Street
West Newton, PA
Real Estate Development Initiative
Total Project Cost
The Progress Fund: $627,831 Subway: $194,899
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As a cyclist, Rich Kaminsky learned “every pebble and every pothole” of the riverfront trail that revived West Newton. But even as he and his partners built 22 Subway restaurants, he couldn’t figure out how to get one into the town that sits a hunger-inducing 35 miles from Pittsburgh. Available locations “either didn’t have parking or wouldn’t have visibility,” says Rick. Then, in the window of a former tavern at the corner of Water Street and Main, he saw a sign, reading: “For Rent, The Progress Fund.”


The Progress Fund sees West Newton as a key point on the Great Allegheny Passage, and has pumped up its trail economy through loans and strategic property redevelopment. With funding from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, The Progress Fund bought and renovated 101 South Water Street, opening up views of the Youghiogheny River and the trail.


“I’ve been on that trail. I know what you need,” Rick says. A place to fill your sport bottle. Fresh food. Bathrooms. A bright, familiar sign could lure cyclists across the century-old truss bridge into the heart of town. The Progress Fund rented him the first floor, with conditions. His design needed to integrate the tin ceiling and historic storefront, and, for his 23rd restaurant, he adopted the franchise’s classiest décor. “You do want that,” he says, “when you get this kind of view out the window.”

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