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  #101  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 5:58 PM
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bevansr bevansr is offline
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The Penguins have decided on the minority-owned developer which is going to be building part of of the Lower Hill project. Most salient quote...



Latest "master plan"



I'm not sure I like that the first phase is segregating the affordable and market-rate units - it defeats the whole purpose of mixed-income housing (which is to stabilize the development by avoiding concentrated poverty). It does look like the density in 1A is higher than they originally called for (I believe this was originally a townhouse area) I also like that they are (theoretically) building out the Centre Avenue side of the development first, because it will probably help move along new development in Uptown.
Phase 2 of the plan should be fairly tall structures since it appears there is proposed community open space directly below Phase 1A. Not a fan of having open space there either..
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  #102  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 6:20 PM
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Agreed... no more "open space"!
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  #103  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 6:28 PM
Don't Be That Guy Don't Be That Guy is offline
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Agreed... no more "open space"!
Amen. I am under no illusion that the BIG plan was going to ever happen - I don't even particularly like it. But all of these passive open spaces and townhouses only five blocks from the second tallest buildings in the state is just ridiculous. Build townhouses and mid-rises as infill in the neighborhoods, not immediately adjacent to downtown. Build the cap over 579 and then encourage Golden Triangle levels of density.

This is just another example of "doing something" for the political optics of it rather than doing the hard work or waiting for the best option in the long run.
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  #104  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 6:51 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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Originally Posted by Don't Be That Guy View Post
But all of these passive open spaces and townhouses only five blocks from the second tallest buildings in the state is just ridiculous. Build townhouses and mid-rises as infill in the neighborhoods, not immediately adjacent to downtown. Build the cap over 579 and then encourage Golden Triangle levels of density.

This is just another example of "doing something" for the political optics of it rather than doing the hard work or waiting for the best option in the long run.
It would be great to see high-density, mid to high rise development on the site... but there is obviously just not the demand for it. If it existed, the foot dragging of the Penguins and the complaining of the Hill District groups wouldn't be things that people are talking about. For example, if Pittsburgh had a Nashville-type present level of economic and population boom, then they wouldn't be able to put up condo towers, hotels, office and apartment buildings fast enough on that acreage. Pittsburgh just isn't there and likely won't be... unless Amazon HQ2 maybe?
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  #105  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 7:08 PM
Don't Be That Guy Don't Be That Guy is offline
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It would be great to see high-density, mid to high rise development on the site... but there is obviously just not the demand for it. If it existed, the foot dragging of the Penguins and the complaining of the Hill District groups wouldn't be things that people are talking about. For example, if Pittsburgh had a Nashville-type present level of economic and population boom, then they wouldn't be able to put up condo towers, hotels, office and apartment buildings fast enough on that acreage. Pittsburgh just isn't there and likely won't be... unless Amazon HQ2 maybe?
I agree that Pittsburgh just isn't there and that the demand doesn't currently exists and that's why I would be okay with some level of land banking on this site until the demand is there for appropriately dense development.
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  #106  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 7:21 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by bevansr View Post
Phase 2 of the plan should be fairly tall structures since it appears there is proposed community open space directly below Phase 1A. Not a fan of having open space there either..
Yeah, we discussed how there was too much open space planned when the original plan was unveiled. Counting the deck park, three megablocks worth is reserved for open space - every other block as you head down Wylie. I suspect it's an excuse to develop the land even less intensely than Pittsburgh's market would allow for.

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Originally Posted by Don't Be That Guy View Post
Amen. I am under no illusion that the BIG plan was going to ever happen - I don't even particularly like it. But all of these passive open spaces and townhouses only five blocks from the second tallest buildings in the state is just ridiculous. Build townhouses and mid-rises as infill in the neighborhoods, not immediately adjacent to downtown. Build the cap over 579 and then encourage Golden Triangle levels of density.
IIRC, the little area of townhouses is mainly because the topography in that corner of the site is really challenging for larger-scale structures. NIMBYism also played a role too, IIRC. The residents of Crawford Square wanted to make sure that the blocks directly across the street from their development were at most only slightly more intensely developed (in part to ensure views wouldn't be obstructed).

I honestly find the townhouses Buncher is building it the Strip District more out of place.
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  #107  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 11:25 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Originally Posted by AaronPGH View Post
What was the point of all of these designs by BIG and AE7 if they were just going to get tossed into the trash? Who was even behind getting those put together?
I would suggest they were about buying the Penguins time and good will, and are no longer relevant now that they got their new deal.
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  #108  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by pj3000 View Post
Seems that there are too many inhibiting forces (the Penguins, Hill District community groups, a city administration that's way too close to both of them, and the simple lack of high demand for large-scale market rate/luxury residential and commercial space in Pittsburgh) at play at the Civic Arena site for it to be developed in a high-quality, top-tier manner.
I'd take my chances on demand by bidding out the parcels.
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  #109  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2017, 1:22 AM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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I'd take my chances on demand by bidding out the parcels.
Good point. That's the way it should be, right?

This whole Penguins arrangement is such bs.
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  #110  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2017, 2:32 PM
themaguffin themaguffin is offline
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The idea of the Pens being involved was terrible from day one and continues to be so.

I would rather the site remain a blank slate until this prime land is utilized appropriately.
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  #111  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2017, 3:20 PM
TBone7281 TBone7281 is offline
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post

Latest "master plan"

I never expected this to become reality. But still.

Sigh.

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  #112  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2017, 4:40 PM
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deja vu deja vu is offline
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post

Latest "master plan"

Man, this is so disappointing, but I will not lose hope yet. The fact that they are proposing to start work furthest from the triangle at least means that things could still evolve towards the west side of the site, and we might end up with more density towards the downtown side if the market improves. But I agree with the sentiment of others - leave it all empty until it can be done better / right.
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  #113  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2017, 12:20 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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By the way, they also cut the count of housing units in the plan by 165. The bait-and-switch after they got their new sweetheart deal continues.
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  #114  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2017, 12:30 PM
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The state renewed its annual $12.4M gambling fund contribution to PIT:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201712080092

In a better world this money would be going to something different, like local transit expansion. And if used to finance debt, that could buy a pretty good chunk of capital--something on the order of $300M.

I've mostly defended the airport's $1.1 billion modernization plan, on the grounds that under federal law the airport's revenues have to be used on the airport, and with their debt expiring they are about to be flush with cash. But for that very reason, they don't need any more money from the state. So while we can't take their revenues away, we don't have to add to it with non-airport revenues.

Unfortunately, with the current state legislature there is little chance this money would actually be redirected to anything worthwhile. So I'll take it for the airport for now, but I hope in the future it can be redirected.

This should go in the same file as the money we are wasting on the unneeded Southern Beltway and Mon Fayette projects. We've got actual unmet transportation needs, but for political reasons we instead spend large sums in ways we don't need. People should get angry about this and vote accordingly in federal and state elections.
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  #115  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2017, 4:25 PM
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So is McCormack Baron Salazar now in charge of the overall development plan?

If so, that would be disappointing. Their previous work on The Hill, (Crawford Roberts and the recent Skyline Terrace) is not offensive, but really boring.

Maybe they will surprise me. But history suggests not.
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  #116  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2017, 7:05 PM
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Was in St. Stanislaus Catholic Church this morning in the strip and they had renderings up for the new development that is going across the street where the old banana factory building was. For once a new development doesn't look half bad and its great density too. Its going to be office space with ground floor retail and behind the building closer to the river they're building a massive parking garage, which will be connected to this development. The rendering on the bottom also shows a new plaza like area across from the Produce Terminal.

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr
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  #117  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2017, 7:58 PM
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^Nice find! The building will be around 420,000 sq ft. This is a great new addition to the strip. Surprised they are building the garage overlooking the river though. :/

"in terms of square feet — could rival other notable Rugby holdings like Gulf Tower and the Frick and Koppers buildings Downtown."

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201710260077
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  #118  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2017, 9:41 PM
PITairport PITairport is offline
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post

I've mostly defended the airport's $1.1 billion modernization plan, on the grounds that under federal law the airport's revenues have to be used on the airport, and with their debt expiring they are about to be flush with cash. But for that very reason, they don't need any more money from the state. So while we can't take their revenues away, we don't have to add to it with non-airport revenues.
The airport is not "about to be flush with cash". If the $1.1 billion modernization plan was not going forward the landing fees and gate leases charged to the airlines would be drastically reduced after the current debt is paid off. This would have its own benefits as lower costs to the airlines makes the airport more attractive to the airlines when deciding where to add service. However the airlines are on board with the modernization plan (which means their fees remain high) so I'm fine with it if they are.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Unfortunately, with the current state legislature there is little chance this money would actually be redirected to anything worthwhile. So I'll take it for the airport for now, but I hope in the future it can be redirected.

This should go in the same file as the money we are wasting on the unneeded Southern Beltway and Mon Fayette projects. We've got actual unmet transportation needs, but for political reasons we instead spend large sums in ways we don't need. People should get angry about this and vote accordingly in federal and state elections.
Redirected elsewhere worthwhile, such as gondolas? Or the East Busway extension? At a cost of $371 million for an extension under 3 miles which would benefit only 1,629 riders it makes the MFE/Southern Beltway look like a shining example of fiscal responsibility in comparison.
http://www.post-gazette.com/news/tra...s/201710270186

Back to the casino revenue the airport is collecting, a portion of that goes to the incentives the ACAA has been handing out for new flights. "Why not use the current revenue the airport is generating for those incentives" one might ask? Some of the assistance the airport has been giving lately is considered "destination marketing" which cannot come from airport revenues generated by the airlines. Everything one ever wanted to know about the topic can be read here:
https://www.faa.gov/airports/airport...ntive-2010.pdf

So should that money be redirected? I think the new air service to Frankfurt, Seattle, Montreal, etc is money well spent which will yield tremendous return on investment.
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  #119  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2017, 12:08 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
Was in St. Stanislaus Catholic Church this morning in the strip and they had renderings up for the new development that is going across the street where the old banana factory building was.
Now that is some serious gumshoe detective work!

Anyway, looks pretty solid to me. I like the corner detail because that is going to be very prominent from the plaza-type area they are creating on Smallman.
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  #120  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2017, 12:21 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Originally Posted by PITairport View Post
The airport is not "about to be flush with cash".
They have been using net revenues from operations and such to make debt payments that will soon be over. In fact, they already have a surplus which is accumulating as cash. They plan to put that into the modernization project.

Quote:
However the airlines are on board with the modernization plan (which means their fees remain high) so I'm fine with it if they are.
OK, but we could redirect the $12.4 million annually in state gambling funds, and then they could work out whatever deal they wanted with the airlines using only the airport's own revenues.

Quote:
Redirected elsewhere worthwhile, such as gondolas?
Sure! You could very likely get a lot done for that amount of money.

Quote:
Or the East Busway extension? At a cost of $371 million for an extension under 3 miles which would benefit only 1,629 riders it makes the MFE/Southern Beltway look like a shining example of fiscal responsibility in comparison.
As I have noted before, that study was based on traffic models we know are broken, and it was all part of trying to retroactively justify the decision to keep investing in the MFE.

Meanwhile, where exactly is the cost/benefit study of the $12.4 million annually for the airport? Or the Southern Beltway?

Quote:
Everything one ever wanted to know about the topic can be read here
Indeed, your link is all about how to structure these programs to comply with the regulations. I see no reason to believe the airport could not, if necessary, follow that guidance.
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