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  #981  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 1:35 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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^ right... like Tepper Quad will still be undergoing construction when the new TCS building is complete...

Unfortunately, the TCS reminds me too much of the Collaborative Innovation Center across the street... which has always looked unfinished to me (the bare concrete and those awful yellow, plasticky-looking tiles. This is actually a good pic of it:
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  #982  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 2:00 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by Urbanthusiat View Post
I don't think the new Tata design is bad in an of itself. Compared to the old design, however, it feels like a letdown. This is a standard CMU building that simply just fits in rather than stands out.
The problem is if you combine post/modernist architecture (which focuses on contrasting materials, because ornament is seen as either outmoded or too expensive to bother with) and CMU's design requirements (which force everything to be beige, gray, or white) there's an extreme level of limitation in terms of what a building can do in order to stand out. Basically the only thing left to work with is massing and fenestration, as alternating metal panels and brick will just vanish in the distance.
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  #983  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 3:49 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The problem is if you combine post/modernist architecture (which focuses on contrasting materials, because ornament is seen as either outmoded or too expensive to bother with) and CMU's design requirements (which force everything to be beige, gray, or white) there's an extreme level of limitation in terms of what a building can do in order to stand out. Basically the only thing left to work with is massing and fenestration, as alternating metal panels and brick will just vanish in the distance.
Everything ends up looking to me like those ghost renderings where they white out the buildings except for the one they are focusing on (and we never get that one, just the ghosts).
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  #984  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 6:08 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Everything ends up looking to me like those ghost renderings where they white out the buildings except for the one they are focusing on (and we never get that one, just the ghosts).
You know it's bad when some burnt orange would liven up the CMU campus.
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  #985  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 6:28 PM
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June HRC is up, and it's a beast at 200+ pages. A lot of these projects, as usual, are either small residential/commercial rehabs, or retreads of earlier months. A few interesting new projects of note however.

1. Rehab of the historic Hill District YMCA. Relatively minor work, but it will look nice to see the building spruced up a bit.

2. Botero Development (who used to do a lot of work in Lawrenceville, before the big boys came in) plans on rehabbing the Former St. Joseph School in Manchester. The plan is to convert the building into a coworking space, kitchen incubator, and art studio.

3. A temporary art exhibition which will attach neon signs of famous historic artists, musicians, writers, and scientists near the cornice of the Carnegie.
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  #986  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 7:22 PM
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You know it's bad when some burnt orange would liven up the CMU campus.
Oh no you di'int!
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  #987  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 7:46 PM
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Oh no you di'int!
In the immortal words of Cinderella, don't know what you got till it's gone.
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  #988  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 3:15 AM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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Well, another Cultural district project bites the dust. Maybe we should just embrace the surface parking lots and Goodyear store.

Plan for ambitious Cultural District housing and parking garage project falls apart

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201805260040
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  #989  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 4:52 AM
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Originally Posted by pj3000 View Post
Well, another Cultural district project bites the dust. Maybe we should just embrace the surface parking lots and Goodyear store.

Plan for ambitious Cultural District housing and parking garage project falls apart

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201805260040
I'm starting to think that cultural organizations and hockey teams aren't either really all that good at real-estate development.
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  #990  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 3:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pj3000 View Post
^ right... like Tepper Quad will still be undergoing construction when the new TCS building is complete...

Unfortunately, the TCS reminds me too much of the Collaborative Innovation Center across the street... which has always looked unfinished to me (the bare concrete and those awful yellow, plasticky-looking tiles. This is actually a good pic of it:
My thoughts exactly. The new design seems like a very intentional play off of the architectural 'qualities' of CIC. I find this terribly disappointing. The effect being created along Forbes is oppressive and dull.
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  #991  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 3:58 PM
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The Tepoer Quad building looks like some garbage straight out of 1999. It looks like it belongs in some suburban college campus and has no cohesive design about it.
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  #992  
Old Posted May 26, 2018, 4:17 PM
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The Tepoer Quad building looks like some garbage straight out of 1999. It looks like it belongs in some suburban college campus and has no cohesive design about it.
Design-wise, and campus-standards-wise, I don't know why they have locked themselves into this tight of a box. If they are aiming for campus continuity, it has worked against them. When Gates / Hillman was built, it wasn't perfect, but it at least provided visual contrast and some much-needed connections through campus in interesting, experiential ways. The SOM-design for TCS could have been a landmark for the University and Oakland. Does anybody know why it was officially scrapped?
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  #993  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 1:00 AM
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Some crappy iPhone photos from today.

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr
Larimer

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr
Oakland

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East Ohio Street, NorthSide

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Technology Center, Oakland.

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The Strip

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr
The old Spaghetti Warehouse

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr
The Strip

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Strip

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Butler St., Lville

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Butler St

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New Monestary Development on Butler St. They are totally offing up the street wall. The new building looks to be set 7 feet from the street. Idiotic.

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr
Center Avenue near the Giant Eagle.

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr

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Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr
Blvd of the Allies, Oakland

Last edited by photoLith; May 27, 2018 at 1:14 AM.
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  #994  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 1:05 PM
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Nicely captured! Some parts of Pittsburgh are almost unrecognizable to me, compared to my memories from 10+ years ago. I especially like seeing what's happening on E Ohio St, with infills and restorations.
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  #995  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 5:09 PM
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Originally Posted by GeneW View Post
I'm starting to think that cultural organizations and hockey teams aren't either really all that good at real-estate development.
To be honest I am glad the Cultural Trust held their ground on insisting a large tower be built in phase one. It sucks that we are probably going to get nothing now for quite a while, but the truth is that area needs a tall tower. We don't need another wait and see developer in this town. We've got dozens of projects that could have been built quite larger but weren't, and pretty much every case but SkyVue, the developer wishes they had gone bigger from the start.
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  #996  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 6:31 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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To be honest I am glad the Cultural Trust held their ground on insisting a large tower be built in phase one. It sucks that we are probably going to get nothing now for quite a while, but the truth is that area needs a tall tower. We don't need another wait and see developer in this town. We've got dozens of projects that could have been built quite larger but weren't, and pretty much every case but SkyVue, the developer wishes they had gone bigger from the start.
Honestly, the big thing I'm wondering about is how the whole debate came down to the # of condo units. That is to say, was it the Cultural Trust who insisted that The Davis Companies build condos - which don't market well in Pittsburgh - rather than apartments, class A office space, or another hotel? If so, it's really the fault of the Cultural Trust that this deal fell through, because they forced the developer into what was potentially the least profitable possible buildout.
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  #997  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 12:15 AM
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The 9th and Penn failure is extremely frustrating and it seems like both parties deserve equal blame. The Davis Companies wanting to do a 30 unit first phase in that part of downtown is way too little, especially considering how Millcraft just started building 85 units a few blocks over on Smithfield. And although these condos are generally more affordable, the top floors include units in 7 figures, and if you go the 'the Lumiere's' website it shows all of these floor-plans are sold.

However, the Cultural Trust shouldn't counter by demanding the developer to increase their first phase unit count by 300%. 110 condos is a lot for the market to absorb. The Strip District has had success in condo sales but these are also projects consisting of 10-30 units. I also don't know why they wanted so many units built right away considering they have left that lot vacant for all these years. What was the big rush?

Its annoying how a compromise could not be made. If The Davis Companies was so cautious about marketing a high amount of luxury condos then why not change the approach and go with something a little less ambitious?? This line from the article: “Given the price of the units we envisioned — putting 110 condos at unprecedented prices on the market at the same time — it may well have worked but we couldn’t come to terms on a guarantee to make it work,” seems to me that the developer never really had the intention to make good on their 185 unit proposal. If you were worried about 30 units being sold initially were you really going to start phase two soon after with 50+ additional units? And then follow that up with two more phases? Probably not. Which makes this even more frustrating because the office proposal by Oxford Development looked sleek with an anchor tenant in the works, FNB (although, I would much rather prefer residential in this part of downtown).

Despite the frustration, I'm confident we will see another considerable apartment proposal for this site within the year. Something in the 25-30 floor range including the parking deck. Occupancy is currently 94% in downtown. I've been shopping around for a 2 bedroom apt downtown and there isn't much on the market. The Kaufmann's building already has over 1/3 of their units pre-leased and when I toured it last week it looked like it still had another 6-8+ months of construction before completion. So while condos may not be the answer, it's still a prime downtown location right next door to the 8th and Penn project. Hopefully by the time that is done another proposal will be ready to start on 9th.
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  #998  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 3:07 AM
DKNewYork DKNewYork is offline
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Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
Design-wise, and campus-standards-wise, I don't know why they have locked themselves into this tight of a box. If they are aiming for campus continuity, it has worked against them. When Gates / Hillman was built, it wasn't perfect, but it at least provided visual contrast and some much-needed connections through campus in interesting, experiential ways. The SOM-design for TCS could have been a landmark for the University and Oakland. Does anybody know why it was officially scrapped?
Someone posted awhile back that the University realized after the groundbreaking that it needed a bigger building. I thought/hoped that the SOM design could be adapted with a slightly bigger footprint and a floor or two extra. The new design is disappointing.
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  #999  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 12:44 PM
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Someone posted awhile back that the University realized after the groundbreaking that it needed a bigger building. I thought/hoped that the SOM design could be adapted with a slightly bigger footprint and a floor or two extra. The new design is disappointing.
Yeah, I saw that too. And SOM could certain design something bigger - if that's what the client wanted (and if the client was willing to pay for it). My guess is that there was (a) a fairly drastic change in program for the building, (b) a fairly drastic change in the funding available, or (c) something that came from the new administration (new University president). Or a combination of all of the above.

Random bit of info - Roger Duffy is partner at SOM, and he was a lead designer for this project, and a 1979 graduate of CMU’s School of Architecture program.
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  #1000  
Old Posted May 29, 2018, 2:39 PM
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Despite the frustration, I'm confident we will see another considerable apartment proposal for this site within the year. Something in the 25-30 floor range including the parking deck.
Really? The fact that the Cultural Trust is now 0-2 over the course of a decade-plus indicates to me that we shouldn't be confident at all about seeing something developed there in the very short term. It's abundantly clear that the CT has no pressing interest in developing this parcel. It's not like they were dealing with a couple brothers that have a van and some tools.

The next potential developer they woo is going to have the exact same concerns about the Pittsburgh market... and specifically the downtown Pittsburgh market. If the CT demands something specific be built on their property, then they are going to have to offer insurance to the developer if the numbers fail to add up. That's the way it works.
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