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  #2581  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2019, 5:08 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by Jonboy1983 View Post
Are those the condos directly across the street from the Village? Those aren't IMO the best use for that piece of land, and it doesn't look like they were there for very long. You are absolutely right that the Village at East Side is going to look rather out of place as well. I never was a fan of auto-centric shopping centers, especially ones in an urban setting like East Liberty. Hopefully they'll revamp that sooner as opposed to later or not at all...

It's a shame they built those condos when they did; they back all the way up to Penn Avenue...
I believe the Village of Shadyside (the condos) were built in the mid-1990s. At that time East Liberty was still very undesirable and high crime, so the condo development "turned its back on Penn" facing itself instead on a random back street in Shadyside and built a brick wall fronting on Penn Avenue. Also note that it's a literal gated community. Very much of its time.

In retrospect, it seems colossally stupid - and will seem even moreso if The Village of Eastside (the shopping center) is ever redeveloped. There is a gate for cars and pedestrians on Penn, but I believe it's always locked to keep out "the riffraff." If I lived there I'd hate that I needed to walk for 10 minutes to get to Trader Joes, which was nominally right across the street. Hopefully at some point there's enough support at the condo board to making the Penn side into a real gate as well, though turning it into a public-access road is probably beyond the pale.
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  #2582  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2019, 6:45 PM
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Jonboy1983 Jonboy1983 is offline
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I believe the Village of Shadyside (the condos) were built in the mid-1990s. At that time East Liberty was still very undesirable and high crime, so the condo development "turned its back on Penn" facing itself instead on a random back street in Shadyside and built a brick wall fronting on Penn Avenue. Also note that it's a literal gated community. Very much of its time.
After doing some poking around on Google Maps, I did take note that it was a gated community, and I could see why it would have to be given when it was built. I remember when East Liberty was a high crime zone.
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
In retrospect, it seems colossally stupid - and will seem even moreso if The Village of Eastside (the shopping center) is ever redeveloped. There is a gate for cars and pedestrians on Penn, but I believe it's always locked to keep out "the riffraff." If I lived there I'd hate that I needed to walk for 10 minutes to get to Trader Joes, which was nominally right across the street. Hopefully at some point there's enough support at the condo board to making the Penn side into a real gate as well, though turning it into a public-access road is probably beyond the pale.
That's my point that all of this new development makes this look like a wasted use of the land. However, given when it was built, did the planners/developers really have much of a choice? As far as improved access, maybe if anything they could have a key-pad entry - for pedestrians, i.e: residents walking to Trader Joes or wherever across the street or to the bus(es) to go into Downtown or Monroeville. But I agree that a public access street isn't happening...
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  #2583  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2019, 6:07 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Very excited to hear about Club One. There is so much potential over there. I've mentioned before that with the Shady and Penn intersection elevated to cross the Busway, there is potential to continue Shady across over a parking structure ala East Side Bond, potentially with a new bridge over to Broad (at least pedestrian) and perhaps eventually all the way to East Liberty Boulevard.

The gate townhouse development is indeed both understandable given the context of the time (peak urban crime wave), and unfortunate given changed circumstances today. But there is still so much that can be done around it, so for now, I am OK it staying an anomaly.
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  #2584  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2019, 6:23 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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The URA has issued an RFQ for developers interested in the Centre Corridor in the Middle Hill:

https://www.ura.org/news/ura-release...-hill-district

It involves 170 URA/City-owned parcels, 161 of which are vacant, and many of which can be combined into larger parcels:



The general vision is "redevelopments that include ground floor commercial space with compatible multi-story residential, office, and /or flexible space", consistent with the local neighborhood plans.

Last edited by BrianTH; Jul 24, 2019 at 8:10 AM.
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  #2585  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2019, 8:34 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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PAT is going to renew, and as necessary upgrade, all of its 7000+ stops:

https://www.nextpittsburgh.com/city-...ke-them-safer/

Pittsburgh regularly does extreme well in contests for worst bus stops--not a good thing.

This was interesting too:

Quote:
Plans for the new upgrades include adding bus shelters where needed, as well as more “street furniture” such as benches, bike racks and trash cans. Some stops will also get improved lighting to make sure people feel safer at night, and electronic signs noting when the next bus will arrive.

The hope is also that bus stops will be easier to spot. “I’d love to see a Port Authority brand for a bus stop,” Huffaker [PAT chief development officer] tells NEXTpittsburgh. “You’d be out walking or riding your bike and recognize it immediately as a bus stop.” It would look the same as the next bus stop along the way. Right now, he says, “you may not even know where to look for a bus stop sign. We’d love to have something a little more consistently applied so people know what to look for — ‘Okay, I know that if I wait here, a bus will come.’"
I view all this as a critical issue to help support urban development. Our bus network is actually pretty good already, and is going to get further upgrades, such that it should be a selling point for rentals and even homes to be near major bus routes. But the visibility of that network could be so much better.
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  #2586  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2019, 1:12 PM
SWPA SWPA is offline
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I like the plans for the old Shady Hill plaza, and now that the Club One site will be redeveloped, that corner of the neighborhood will have some density. It's just what's needed so close to the East Liberty Station.

I think the Village of Shadyside development was built in the early 1980s. I moved to the neighborhood in 1983 and it was pretty new, and there were directional signs on telephone poles directing people to it. The scuttlebut in the neighborhood at the time was "who would want to live in East Liberty and why do they call it 'Shadyside'"? You couldn't give property away in that area back then.
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  #2587  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2019, 1:37 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Some good news and bad news for development in Oakland from PBT. Not behind a paywall, so you can just use incognito mode.

The good news is a judge ruled that the new Walnut Capital office building can go ahead on Fifth Avenue, meaning those three NIMBYs were defeated in Court due to lack of standing.

The bad news is the 13-story office building planned at 3440 Forbes is held up over a community benefits agreement. The article is a bit vague, but it seems hat the Oakland Planning and Development Corp is making a demand for $1.8 million in tax credits, which the developer says it cannot meet. It's unclear to me why OPDC is demanding so much more from Wexford than it got from Walnut Capital for two buildings of a similar scale.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has more information.
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  #2588  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2019, 2:25 PM
Don't Be That Guy Don't Be That Guy is offline
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
The bad news is the 13-story office building planned at 3440 Forbes is held up over a community benefits agreement. The article is a bit vague, but it seems that the Oakland Planning and Development Corp is making a demand for $1.8 million in tax credits, which the developer says it cannot meet. It's unclear to me why OPDC is demanding so much more from Wexford than it got from Walnut Capital for two buildings of a similar scale.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has more information.
How is OPDC empowered to make arbitrary financial demands of anyone?

CBA's are basically extortion for self-appointed community gatekeepers who thrive on every big project needing zoning variances. It would be great if Wexford told them to go pound salt but they probably don't have the time, money or patience to fight through numerous variance appeals and will settle on a smaller "contribution."
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  #2589  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2019, 2:59 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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Very excited to hear about Club One. There is so much potential over there. I've mentioned before that with the Shady and Penn intersection elevated to cross the Busway, there is potential to continue Shady across over a parking structure ala East Side Bond, potentially with a new bridge over to Broad (at least pedestrian) and perhaps eventually all the way to East Liberty Boulevard.

The gate townhouse development is indeed both understandable given the context of the time (peak urban crime wave), and unfortunate given changed circumstances today. But there is still so much that can be done around it, so for now, I am OK it staying an anomaly.
Yeah, I think there's been discussion here on and off over the years about how a continuation of Shady over the busway to Broad could really be key to true connectivity/revitalization of Larimer.

And agreed on the Village of Shadyside... it's there, it's been there for 30+ years, and it's definitely not going anywhere. And for god's sake, it's not that bad. It's not like it's some huge impediment to redesign of the area. The strip mall across the street... let's focus on that.
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  #2590  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2019, 3:15 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by SWPA View Post
I think the Village of Shadyside development was built in the early 1980s. I moved to the neighborhood in 1983 and it was pretty new, and there were directional signs on telephone poles directing people to it. The scuttlebut in the neighborhood at the time was "who would want to live in East Liberty and why do they call it 'Shadyside'"? You couldn't give property away in that area back then.
I'll defer to you long-timers here. When I looked at property records on the townhouses on the assessor's site, I couldn't really find any sales before 1995 or so. But it could have been that it took a long time for the development to be fully built out.

I know originally all of what's now Shadyside east of Negley was considered East Liberty. Not sure when the "rebranding" happened exactly though.

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Originally Posted by Don't Be That Guy View Post
How is OPDC empowered to make arbitrary financial demands of anyone?

CBA's are basically extortion for self-appointed community gatekeepers who thrive on every big project needing zoning variances. It would be great if Wexford told them to go pound salt but they probably don't have the time, money or patience to fight through numerous variance appeals and will settle on a smaller "contribution."
The weird thing is my impression was always the OPDC was one of the more pro-development community groups (being more dominated by businesses, similar to ELDI, than homeowners). It was more random cranks in the neighborhood who caused development issues after hiring their own lawyers. This is the first case I've heard of where they are playing hardball.

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And agreed on the Village of Shadyside... it's there, it's been there for 30+ years, and it's definitely not going anywhere. And for god's sake, it's not that bad. It's not like it's some huge impediment to redesign of the area. The strip mall across the street... let's focus on that.
In terms of density, the Village of Shadyside is fine. People often forget it's not all townhouses - there are two small condo buildings in the heart of it as well. The only real problem with it is that "turns its back" to Penn, and if the surrounding area is built up similarly to Bakery Square, it will stick out as a "dead edge."

Last edited by eschaton; Jul 25, 2019 at 5:20 PM.
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  #2591  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2019, 9:44 PM
SteelCityRising SteelCityRising is offline
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I'm starting to really, really abhor NIMBY's. I've been in numerous arguments on NextDoor regarding various development-related issues in/around the East End recently. There's definitely a contingent (typically older white upper-middle-class homeowners) who think apartments/rentals nearby will somehow devalue their own residence a la "there goes the neighborhood!"

Some of my favorite arguments are:

"This will be out-of-character for the neighborhood";
"This will affect views";
"Renters don't pay their fair share"; or, my personal favorite,

"We already have too many apartments" (while failing to explain to me how rents could possibly keep increasing if we have too many apartments, which indicates that there's still not enough supply to meet demand).

There is one woman in particular who lives in East Shadyside. I caught her mentioning once that she was a landlord. She's a vocal critic of the redevelopment of the Shady Hill Shopping Center for the aforementioned reasons, and she's also corralled some other NIMBY's with a "white guilt" angle. No, no African-Americans will be displaced by redeveloping that hideous shopping center, but, apparently, African-Americans who currently drive or take the bus to this Giant Eagle from Larimer or Homewood or Lincoln-Lemington are for reasons unexplained to me by the NIMBY's unable to drive to the Target, East End Food Co-Op, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, two ALDIs, or Market District that are all within a 5-minute-drive or bus ride of here while this Giant Eagle will be closed for construction.

As for me? I love this proposal and hope it advances. I also hope Club One is torn down, and another dense mixed-use project is built there with the continuation of Shady Avenue over the Busway and over to Broad Street. I've heard criticism that Giant Eagle is reducing its footprint. Perhaps they can be persuaded to take over the additional 20,000 square feet in the two stories on the corner?
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  #2592  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 2:13 PM
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Jonboy1983 Jonboy1983 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
I'm starting to really, really abhor NIMBY's. I've been in numerous arguments on NextDoor regarding various development-related issues in/around the East End recently. There's definitely a contingent (typically older white upper-middle-class homeowners) who think apartments/rentals nearby will somehow devalue their own residence a la "there goes the neighborhood!"

Some of my favorite arguments are:

"This will be out-of-character for the neighborhood";
"This will affect views";
"Renters don't pay their fair share"; or, my personal favorite,

"We already have too many apartments" (while failing to explain to me how rents could possibly keep increasing if we have too many apartments, which indicates that there's still not enough supply to meet demand).

There is one woman in particular who lives in East Shadyside. I caught her mentioning once that she was a landlord. She's a vocal critic of the redevelopment of the Shady Hill Shopping Center for the aforementioned reasons, and she's also corralled some other NIMBY's with a "white guilt" angle. No, no African-Americans will be displaced by redeveloping that hideous shopping center, but, apparently, African-Americans who currently drive or take the bus to this Giant Eagle from Larimer or Homewood or Lincoln-Lemington are for reasons unexplained to me by the NIMBY's unable to drive to the Target, East End Food Co-Op, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, two ALDIs, or Market District that are all within a 5-minute-drive or bus ride of here while this Giant Eagle will be closed for construction.

As for me? I love this proposal and hope it advances. I also hope Club One is torn down, and another dense mixed-use project is built there with the continuation of Shady Avenue over the Busway and over to Broad Street. I've heard criticism that Giant Eagle is reducing its footprint. Perhaps they can be persuaded to take over the additional 20,000 square feet in the two stories on the corner?
Agreed 100 percent with your disdain for NIMBYs and their logic -- or lack thereof. Regarding East Liberty, it's very much in a state of flux. Much of its "downtown" has been revamped with higher density developments. So the "out of character with the rest of the neighborhood" argument does not hold water IMO.

Regarding the RFQ for developments in the middle Hill, it will be exciting to see how that transpires. The Grandada Theater redevelopment looks enticing. Hopefully that could be the start of something amazing for that neighborhood.
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  #2594  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 5:07 PM
wpipkins2 wpipkins2 is offline
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[QUOTE=eschaton;8640421]I'll defer to you long-timers here. When I looked at property records on the townhouses on the assessor's site, I couldn't really find any sales before 1995 or so. But it could have been that it took a long time for the development to be fully built out.

[/QThe first townhomes opened just before my entry to Reizenstein Middle School. This would have been the 86/87 school year. Our gym teacher used to take us on bike tours through the community. East Liberty Station was brand new in 86 with the anchor tenant Pharmore pharmacy. Equibank and Lachina drapery were there at the time.

The second phase of which includes those homes with the back facing Penn Ave came along later. This was probably 1995 or so. The newer homes were not as solid as the original. Our gym teacher used to take us on bike tours through the community.

I know originally all of what's now Shadyside east of Negley as considered East Liberty. Not sure when the "rebranding" happened exactly though.

The area was referred to as East Liberty as long as I can remember and I am 44 years old. UOTE]
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  #2595  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 5:37 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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OPDC officially comes out in opposition to Wexford's proposed 13-story tower at 3440 Forbes in Oakland. As a result, the ZBA hearing on the project scheduled for today has been delayed until mid-August.

The article is still kinda unclear on why OPDC was asking for a $1.8 million shakedown. Here's the initial CBA that OPDC was asking for on July 3rd, which was for a bit more money. Their rationale seems to be "people in the neighborhood don't like this, so throw some money our way bro." Which would be fine, if these were standards applied to every development in Oakland, but they clearly are not.

Edit: Favorite project feedback from a stakeholder:

Quote:
But hard to imagine that hard working scientists who live in the sunburbs and work into the evening are going to bike to work over the highway. I’d like people involved in the decision Prozess to get real...or get honest....be creative about parking ..maybe for the building .buy a piece of land for parking, (there’s plenty of land in the hill district )and transport the workers from there to Oakland...or some such. Use some intelligence and creativity to solve the problem. And maybe residents should get real too and realize that there is no space in Oakland for families...so everybody stop pretending. So use energies to establish an exit strategy
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  #2596  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2019, 8:30 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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8/15 ZBA is up. Which is odd, because there should be one for 8/8 which was never posted, but maybe it will arrive later. Anyway, new items of interest:

1. Demolishing the Bella Vista restaurant on Grandview to make way for another single-family home with integral parking. Something needs to be done regarding the "Grandview Public Realm" zoning, or in another decade or two it's just all going to be houses for millionaires.

2. Two new apartment buildings in Larimer. Unit count unknown, but it's related to the earlier announced Larimer School apartment conversion, which I know we have discussed before. This is the location.

3. Conversion of a church and development of surrounding land into a residential apartment complex in Manchester. This will include a new building with a parking garage, plus four upper levels of apartments. This is the location.

4. Infill townhouses on the lot here in Central Lawrenceville. This is an interesting project for me personally, because I used to live on this street. The house in question on the top of the hill was an old detached farmhouse, which was quite grand but in a state of disrepair due to the old man that lived there. When he passed away they must have decided there was more money in knocking down the old house and replacing it with townhouses rather than restoring it to its former glory. This is a shame, but I'm not surprised - large-lot houses no longer survive in the neighborhood, the land is too valuable.

5. The continuance for 3440 Forbes discussed above.
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  #2597  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 11:29 AM
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Well, the PG is reporting that the building that used to house Froggy's is slated for the wrecking ball if the city approves. I'm hoping the city will tell them to pound sand. I know the other historic buildings were actually starting to fall apart, but as I recall this building is in salvageable shape. I know this was already discussed ad nauseum. Still, I do not want to see this building go away if it at all can be helped...
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  #2598  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 2:45 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Well, the PG is reporting that the building that used to house Froggy's is slated for the wrecking ball if the city approves. I'm hoping the city will tell them to pound sand. I know the other historic buildings were actually starting to fall apart, but as I recall this building is in salvageable shape. I know this was already discussed ad nauseum. Still, I do not want to see this building go away if it at all can be helped...
The frustrating part about knocking them down is AFAIK there's no real plan yet for the parcels. It's basically "let us knock everything down and consolidate, and we'll see what we can do."

If there was say a proposal for a 13-story residential highrise or something, i think you could argue the trade is worthwhile on the merits. But given for all we know we'll just get a three-story Point Park University building, or maybe a vacant lot for the next 15 years, there's no way this should go forward.
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  #2599  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 3:40 PM
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The frustrating part about knocking them down is AFAIK there's no real plan yet for the parcels. It's basically "let us knock everything down and consolidate, and we'll see what we can do."

If there was say a proposal for a 13-story residential highrise or something, i think you could argue the trade is worthwhile on the merits. But given for all we know we'll just get a three-story Point Park University building, or maybe a vacant lot for the next 15 years, there's no way this should go forward.
I seem to remember the owner(s) of these parcels stating they had someone who wanted to use the land to erect a "signature tower" on the site. I seem to remember reading that in previous newspaper articles some months back. That's all well and good if that's the case. That said, why not preserve the facades at the very least (The St. James in Philly comes to mind here; I've actually driven/walked by this building a few times and thought it's neat how they incorporated the 1700s facade into this 21st century residential highrise). I think Lancaster did something similar when they built the Marriott Hotel and convention center - using the historic department store and I think a few other buildings and incorporating them into the hotel and convention center.

But... I do see your other point. The city would be irresponsible to grant demolition of this building if it means the land will sit vacant or if it will give way to a less-than-ideal use. The Point Park Playhouse is a good example of that!
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  #2600  
Old Posted Jul 26, 2019, 3:41 PM
Nitwit Nitwit is offline
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The frustrating part about knocking them down is AFAIK there's no real plan yet for the parcels. It's basically "let us knock everything down and consolidate, and we'll see what we can do."

If there was say a proposal for a 13-story residential highrise or something, i think you could argue the trade is worthwhile on the merits. But given for all we know we'll just get a three-story Point Park University building, or maybe a vacant lot for the next 15 years, there's no way this should go forward.
The latest Planning Commission presentation shows some potential future massing, but it doesn't seem like much more than what might go there rather than something that is going there.

https://apps.pittsburghpa.gov/redtai...ly_30_2019.pdf
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