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  #1121  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2018, 3:28 PM
TBone7281 TBone7281 is offline
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Originally Posted by qwho View Post
Strip district - Boy, I hope they clean up some of the trees along the river, what a mess.
This part of the river trail has been closed for at least 2 years. They haven't done anything with it and is totally overgrown. Once the development is open (which should be pretty soon), I believe part of the plan was to re-do the trail. Including re-paving and I have to imagine, landscaping/maintenance.
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  #1122  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2018, 3:50 PM
TBone7281 TBone7281 is offline
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Office is moving out of the Strip next week, I'll try to take a few pics of area development before we go. (Moving to Allegheny Center/Nova on the North Shore.)
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  #1123  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2018, 5:45 PM
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Wally G Wally G is offline
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Originally Posted by ks2006 View Post
I'm wondering about two projects I haven't heard about for a long time - the Casino hotel, and the planned office building in Firstside. Anyone have any news about those?

Oakland already looks impressive, but is really going to be more impressive in a few years when all of the projects are done. Very few cities have a secondary downtown area with that size and density.
I wonder when that Casino hotel will get started.
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  #1124  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2018, 8:09 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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A few minor stories:

1. Lawrenceville community groups (Lawrenceville Corporation and Lawrenceville United) moving forward with historic designation of Holy Family Church.

2. Long-empty building in Lawrenceville (here - right near my old house) to be converted into food hall. They will have to go in front of ZBA regarding variances - most notably not having parking - in July.

3. Black Forge Coffee has started a kickstarter to raise funds to open a second location in McKees Rocks. The decision is spurred by noise complaints related to live concerts in Allentown. I believe this is the building in question, judging by the windows you can see on the interior picture.
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  #1125  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2018, 1:50 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post

2. Long-empty building in Lawrenceville (here - right near my old house) to be converted into food hall. They will have to go in front of ZBA regarding variances - most notably not having parking - in July.
That's cool. Always thought that mid-block building would make a good something or other.
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  #1126  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2018, 2:16 PM
bmust71 bmust71 is offline
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Papa J's owner is queuing up development on his family owned surface lot in the strip:

"Michael Troiani, owner of the Papa J’s Ristorante in Carnegie destroyed by fire in March, is proposing the construction of two nine-story buildings at 2315 and 2323 Penn Ave. in the heart of the Strip.
In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Troiani said he is considering a seven-story hotel, four to five floors of offices, an event center, a grocery, and integral parking on the 1 1/2-acre site he owns. It is now used for surface parking."

Full Article: http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201806210069
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  #1127  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2018, 2:30 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by bmust71 View Post
Papa J's owner is queuing up development on his family owned surface lot in the strip:

"Michael Troiani, owner of the Papa J’s Ristorante in Carnegie destroyed by fire in March, is proposing the construction of two nine-story buildings at 2315 and 2323 Penn Ave. in the heart of the Strip.
In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Troiani said he is considering a seven-story hotel, four to five floors of offices, an event center, a grocery, and integral parking on the 1 1/2-acre site he owns. It is now used for surface parking."

Full Article: http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201806210069
That's a big effin lot. Includes all of the parking - basically everything other than the Harp & Fiddle and Kelly O's. For some odd reason, Mullberry Way was expunged on that block as well, so it extends all the way from Penn Avenue to Smallman. Though it looks like, judging from the zoning website, hey are planning on subdividing around where Mulberry Way should be, meaning the alley might be re-established on that block (it's still dead on the next block with Otto Milk, but could theoretically be opened again - albeit as a very narrow passage).

That said, I am guessing that Strip District NIMBYs are going to try and fuck with this. There has been a notable faction of small business owners in the Strip opposed to anything tall going in on Penn Avenue. I wouldn't be surprised if they ultimately have to step back the development a bit for the Penn Avenue building.
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  #1128  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2018, 3:39 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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I have a hard time believing we'll see two 9-story buildings go up on Penn here.

They'll be vociferously opposed by neighbors, the Planning Commission will have an issue with the proposed design and say that they're not in context with the surroundings, and then they'll be revised and cost engineered down to a single 4-story apartment building with landscaped surface parking lot.
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  #1129  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2018, 4:04 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by pj3000 View Post
I have a hard time believing we'll see two 9-story buildings go up on Penn here.

They'll be vociferously opposed by neighbors, the Planning Commission will have an issue with the proposed design and say that they're not in context with the surroundings, and then they'll be revised and cost engineered down to a single 4-story apartment building with landscaped surface parking lot.
My "favorite" was a few years ago when they tried to get the existing Penn Avenue buildings in the most active blocks protected as historic landmarks in order to try and protect the businesses from gentrification.

Yes, even the shitty little one-story warehouse fronts like this.
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  #1130  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2018, 7:36 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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New Planning Commission presentation up for next week. Four items, three of which are minor, and one is of consequence.

1. An expansion of a residential parking permit area in Squirrel Hill around the corner of Forbes and Denniston. The area is relatively close to the Forbes Avenue business district, so I can see the desire. However, it seems aggressive to me - particularly because they want spots in front of (and on the side of) the Yeshiva Girls School to be resident parking only.

2. A small requested zoning change for 1054 Banksville Road. This area is currently a vacant lot zoned CP (Commercial Planned development). The owner (Metro Heating & Cooling) wishes to rezone it HC (Highway Commercial) - apparently because he wants to use it as a gravel parking lot to be used in conjunction with a small building with no parking he purchased which fronts on the small Banksville Ave extension right behind the lot.

3. The "real project" this week - the two-new multi-family residences being built by Buncher as "Riverfront II" in the Strip District. The total project cost is $52.5 million, and the unit count is 443. The development will include 546 stalls in the integral garage, with 148 bike stalls. One building will be about 60 feet tall, the other about 74. The design is a step up from the first apartment building, but still kinda meh. Looks like the middle one will be hollow with an outdoor pool, and the parking structure will be entirely hidden inside the "bridge building." Some effort is made to make all three of the buildings look a bit different, with the middle building in particular standing out a bit with a more white/gray/green color scheme, and no earthtones. The cladding choices don't look as cheap as in the first building either, but it's hard to tell from renderings. Still, more density in the Strip, so yay?

4. A short presentation on planned signage for Heinz Field related to Franco's Pizzeria.
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  #1131  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2018, 9:14 PM
mikebarbaro mikebarbaro is offline
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
New Planning Commission presentation up for next week. Four items, three of which are minor, and one is of consequence.

1. An expansion of a residential parking permit area in Squirrel Hill around the corner of Forbes and Denniston. The area is relatively close to the Forbes Avenue business district, so I can see the desire. However, it seems aggressive to me - particularly because they want spots in front of (and on the side of) the Yeshiva Girls School to be resident parking only.

2. A small requested zoning change for 1054 Banksville Road. This area is currently a vacant lot zoned CP (Commercial Planned development). The owner (Metro Heating & Cooling) wishes to rezone it HC (Highway Commercial) - apparently because he wants to use it as a gravel parking lot to be used in conjunction with a small building with no parking he purchased which fronts on the small Banksville Ave extension right behind the lot.

3. The "real project" this week - the two-new multi-family residences being built by Buncher as "Riverfront II" in the Strip District. The total project cost is $52.5 million, and the unit count is 443. The development will include 546 stalls in the integral garage, with 148 bike stalls. One building will be about 60 feet tall, the other about 74. The design is a step up from the first apartment building, but still kinda meh. Looks like the middle one will be hollow with an outdoor pool, and the parking structure will be entirely hidden inside the "bridge building." Some effort is made to make all three of the buildings look a bit different, with the middle building in particular standing out a bit with a more white/gray/green color scheme, and no earthtones. The cladding choices don't look as cheap as in the first building either, but it's hard to tell from renderings. Still, more density in the Strip, so yay?

4. A short presentation on planned signage for Heinz Field related to Franco's Pizzeria.
It is nice to see a fairly significant planning presentation again. Especially the progress being made at the Buncher site.
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  #1132  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2018, 10:40 PM
TBone7281 TBone7281 is offline
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Originally Posted by bmust71 View Post
Papa J's owner is queuing up development on his family owned surface lot in the strip:

"Michael Troiani, owner of the Papa J’s Ristorante in Carnegie destroyed by fire in March, is proposing the construction of two nine-story buildings at 2315 and 2323 Penn Ave. in the heart of the Strip.
In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Troiani said he is considering a seven-story hotel, four to five floors of offices, an event center, a grocery, and integral parking on the 1 1/2-acre site he owns. It is now used for surface parking."

Full Article: http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201806210069
HA! I've parked here for almost 8 years for work and I've been saying for the last couple that it was only a matter of time before they started thinking about developing it. Had no idea who owned it though, so that's pretty interesting. I used to be in a band that occasionally played the Papa J's that was on Boulevard of the Allies. It's easily the biggest open lot in that part of the Strip. Even with the opening of The Hub it's always been pretty full so I wonder what kind of parking complaints might be raised by the local business owners.
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  #1133  
Old Posted Jun 21, 2018, 11:12 PM
bmust71 bmust71 is offline
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I don't understand why the 'public plaza' that leads to the riverfront has parking spaces. There will be two 500+ space garages and possibly street parking on Waterfront Place so it is completely unnecessary to put spots there. I understand they are 'future tenant/guest spots' that more and more apartment developments are including but why not just bunch them all up at the next 'plaza/cut through' between the 'Middle' building and Edge 1909??

We've talked about it before but Buncher completely passes over small details that make or break development. Ever since the beginning they talked about how the pedestrian passageways would be hubs for activity and connect the renovated riverfront trail to the strip.
The plaza design seems very uninspiring to me but I guess I set my expectations too high.
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  #1134  
Old Posted Yesterday, 12:34 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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I'll say a qualified Yay! to both those Strip proposals, although I agree the NIMBYs may (stupidly) go after the height on the Penn Avenue project.

I'm also interested in the rest of this rendering for the Buncher project, showing some decent-sized buildings west of 16th Street. May mean nothing (or may just be borrowed from a Amazon presentation), but still interesting:


Last edited by BrianTH; Yesterday at 4:17 AM.
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  #1135  
Old Posted Yesterday, 2:00 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
I'm also interested in the rest of this rendering for the Buncher project, showing some decent-sized buildings west of 16th Street. May mean nothing (or may just be borrowed from a Amazon presentation), but still interesting:

The one by the river right next to the 16th Street Bridge looks like it's residential to me judging by the floor plates. Indeed, the master plan called for a residential building there. Something on the scale of The Empire in the Strip - a new-construction residential highrise - would be welcome.

BTW, I noticed they're not planning to break ground on the two new buildings until March 2019, and they won't be done until 2021. Even though IIRC Buncher's plot totally avoids the new riverfront zoning, I can't help but think they're trying to get the approvals in early just in case.
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  #1136  
Old Posted Yesterday, 2:07 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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We recently discussed that a zoning board agenda suggested work on rehabbing the "Transmission Building" in Lawrenceville would finally e underway. Apparently it's a project being developed by the owners of the Beauty Shoppe coworking space. It will be retail on the first floor, and three stories of coworking above.

Also, this (non-paywalled) PBT slideshow has interesting information about a Desmone project for CCAC I have not heard of before. Looks like a new workforce development and training center will go right on Ridge Avenue here, where there is just a landscaped hill currently.
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  #1137  
Old Posted Yesterday, 6:41 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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That CCAC building looks pretty cool.
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