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  #221  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 7:07 PM
akPITT207 akPITT207 is offline
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The Davis Companies has acquired the Shannon Hall building (former Art Institute housing) on First Avenue. It's a big building, and right across from the T station, great trail access too.

http://http://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2018/01/04/Company-to-convert-nine-story-building-near-First-Avenue-garage-into-apartments/stories/201801040075
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  #222  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 7:22 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by akPITT207 View Post
The Davis Companies has acquired the Shannon Hall building (former Art Institute housing) on First Avenue. It's a big building, and right across from the T station, great trail access too.

http://http://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2018/01/04/Company-to-convert-nine-story-building-near-First-Avenue-garage-into-apartments/stories/201801040075
Not just acquired, but plan to convert into a 200-unit apartment building. That will bring a lot more vitality into one of the most forgotten corners of downtown. That said, I wonder how many of these will end up being occupied by PPU students.
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  #223  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2018, 7:44 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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First Planning Commission presentation of the year is up. There are four items for next week, which are all pretty small:

1. Demolition of three buildings on Forbes Avenue in Uptown (2027, 2029, and 2031). The plan seems to be to use these and two adjacent vacant lots to build affordable housing in 2019. The homes are pretty undistinguished as rowhouses go, so I'm not mourning their loss that much. The most exciting part about this is that it's going to the Planning Commission, which means the Uptown Public Realm successfully passed late last year (I saw nothing about this in the press). This means, among other things, we have another section of town with no parking minimums!

2. Another demolition project is on the agenda for Downtown: The Former Duff's building at 110 9th Street. This will be removed for construction staging for the PPA/Cultural Trust project (the Penn/9th garage/condo complex). A second phase of that project, involving a residential highrise facing the Allegheny, will begin planning in mid-2018. It looks like the Cultural Trust does not plan to have its development done in concert with the garage, but send it out to bid separately. This makes sense, because IIRC the PPA picked the developer (since it owned much of the land) whereas the Duff's property is entirely owned by the Cultural Trust.

3. Repair and rehabilitation is planned for the parking garage at the corner of Sixth Street and Fort Duquense Boulevard. This is a pretty boring project with only a few diagrams attached, so I'll leave it at that.

4. A relatively small ($4 million) project is planned for 1720 Metropolitan Street in Chateau (a building occupied by Mascaro Construction). The plan is for a ground-floor renovation, and partial two story addition (adding a second floor to the wing which is currently only one story. I presume this is going before the Planning Commission because it's in a riverfront overlay area.

Last edited by eschaton; Jan 4, 2018 at 8:37 PM.
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  #224  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 2:03 PM
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Such a shame those historic row houses are getting torn down. Soon, there won't be many historic buildings left in Uptown.
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  #225  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 5:10 PM
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Such a shame those historic row houses are getting torn down. Soon, there won't be many historic buildings left in Uptown.
It's more of a shame that they have been neglected for decades and are therefore in such dreadful condition... which paves the direct path to their demolition.
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  #226  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 7:12 PM
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The Post-Gazette has more details on the Duff's demolition. The most interesting factoid is the 800-900 units of housing in total.

Let's be conservative, and say it's 800 units. 135 units are already under construction (Penn/8th) and the Davis Company condo development will contain another 185. That leaves the Cultural Trust with around 480 units left to develop. This seems doable, considering they not only have the Duff's/Goodyear property to work with, but also the two lots facing Fort Duquense between 8th and 7th. Potentially if they could get a holdout property owner to sell (who owns the Proper Brick Oven and 709 Penn) they could redevelop the corner including the fake magnolia trees as well (it's a nice parklet, but between that and the Benedum surface lot, it really causes the impact of Katz plaza to be underwhelming).
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  #227  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 7:17 PM
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Also, the city's online zoning map has been updated to reflect the new Uptown Public Realm. It's a great simplification of the neighborhood's zoning, which now only contains EMI, a bit of hillside zoning, and the two new mixed-use areas. If only the city would do this for every other neighborhood.
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  #228  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 8:24 PM
WillyC WillyC is offline
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Cultural Trust is going to take so long we are likely to see another economic downturn before they break ground, causing them to do exactly what they did last time, tear up their plans and go back to just holding the land as is.
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  #229  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2018, 8:48 PM
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Cultural Trust is going to take so long we are likely to see another economic downturn before they break ground, causing them to do exactly what they did last time, tear up their plans and go back to just holding the land as is.
I understand your cynicism, but the Penn/Eighth project is currently under construction, and plans for the new garage/condo are pretty far along as well. Even if the Cultural Trust chokes after this, they'll be land banking a lot less land.
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  #230  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2018, 4:24 PM
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I hope they go for a tallish building, maybe around 20 stories, in that area, the views from the upper floors should be very good, and won't be those that you typically see. Anything under 15 floors would be disappointing and wasted opportunity IMO. Anyone know the zoned height limit in that area?
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  #231  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2018, 5:55 PM
akPITT207 akPITT207 is offline
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I don’t know about the height limit there, but in the zoning report a few posts up, there is a rendering that appears to be the larger vision for the area, showing four towers 20-30 floors each. It’s new to me and there are some major differences between it and other renderings that have been released recently, so I’m guessing it’s more of a general vision for massing and scale.
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  #232  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 12:04 AM
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The Andy Warhol Bridge is open finally, drove across it this afternoon. When did it open back up?
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  #233  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 3:09 AM
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The Andy Warhol Bridge is open finally, drove across it this afternoon. When did it open back up?
Mid-november.
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  #234  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 8:03 PM
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Just drove through Millvale, where I used to live and of course now that I don't live there anymore, this cool coffee shop finally opened, after like 3 years of them working on the building on Grant Avenue.

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr

AF5_1041 by photolitherland, on Flickr
And a bonus photo I took this afternoon of the Maxo Vanko murals in the St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Millvale.

AF5_1004 by photolitherland, on Flickr
And a photo of the frozen rivers from the West End Overlook from yesterday.

Last edited by photoLith; Jan 7, 2018 at 8:18 PM.
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  #235  
Old Posted Jan 7, 2018, 11:12 PM
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That coffee shop in Millvale looks nice.

And in your photo from West End overlook you can see the addition under construction at the Science Center. No work started yet on the casino hotel i see.
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  #236  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 12:49 AM
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Millvale is essentially Lawrenceville Jr. at this point.
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  #237  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 4:05 AM
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loving that urban corridor, they should get rid of those power lines though.
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  #238  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 4:30 AM
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I love this classic Pittsburgh view. This shows why Pittsburgh has one of the best skylines in the U.S.

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  #239  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 3:02 PM
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Short article about the improvements planned at Station Square (specifically, the Freight House Shops) to complement the new residential construction on the other side of the Smithfield Street Bridge.

Longtime fixtures, Hometowne Sports and Houlihan's, both vacated the premises within the course of the past month.
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  #240  
Old Posted Jan 8, 2018, 3:28 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Also, the city's online zoning map has been updated to reflect the new Uptown Public Realm. It's a great simplification of the neighborhood's zoning, which now only contains EMI, a bit of hillside zoning, and the two new mixed-use areas. If only the city would do this for every other neighborhood.
Nobody took my bait on this, so here's my thoughts on what I'd do to the city's zoning system if I were director of city planning:

1. Merge LNC (Local Neighborhood Commercial) NDI (Neighborhood Industrial), NDO (Neighborhood Office) and HC (Highway Commercial) into a single new zone which allows for all of the uses where were allowed for each of those four individual zones. This would basically be a "neighborhood mixed use" zone where virtually anything (as long as it's under 45 feet) could be built.

2. Do the same sort of merger with UNC (Urban Neighborhood Commercial) and UI (Urban Industrial). This would establish a higher density mixed-use area, which allowed building heights of up to 60 feet and higher FAR. It might be desirable by the city to rezone some of the formerly Urban Industrial zones as General Industrial, if the city really wants to maintain them as industrial areas and not develop them into mixed-use zones.

There's a lot more that I'd like to do, but this would establish these zones as sort of "anything goes" form-based zoning areas that the city could build on over time. I'd hope that over time the city would elaborate on these (developing higher density levels) and merge in some of the multifamily zoned areas, along with the numerous little areas given special zoning rules for developers (SP/AP/RP) and even some of the "public realms" (which all have their own idiosyncratic zoning rules. Up-zoning dedicated single-family zoned areas would be a harder nut to crack, and I don't think it's the first battle to fight. Once people realize that open-ended zoning doesn't result in a warehouse opening up on Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill or whatever I think half the battle will be won.
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