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  #3021  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2019, 5:00 PM
BenM BenM is offline
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
That was me! I love that stuff, and you are absolutely right.
Do you still have a link to the river map? I couldn't find it on Google.

It's one of those things that once you see it, you can't un-see it when looking at an aerial image of Pittsburgh.
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  #3022  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2019, 5:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mikebarbaro View Post
The current warehouse behind Allegheny Station on the North Shore is to become Eleven 06 condominiums. If I remember correctly it was supposed to become a hotel but I guess that fell through. I really like to rendering where The Esplanade towers are shown in the background. This is also a Piatt Sotheby project.
Zillow already shows the units for sale, along with additional pictures at this link.

Clicking on the pictures of the units leads to detailed information and floorplans.
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  #3023  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2019, 4:03 PM
BobMcKelvin BobMcKelvin is offline
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
3. Oxford also has the master plan for Three Crossings Phase 2 up for next week. The details of the master plan are not all that different than from earlier presentations. After The Stacks are finished, they are looking at another 450,000 square feet of office space in four buildings, 300 residential units in two buildings, and a 600-space parking garage. They are designing a new L-shaped street (termed Hopper Place) and a related plaza/open space in the heart of the new development. The next buildings to be constructed are the new 150,000 square foot office building by Hopper Plaza (discussed in more detail below) followed by the parking garage. The later phases - particularly the residential buildings - appear to still be subject to change.

4. At the same time Oxford is approaching the Commission with the master plan, it is also seeking approval for the next building within Three Crossings Phase 2 - the 150,000 square-foot office building mentioned above. The building is called 75 Hopper Place (presumably the intended address as well) and is a six-story, squarish structure. I honestly think the design is kinda bland and flat from Railroad Street, though it pops much more from the plaza. Still, I have no major issues with the structure.
Interesting info in the presentation about the future riverfront trail through this area. Since the RR owns the land along the riverfront, Oxford is essentially designing to accommodate trail users passing through their development. They intend for the Riverfront Plaza to be the entryway, and are designing the new Hopper Place to essentially be a publicly accessible woonerf to maintain mobility parallel to the river.

Another little tidbit, since Railroad Street is technically still a RR ROW, they aren’t allowed to build sidewalks. They are actually going to build them within the confines of their parcel rather than build them on what one would think would be city property along the actual street.

They didn’t have to do either of these things, kudos to Oxford for stepping up in this way.
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  #3024  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2019, 2:18 PM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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Only slightly related to development, but the Post Gazette has a feature up on that little micro-neighborhood in North Oakland just to the west of the S Craig St business district, and how CMU has systematically bought up most of the remaining single family homes. The article focuses on a couple of the holdouts - all of which are old people, meaning whatever their secret master plan is for this area is likely inevitable.
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  #3025  
Old Posted Nov 17, 2019, 7:56 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Originally Posted by BenM View Post
Do you still have a link to the river map? I couldn't find it on Google.

It's one of those things that once you see it, you can't un-see it when looking at an aerial image of Pittsburgh.
Over time here are a few of the things I posted:

Ancient waterways diagram:



Shaded topographic map:



My own VERY crude rendering of what the ancient confluence around East Liberty once looked like:



And now a new, equally crude, rendering where I more or less try to transfer that ancient river map information to the bird's eye I posted recently:



Not perfect, but it supports the point you were making.
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  #3026  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2019, 3:57 PM
SteelCityRising SteelCityRising is offline
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I should have held off posting for a bit today...feels like I'm talking to myself sometimes...
Not at all! I "lurk" here constantly and always look forward very, very much to your contributions in this thread! I just don't post/contribute much because I feel like I'm one of the reasons a few people here left the "other" forum, and I don't want them to leave here, too.

In any event I'm most excited about the proposal for that beautiful mid-rise residential project along Penn Avenue near Savoy. That big surface parking lot and adjacent empty lot have been "gap teeth" along Penn Avenue for years, and it's about time they're (responsibly) redeveloped!

In other news there is a community meeting in Polish Hill soon about a developer's plans to tear down the Donny's Place Bar (which inexplicably JUST reopened) and to combine its parcel with the surrounding "dead space" within the Herron Avenue "S"-Curve for some sort of major project. I've wanted to see a dense new project built on that parcel since I moved to Polish Hill in 2010 so we could boost our population density and maybe finally attract a restaurant to justify the high rents here. It is adjacent to the Herron Avenue stop on the East Busway, which will whisk people Downtown in five minutes. Coupled with the residential project that's being built over near Cheerleaders these two projects combined might boost Polish Hill's population by 50% at full build-out. I don't know many details (yet) about the Donny's Place site, but I trust we'll know more soon!
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  #3027  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2019, 4:21 PM
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  #3028  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2019, 8:37 PM
highlander206 highlander206 is offline
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Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
Not at all! I "lurk" here constantly and always look forward very, very much to your contributions in this thread! I just don't post/contribute much because I feel like I'm one of the reasons a few people here left the "other" forum, and I don't want them to leave here, too.

In any event I'm most excited about the proposal for that beautiful mid-rise residential project along Penn Avenue near Savoy. That big surface parking lot and adjacent empty lot have been "gap teeth" along Penn Avenue for years, and it's about time they're (responsibly) redeveloped!

In other news there is a community meeting in Polish Hill soon about a developer's plans to tear down the Donny's Place Bar (which inexplicably JUST reopened) and to combine its parcel with the surrounding "dead space" within the Herron Avenue "S"-Curve for some sort of major project. I've wanted to see a dense new project built on that parcel since I moved to Polish Hill in 2010 so we could boost our population density and maybe finally attract a restaurant to justify the high rents here. It is adjacent to the Herron Avenue stop on the East Busway, which will whisk people Downtown in five minutes. Coupled with the residential project that's being built over near Cheerleaders these two projects combined might boost Polish Hill's population by 50% at full build-out. I don't know many details (yet) about the Donny's Place site, but I trust we'll know more soon!
As someone who goes there, but posts less than ever before, I promise you SCR that you are not the reason at all I don't like that thread anymore.

But anyway, I am hoping for more development in that part of the Strip too. Despite the whining on the other thread about traffic and gentrification in the Strip, the fact is that area has next to no long time residents like Lawrenceville, and there is a large mostly dead area still between 24th Street and Lawrenceville which is ripe for plenty of change without really driving anyone out.
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  #3029  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2019, 9:55 PM
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It looks like in those Pitt renderings they're going to tear down literally every historic building along Forbes Ave....
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  #3030  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2019, 5:54 PM
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The NRP Group and The Buncher Company Break Ground on The District, Phase 2 of Upscale Rental Apartment Community on Pittsburgh's Robotics Row




The building in the foreground is the recently completed 1909 Edge, and this project will be the two buildings adjacent to that going up the the 16th St Bridge. Between this, the Brownstones, and the produce terminal redevelopment, District 15 Beta, and and 1600 Smallman redevelopment, this area will be completely transformed in a few years - and there is still room for more. Very exciting!

Last edited by Urbanthusiat; Nov 19, 2019 at 6:24 PM.
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  #3031  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2019, 2:07 AM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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The first ZBA of December (12/5) is online. A very light schedule for that week, with only five projects, and not much of note.

The most notable project is a two story addition to an existing building here on Penn Avenue. This appears to be the design:



There are also plans for an infill house in Banksville.
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  #3032  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2019, 2:20 PM
SteelCityRising SteelCityRising is offline
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Originally Posted by Urbanthusiat View Post
The Strip District is booming, and I couldn't possibly be more thrilled. I wish there weren't so many NIMBY obstructionists in this city, though. The Post-Gazette just ran a negative article about how this growth is "gentrifying" the Strip District.

I don't understand how putting up condos and apartment buildings on vacant lots and/or rehabilitating vacant structures for such purposes can be considered "gentrification". If I'm not mistaken the population of the Strip District was only ~600 in 2010. I'm sure it will probably be around 3,000 as of the 2020 Census. How many of the ~600 in 2010 were displaced to make room for the newcomers? I'm guessing 0, as I can't think of any occupied structures that have been razed for upzoning or denser infill.

In terms of commerce I don't think anyone---even the developers---want to see Penn Avenue between 16th & 22nd Street (the historic commercial core of the neighborhood) switch from places like Penn Mac and Wholey's and Parma Sausage and La Prima and Pittsburgh Popcorn over to Athleta and Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's and Chick-fil-A and Whole Foods. This attractive gritty historic commercial core is part of what makes it so easy to attract high-end buyers for new condos at $400,000+ and high-end renters for new $1,500+/month apartments. One perk for me choosing to rent in Polish Hill in 2010 was ease of accessibility to businesses along Penn in the Strip. As long as the commercial core of the Strip isn't compromised (and thus far I haven't seen that happening), then I don't see ANY gentrification---residential or commercial---occurring.

On NextDoor I keep arguing against NIMBY's who proclaim Pittsburgh "already has too many apartment buildings, and they're all half-empty". Can anyone document evidence of this? As far as I know ALL of the new high-end buildings going up in the East End and the Strip and Oakland are nearly fully-occupied. I know The Refinery, the high-end condo project still being built by DiAnoia's, only has two units left (one standard-priced one which should sell soon and a high-end penthouse that will probably take a while to sell). I believe Edge 1909 took a little while to fill up, but it is also priced higher than nearby complexes. Those townhouses near Edge 1909 sold like hot cakes, if I'm not mistaken. If I was affluent I'd love to live in the Strip.

I'm not sure why there's so much NIMBYism against what's happening in the Strip. Can anyone confirm if NIMBYism is this bad in every city or just Pittsburgh?
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  #3033  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2019, 4:54 PM
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Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
The Strip District is booming, and I couldn't possibly be more thrilled. I wish there weren't so many NIMBY obstructionists in this city, though. The Post-Gazette just ran a negative article about how this growth is "gentrifying" the Strip District.

I don't understand how putting up condos and apartment buildings on vacant lots and/or rehabilitating vacant structures for such purposes can be considered "gentrification". If I'm not mistaken the population of the Strip District was only ~600 in 2010. I'm sure it will probably be around 3,000 as of the 2020 Census. How many of the ~600 in 2010 were displaced to make room for the newcomers? I'm guessing 0, as I can't think of any occupied structures that have been razed for upzoning or denser infill.

In terms of commerce I don't think anyone---even the developers---want to see Penn Avenue between 16th & 22nd Street (the historic commercial core of the neighborhood) switch from places like Penn Mac and Wholey's and Parma Sausage and La Prima and Pittsburgh Popcorn over to Athleta and Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's and Chick-fil-A and Whole Foods. This attractive gritty historic commercial core is part of what makes it so easy to attract high-end buyers for new condos at $400,000+ and high-end renters for new $1,500+/month apartments. One perk for me choosing to rent in Polish Hill in 2010 was ease of accessibility to businesses along Penn in the Strip. As long as the commercial core of the Strip isn't compromised (and thus far I haven't seen that happening), then I don't see ANY gentrification---residential or commercial---occurring.

On NextDoor I keep arguing against NIMBY's who proclaim Pittsburgh "already has too many apartment buildings, and they're all half-empty". Can anyone document evidence of this? As far as I know ALL of the new high-end buildings going up in the East End and the Strip and Oakland are nearly fully-occupied. I know The Refinery, the high-end condo project still being built by DiAnoia's, only has two units left (one standard-priced one which should sell soon and a high-end penthouse that will probably take a while to sell). I believe Edge 1909 took a little while to fill up, but it is also priced higher than nearby complexes. Those townhouses near Edge 1909 sold like hot cakes, if I'm not mistaken. If I was affluent I'd love to live in the Strip.

I'm not sure why there's so much NIMBYism against what's happening in the Strip. Can anyone confirm if NIMBYism is this bad in every city or just Pittsburgh?
I agree that the Strip District developing is probably the safest place for all of this stuff to be going in the city, as it really doesn't displace residents. The reason for the word "gentrification" being tossed around though is that it has the potential to price out all of the historic independent businesses along Penn Ave that make the neighborhood what it is. It may not be happening yet, but eventually it will drive the prices up like crazy if we aren't careful. I already know one historic store that is going to have to move or close because they can't afford the rent any more. Businesses can be gentrified too, and if the Strip gets sterilized, it would be one of biggest losses to ever happen to this city. I'd probably say it's the #1 most unique thing we have going for us. What peer cities have anything even close? I come up short.

I'm not against the Strip building out like this, but I think the city needs to have some sort of plan to protect long time businesses – either rent freezes or some other kind of mechanism. We would be wise to start on that now and get ahead of it.
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  #3034  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2019, 6:32 PM
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Businesses can be gentrified too, and if the Strip gets sterilized, it would be one of biggest losses to ever happen to this city. I'd probably say it's the #1 most unique thing we have going for us. What peer cities have anything even close? I come up short.
Not that I want to see the Strip become home to chain stores and see longtime businesses displaced, but other than the fact that the produce terminal building is still intact at its full length, what is so unique about the Strip District?

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I'm not against the Strip building out like this, but I think the city needs to have some sort of plan to protect long time businesses – either rent freezes or some other kind of mechanism. We would be wise to start on that now and get ahead of it.
Commercial rent control... in Pittsburgh... yeah, that'll happen.
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  #3035  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2019, 8:33 PM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
I don't understand how putting up condos and apartment buildings on vacant lots and/or rehabilitating vacant structures for such purposes can be considered "gentrification". If I'm not mistaken the population of the Strip District was only ~600 in 2010. I'm sure it will probably be around 3,000 as of the 2020 Census. How many of the ~600 in 2010 were displaced to make room for the newcomers? I'm guessing 0, as I can't think of any occupied structures that have been razed for upzoning or denser infill.
Out of the 600 residents in 2010, 360 lived in the Cork Factory, and were thus very recent transplants to the neighborhood. There were also a handful of other smaller residential projects like Brake House Lofts that decade. Back in 2000 the Strip only had 200 residents.

There actually was a small amount of gentrification in the Strip over the last decade. For example, this small stand of rowhouses (and the alley houses behind) was majority black/low income back in 2010, and is now totally flipped. Some of the 3100 block of Penn have been flipped as well. But in the grand scheme of things, it's small potatoes.

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Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
I'm not sure why there's so much NIMBYism against what's happening in the Strip. Can anyone confirm if NIMBYism is this bad in every city or just Pittsburgh?
As I've noted elsewhere, I think a large portion of NIMBYism being driven by people who are retired or near retirement suggests that a significant portion of it is simply old people hate change and just want things to remain like they remember them to be.


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I agree that the Strip District developing is probably the safest place for all of this stuff to be going in the city, as it really doesn't displace residents. The reason for the word "gentrification" being tossed around though is that it has the potential to price out all of the historic independent businesses along Penn Ave that make the neighborhood what it is. It may not be happening yet, but eventually it will drive the prices up like crazy if we aren't careful. I already know one historic store that is going to have to move or close because they can't afford the rent any more. Businesses can be gentrified too, and if the Strip gets sterilized, it would be one of biggest losses to ever happen to this city. I'd probably say it's the #1 most unique thing we have going for us. What peer cities have anything even close? I come up short.
I think it's important to remember that the Strip District has gone through several phases in its history. It was originally a sort of shantytown suburb of the "real city" of Downtown. Later it developed into a dense mixed-used neighborhood with a mixture of rowhouses, small shops, and mills along the river. It only really became a wholesale nexus in the early 20th century, when the removal of railroad tracks from Liberty Avenue meant that freight couldn't get into town as easily. The wholesale business peaked in the 1950s, but it was in steep decline by the 1970s - which is why the remaining wholesalers turned to opening retail stores to attract new customers.

My point here is the "old Strip" as we understand it really only existed for 30-40 years or so. I don't see any particular reason why we have to work to freeze that particular moment in time as being the "authentic Strip District" when so many earlier Strip Districts have vanished already.

I am very, very happy that Peduto's proposal to give historic protection to the heart of the Strip's commercial row failed, because that would have just protected the shoddily-made one-story buildings, and done nothing about the business mix.

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I'm not against the Strip building out like this, but I think the city needs to have some sort of plan to protect long time businesses – either rent freezes or some other kind of mechanism. We would be wise to start on that now and get ahead of it.
Does anywhere other than San Franscisco have commercial rent control?
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  #3036  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2019, 9:33 PM
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Originally Posted by SteelCityRising View Post
I'm not sure why there's so much NIMBYism against what's happening in the Strip. Can anyone confirm if NIMBYism is this bad in every city or just Pittsburgh?
"NIMBYism" is a large category. I like to look at it more granularly.

In this case we're talking about an anti-gentrification agenda. I would contrast this to agendas against other developments such as new schools or fracing sites. There are common traits but gentrification is a heavily loaded topic that has it's own specific type of NIMBYism.

Unfortunately, I think we're in store for a lot more of it. American politics is very polarized and I think views on gentrification are becoming a litmus test for one side of the political spectrum. In the same way that american conservatism has locked onto climate change denial in a seemingly unreasonable way, it seems that american liberalism has locked onto changing neighborhood wealth in as similarly prejudged way.

Perhaps that's venturing too far down a political rabbit hole though. My overall point is that few people hear the word gentrification and continue listening with an open mind. Instead there is a knee jerk reaction one way or the other. Basically, what political camp do you align with.

Granted, that's a simplification but it does seem overly linked to party affiliation now.
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  #3037  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2019, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by pj3000 View Post
Not that I want to see the Strip become home to chain stores and see longtime businesses displaced, but other than the fact that the produce terminal building is still intact at its full length, what is so unique about the Strip District?



Commercial rent control... in Pittsburgh... yeah, that'll happen.

Yeah, I realize it's a bit of a pipe dream, but it'd be great to see Pittsburgh get ahead of the curve in some way. If not rent control, there are a lot of other ways to assist and accomplish similar things. Tax breaks? Grants for upgrading storefronts or improving aging buildings for legacy businesses?
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  #3038  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2019, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I think it's important to remember that the Strip District has gone through several phases in its history. It was originally a sort of shantytown suburb of the "real city" of Downtown. Later it developed into a dense mixed-used neighborhood with a mixture of rowhouses, small shops, and mills along the river. It only really became a wholesale nexus in the early 20th century, when the removal of railroad tracks from Liberty Avenue meant that freight couldn't get into town as easily. The wholesale business peaked in the 1950s, but it was in steep decline by the 1970s - which is why the remaining wholesalers turned to opening retail stores to attract new customers.

My point here is the "old Strip" as we understand it really only existed for 30-40 years or so. I don't see any particular reason why we have to work to freeze that particular moment in time as being the "authentic Strip District" when so many earlier Strip Districts have vanished already.
Because it's unique. It's an amazing mix of places like Penn Mac (1902) next to some of the best new restaurants in the city – coexisting. You can find almost anything from around the world that you're looking for in the markets down there. I understand it's always been an evolving place, but we've also never seen such a massive injection of capital into the neighborhood. It's a bit of uncharted territory for Pittsburgh. There are going to be major shifts this time that the Strip has not dealt with in the past.
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  #3039  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2019, 12:10 PM
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I would like to add one point to the Strip District gentrification discussion. It's important to note that many of the core businesses that think of as the heart of the Penn Ave commercial corridor, Penn Mac, Stambolis, Sunseri, Parma, Deluca's, etc. all own their own properties. You can't forcibly displace a business from land/buildings that they own. And no, property taxes are not a possible mechanism for this either because A. We reassess maybe once a decade so you should have lots of time to prepare and B. they are businesses which should always be doing basic cost accounting to build in their expenses into the price of their products. This should definitely be taken into account when thinking about possible displacement in the commercial heart of the Strip.
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  #3040  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2019, 1:06 PM
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I would like to add one point to the Strip District gentrification discussion. It's important to note that many of the core businesses that think of as the heart of the Penn Ave commercial corridor, Penn Mac, Stambolis, Sunseri, Parma, Deluca's, etc. all own their own properties.
Glad to hear this! I knew a couple were owned. It sounded like a bit more of a mixed bag than that from a previous conversation I had.
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