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  #961  
Old Posted May 18, 2018, 2:35 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Protohaven, the successor to TechShop, has gotten a grant which will allow it to expand its space:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201805170194

I believe that means they will now occupy this entire building:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pr...!4d-79.8902339

http://www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/R...75L00268000000
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  #962  
Old Posted May 19, 2018, 11:10 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Speaking of the basics of supply and demand--home sales volumes are up, inventory is down, and therefore there are bidding wars and prices are spiking up:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201805180124

Quote:
With an increasing number of homes selling at higher average prices and more buyers trying to outbid each other for the hottest properties, Pittsburgh’s housing market is more competitive than it has been in decades, according to a report by West Penn Multi-List. “The appreciation in home sales we are experiencing in our region is unprecedented,” said George Hackett, president of West Penn Multi-List and president of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services in Pittsburgh. . . .

Mr. Hacket said low inventory, low interest rates and increased demand for housing in a hot real estate market has created an environment where bidding wars have often become the rule rather than the exception. The average sales price for homes in the 17-county region is up 8.77 percent to $183,761 in the first four months of this year compared to an average sales price of $168,947 for the same time frame in 2017. The volume of closed sales also has increased by 9.55 percent to $1.4 billion so far this year, up from $1.3 billion the first four months of 2017. On the other hand, the number of homes listed for sale has fallen 7.74 percent from 13,390 in 2017 to 12,354 units from January through April this year.
Historically we've had a pretty active flipper industry which has helped increase supply in response to such trends (at least in areas like the East End, where I have heard the same thing anecdotally about not enough houses for the number of buyers). But I wonder if that industry is starting to get overwhelmed by these trends.

Of course fundamentally we still have plenty of areas where flipping and infill could provide a lot of housing, but unlocking all that would require expanding the map again--we need more East Liberties and such.
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  #963  
Old Posted May 19, 2018, 11:36 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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The renovation of the Frank & Seder building, to be known as The Icon on Smithfield, is actually out for bid:

https://buildingpittsburgh.com/2018/...le-disruption/

Quote:
Another of Downtown Pittsburgh’s large adaptive re-use projects is out to bid. Arbor Construction – the construction management arm of Stark Enterprises – is taking bids on renovations to the former 441 Smithfield Street office building, now branded as Icon on Smithfield. The 220,000 square foot building was originally a department store that Stark Enterprises is proposing to adapt to apartments on the upper floors with about 60,000 square feet of retail/dining on the first two floors.
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  #964  
Old Posted May 19, 2018, 12:03 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Random factoids. According to data available here, 22.4% of CMU grads end up in the Pittsburgh Metro Area:

http://www.wsj.com/graphics/where-gr...after-college/

But according to data here, only 12% are from Pennsylvania (let alone specifically Pittsburgh):

https://www.cmu.edu/ira/CDS/pdf/cds_...-2016-2017.pdf

The nature of universities is that people come and people go, but at least in the case of CMU, it looks like the net effect these days is brain gain (not the dreaded brain drain).
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  #965  
Old Posted May 20, 2018, 12:27 AM
mhays mhays is online now
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I imagine that's fairly typical. It would balance with people who leave the city to go to school...anyone who doesn't come back is a net loss. That said, Pittsburgh's revival/tech story is getting out widely...lagging the actual trend of course.

Regarding that renovation for a second I thought you mean the general contractor role was being bid. That would be a horrible way to do a renovation, which is impossible to predict accurately enough, so any hard number would be padded. I assume it's subcontracts that are bid, with the in-house CM serving as general contractor.
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  #966  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 3:19 PM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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Behind a paywall, but Burns Scalo reported that financing has been secured for the new Rivera building, and construction began this Monday. The project is also being built on spec, meaning no leases have yet been signed.
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  #967  
Old Posted May 22, 2018, 4:31 PM
themaguffin themaguffin is offline
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Behind a paywall, but Burns Scalo reported that financing has been secured for the new Rivera building, and construction began this Monday. The project is also being built on spec, meaning no leases have yet been signed.

They say in it

"This is going to be a wow building. This is not a budget building."
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  #968  
Old Posted May 23, 2018, 4:28 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is online now
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Happy to see this in a great space on a prominent East Liberty corner.

Should be a big improvement over the confused and terribly-flawed Livermore.

Siren's call: New beer hall and bistro Lorelei to open in East Liberty

http://www.post-gazette.com/life/din...s/201805230138



Quote:
The co-owners (along with Pete’s brother Matt) of nationally recognized modern tiki bar Hidden Harbor and craft beer destination the Independent Brewing Co., both in Squirrel Hill, will open Lorelei, a combination beer hall and bistro at 124 S. Highland Ave. in East Liberty in the Werner Building, most recently the home to cocktail bar The Livermore and before that the art and music space The Waffle Shop.

They’ll pull from German and Czech influences in the rear beer hall, French and Belgian in the front-room bistro.

Beers will predictably have a heavy German and Czech lean, but also feature local products in those styles.

Cocktails will incorporate northern European spirits and liqueurs and Mr. Henry said, “We’ll put enormous care into the cocktails, but it’ll be subtle and not showy — more understated.”

Chef Jamilka Borges, who recently revamped the menus at Hidden Harbor and Independent, will work with new team addition Dianne DeStefano, late of the nearby Twisted Frenchman. The two previously worked together at Bar Marco in the Strip District.

The appearance of the spot won’t change much.

“We were dealt a very fortunate hand with a beautiful space with high ceilings, tall windows and stained glass, so there wasn’t a lot of significant work that needed to be done,” Mr. Henry said.

The beer hall will feature custom, communal maple tables from Bones and All in Homewood and incorporate some eclectic Germanic design elements.

“I expect people will walk in there and it will feel like a beer hall without the trappings of a traditional one,” Mr. Henry said.
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  #969  
Old Posted May 24, 2018, 1:36 PM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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So, the 2017 city population estimates came out. Pittsburgh lost again - by quite a good deal. But I am unsure about the accuracy of the numbers.

For Pittsburgh the 2017 estimate is 302,407. This is a decline of 3,297 from 2017, and 2,610 from 2016.

However, The Census also upgraded the 2016 estimate from 303,625 to 305,017, meaning it now believes it undercounted by 1,392 back in 2016 - and the city grew slightly in population that year (up 564).

Thus, I don't really know what to think about the 2017 estimate, as the 2016 estimate was apparently pretty off. It very well may be that come 2018 the 2017 estimate is altered yet again.

I do have to say the little bit I've looked at the (old) 2016 estimates at the census tract level, they were garbage. Like, population growth in the Hill District, and 20% declines in Oakland. Which means I'm taking all of this with a grain of salt until 2021.

Edit: I realized the reason for the relatively large population decline: the SCI prison closing on the North Side. The number of inmates was 1,931 in 2016, and now it's zero. That alone accounts for the great bulk of the posted decline.

Last edited by eschaton; May 24, 2018 at 7:22 PM.
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  #970  
Old Posted May 24, 2018, 8:06 PM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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New Planning Commission presentation up. A pretty full slate compared to recent weeks, with five new projects:

1. An exterior renovation of Two PNC Plaza. The plan appears to focus on modernizing the main lobby and vestibule. The new front entrance on Liberty will look significantly less tacked on. Rather than have the revolving doors recessed, the plan bumps out the entrance a bit closer to the sidewalk, and adds a large metal rain shelter. It also seems better from the standpoint of handicapped accessibility. A minor step up, but nice nonetheless.

2. A nine-story office building on Penn Avenue at Bakery Square. This of course follows the rejection of the plan by the zoning board last month, meaning it's quite likely this is vaporware, but it seems Walnut Capital thought a change of venue might help is case. Regardless, at least it means we get more insight into what Walnut Capital was planning here. The design is very different from the other new-construction office building at Bakery Square, with little brick on the front facade and lots of curtain wall glass, which I was not expecting.

3. The proposed six-story garage on Dahlem Place is listed as a separate item from the Bakery Square 3.0 office building, and also covered in detail.

4. A new CMU building at 4265 Forbes Avenue - which seems to be the new project where the Tata building was originally supposed to go. The good news is they upgraded the size - it's now up to five stories and 90,000 square feet - almost twice the size originally proposed. The design for TCS Hall is now much, much blander, very much generic modernism with some odd-angled walls, rather than having the pseudo-organic termite mound vibe. It's still tan. It also looks like they eventually plan on knocking down the GATF building next door and building something of similar design but a few stories taller.

5. Exterior renovations to 401 Wood Street - the Arrott Building. This is a Desmone project, with the building intended to be a hotel (something I think I read about on this forum recently). Looks nice, but the building is almost intact, so besides cleaning it and fixing the first-story facade there isn't that much to do.

There was supposed to be a ZBA hearing today, but the agenda was never posted. Dunno if it was canceled or just someone took a ganja break instead of uploading it.
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  #971  
Old Posted May 24, 2018, 10:47 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
So, the 2017 city population estimates came out. Pittsburgh lost again - by quite a good deal. But I am unsure about the accuracy of the numbers.
One thing I know is the estimates use permit data, and last time we looked it was clear the permit data was incomplete.

So at this level (a little plus or minus), I am not sure they are all that reliable.
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  #972  
Old Posted May 24, 2018, 10:55 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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They should pass an ordinance banning all further use of "CMU-blend brick" as a public nuisance.
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  #973  
Old Posted May 24, 2018, 10:59 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is online now
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For your viewing displeasure... the "new and improved" design for the CMU Tata Consultancy Services building to be built on Forbes.











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  #974  
Old Posted May 24, 2018, 11:06 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is online now
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"Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is just too cool and renown for us... let's go with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson instead. They'll do something to match the rest of the crap on our campus."


Tata should request its $35M back.
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  #975  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 12:59 AM
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Urbana Urbana is online now
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Wow, that is demoralizing. The old Tata proposal was one of the best new designs I have seen since I started following Pittsburgh development.
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  #976  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 6:52 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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The Wilkinsburg Historic District has been added to the National Register as of May 14. It is quite a large district--there is a map in this article:

http://phlf.org/wp-content/uploads/2...l_2017_web.pdf

Also some information and cool photos here:

https://gaiconsultants.com/preservat...ture-part-iii/

The main practical effect is projects for contributing buildings are now eligible for historic tax credits.
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  #977  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 12:18 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Liberty Green, a strategically located new green space/park, is going to get started this summer:

https://www.nextpittsburgh.com/city-...re-in-larmier/



Quote:
Liberty Green, a 3.25-acre site on the corner of Larimer Avenue and Station Street, will feature a playground, community plaza, open lawn, picnic areas, public art and infrastructure that will annually redirect 4 million gallons of stormwater. The park will be surrounded by new mixed-income apartments. . . .

The project will go out to bid this summer and construction is expected to take nine to 12 months, said Gigi Saladna, chief communications officer for the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Pittsburgh. The URA committed local funds to match a $1 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program state grant to help pay for Liberty Green.

Because it lies in the Negley Run Sewershed, the city’s largest contributor to combined sewer overflow, an essential element of the park will be The Well: River Roots Community Arts Project. Artist Alisha Wormsley will integrate stormwater infrastructure — including six bio-retention basins, a water pump, rill system and an underground cistern that will irrigate the land during dry spells — with water creatures, a sound sculpture and engraved stone seating. (Wormsley’s multimedia art project titled There Are Black People in the Future recently drew attention when a billboard bearing the phrase was taken down, provoking public outcry.)
Here is the location:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/La...!4d-79.9196842

I note the church is right across from the space, and it sure would be nice if that could be turned into some sort of community asset.
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  #978  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 1:18 PM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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Not sure what the hell happened with the scheduled ZBA hearing yesterday, but the city jumped ahead two whole hearings and posted the 6/14 agenda. The new Desmone project in the Strip is listed, but it's continued fro an earlier hearing. New items are pretty small. These include a request to demolish a house in the Mexican War Streets expansion zone (which looks to be in good condition and occupied) an infill house in the South Side, and an appeal for new electronic signs at the Pittsburgh Symphony.
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  #979  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 1:23 PM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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Originally Posted by pj3000 View Post
For your viewing displeasure... the "new and improved" design for the CMU Tata Consultancy Services building to be built on Forbes.

I love how they couldn't even be bothered to edit out the construction equipment still working on Tepper Quad.
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  #980  
Old Posted May 25, 2018, 1:32 PM
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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.
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