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  #841  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2018, 6:16 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by Austinlee View Post
This sucks. Vivien Li was a serious talent. I wonder what went on behind the scenes?

https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsbur...o-resigns.html
Maybe with the development of the new riverfront zoning (which still needs to pass the city council, but is probably close to a done deal now with the developers onboard) she basically considers her job done?
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  #842  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2018, 6:57 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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Originally Posted by Austinlee View Post
This sucks. Vivien Li was a serious talent. I wonder what went on behind the scenes?

https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsbur...o-resigns.html
Well, the stated reasons are for family/friends' health concerns back in Boston, so I'll take that for truth.

Though I doubt that she ever looked at Pittsburgh as home, really, considering the Riverlife statement “We can all understand the pull of returning home, especially when there are loved ones in need,” said Margaret McCormick Barron, Riverlife board chair. “Boston is a special place for Vivien, and we were lucky that she shared her home with Pittsburgh for two and a half years. She has achieved remarkable success at Riverlife, including ushering forward long-awaited legislation to update Pittsburgh’s riverfront zoning, and we’re glad she is leaving on such a high note.”

Pure speculation, but if there is more to it... she probably looked at it as more of a project to undertake and then move on back to Boston in a relative short timeframe. I mean, she was with the same waterfront development organization in Boston for a quarter century... and probably thought the methods over that quarter century that she employed there would translate to the riverfronts here... which they might eventually, but it's going to occur over decades, not a few years, just like it took for Boston's waterfront to be revitalized.

She may be a serious talent, but it didn't seem to directly translate into visible results in the time she was at the helm in Pittsburgh. There's been lots of planning/zoning work and progress, (which is certainly important), but little meaningful action on the ground to carry out the Riverlife vision. Did the foundation funders get antsy not seeing significant ROI? Who knows?
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  #843  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2018, 7:59 PM
Bricktrimble Bricktrimble is offline
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Originally Posted by DKNewYork View Post
May I ask where you saw the redesigned TCS Hall design? Any pics or more description that you can offer? Thanks...
I heard that Bohlin Cywinski Jackson is now doing the design. Don't know much else at this point.
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  #844  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2018, 1:29 PM
DKNewYork DKNewYork is offline
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Originally Posted by Austinlee View Post
This sucks. Vivien Li was a serious talent. I wonder what went on behind the scenes?

https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsbur...o-resigns.html
Personal reasons. Some family members and close friends have become quite ill during the past year so she has returned to Boston. Apparently she's been returning to Boston every other weekend during much of her time here. Shame---landing her was quite an achievement for Riverlife.
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  #845  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2018, 4:24 AM
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I saw today that the Tata Consultancy Services building near the CMU campus is getting a redesign. It seems like it will be larger than the first version and a different architectural look, not sure how yet.
Where / what exactly did you see?

CMU's Ansys Hall, from Friday. First screen shot is 7:00AM. Second is 3:00PM. Foundation walls and piers look to be mostly done. Backfilling of the foundations is basically done now too.




Source: Oxblue
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  #846  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2018, 11:32 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is online now
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And now for something completely different--Carnegie Lake in Highland Park is on track to become an urban fishing lake, and Panther Hollow Lake may follow:

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/o...s/201804150070

Carnegie Lake is downhill from the reservoir, next to the swimming pool:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ca...!4d-79.9113992
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  #847  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2018, 10:32 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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Originally Posted by DKNewYork View Post
Personal reasons. Some family members and close friends have become quite ill during the past year so she has returned to Boston. Apparently she's been returning to Boston every other weekend during much of her time here. Shame---landing her was quite an achievement for Riverlife.
Yeah, tough position for her to be in, being far away from loved ones in need. Also, heard this weekend that Pittsburgh is just not quite... well, let's just say that it's just not quite Boston for her.
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  #848  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2018, 1:26 AM
highlander206 highlander206 is offline
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Yeah, tough position for her to be in, being far away from loved ones in need. Also, heard this weekend that Pittsburgh is just not quite... well, let's just say that it's just not quite Boston for her.
Pittsburgh didn't offer much that she enjoyed it sounds like? Along with the family issues which I can understand taking a toll if far away from them. Isn't she in her mid 60's as well? She may have figured too that retirement was coming up anyway as well.
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  #849  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2018, 2:07 AM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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Originally Posted by highlander206 View Post
Pittsburgh didn't offer much that she enjoyed it sounds like? Along with the family issues which I can understand taking a toll if far away from them. Isn't she in her mid 60's as well? She may have figured too that retirement was coming up anyway as well.
Well, I wouldn't quite put it that way... more along the lines of the fact that Pittsburgh can still be a very tough/uncomfortable place for racial/ethnic minorities. As an Asian-American woman in a position of authority in Pittsburgh, I can imagine that it was likely tough for her. This is a very unfortunate thing I hear about Pittsburgh too often from non-white people here.
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  #850  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2018, 9:38 AM
daviderik daviderik is offline
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Originally Posted by pj3000 View Post
Well, I wouldn't quite put it that way... more along the lines of the fact that Pittsburgh can still be a very tough/uncomfortable place for racial/ethnic minorities. As an Asian-American woman in a position of authority in Pittsburgh, I can imagine that it was likely tough for her. This is a very unfortunate thing I hear about Pittsburgh too often from non-white people here.
She's from Boston. And if you know anything about that city. She has seen it all.

Last edited by daviderik; Apr 16, 2018 at 12:27 PM.
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  #851  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2018, 3:53 PM
pj3000 pj3000 is offline
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She's from Boston. And if you know anything about that city. She has seen it all.
Yeah, I'm sure she has. But Boston is still a significantly more diverse place than Pittsburgh is, and more importantly, a significantly more attractive place to well-educated, non-whites... for many reasons. Pittsburgh has a long way to go in this area. It certainly has improved over the past decade, and a lot of great work is being done by the city/county/foundations/organizations to make the Pittsburgh area a more welcoming/diverse/economically-successful-in-the-21st-century-place, but it takes time.
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  #852  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2018, 4:39 PM
dfiler dfiler is offline
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Concrete pouring has begun on the Mon Warf switchback ramp!

Riverlife posted photos to facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/riverlifepg...56212650934909

"After a long winter, construction has resumed on our Mon Wharf Switchback project to connect the Smithfield Street Bridge to the Mon Wharf Landing. The first section of concrete for the ramp has been poured!

Additional concrete work will proceed dependent on the weather. Photo: Carol Galand; More info on the Mon Wharf Switchback project at riverlifepgh.org #riverlifepgh #pittsburgh"
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  #853  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2018, 4:42 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is online now
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Great to see the switchback making progress.
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  #854  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2018, 1:58 PM
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Nice article about Community Forge in Wilkinsburg, a shared space organization which is renovating a cool old school building:

https://www.nextpittsburgh.com/city-...munity-center/





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  #855  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2018, 2:10 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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The new LG Realty plan for the former Penn Plaza site continues to go over like a ton of bricks within East Liberty. I'm not sure they'll have the pull to stop it at this point, but this is a pretty good point:

Quote:
According to talking points distributed by the Penn Plaza Support & Action Coalition, “this plan will build hundreds of thousands of feet of retail and office space even though there are already many empty storefronts [and] offices in East Liberty. ... What the Affordable Housing Task Force appointed by the city says is needed is affordable housing; we are 17,000 units short.”
I think the office space would fill up relatively quickly. But I'm not sure on the retail at all. There's still substantial retail vacancy at Eastside Bond, the Walnut/Penn/Highland building, and East Liberty Place. And of course many of the historic storefronts are vacant (albeit in many cases due to asking for rents that are set too high rather than lack of demand). East Liberty's "downtown" needs more residents (of all income levels) in order to act as a customer pool. Offices might help a bit, but not to the same extent.
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  #856  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2018, 3:12 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is online now
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It looks to me like the plan is still to get a big retail outlet like Whole Foods (maybe still Whole Foods itself), so that isn't really the same market as the vacant spaces in East Liberty, and if anything would probably help encourage leasing of those smaller spaces.

Otherwise--there is no legal way to force the developers into turning this back into an affordable housing complex. A serious approach to housing affordability would view market-rate housing as the next best thing for overall housing affordability, but that approach has already been killed by public opposition.

So now it is office instead, which probably is the worst-case scenario for housing affordability since it will increase the demand for local housing without increasing the supply. But that's what happens when people ignore basic economics and oppose market-rate housing projects in the name of affordable housing.
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  #857  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2018, 4:11 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
It looks to me like the plan is still to get a big retail outlet like Whole Foods (maybe still Whole Foods itself), so that isn't really the same market as the vacant spaces in East Liberty, and if anything would probably help encourage leasing of those smaller spaces.
Presuming the post-Amazon Whole Foods doesn't want to move any longer, I think the area is groceried out. I mean, within a two-mile radius of Penn/Highland, you have Trader Joes, Whole Foods, two Aldis, Target (which has a full grocery section) the Bloomfield Shur-Save, the Lawrenceville Shop 'n Save, and three Giant Eagles (Market District, Shakespeare, and Squirrel Hill). That's actually more than the rest of the city put together.

What could be a large footprint retailer in this day and age? I know LG has played footsie with Wal-Mart in the past, but they aren't doing very well nowadays. Maybe a movie theater? Of course, that's a dying industry as well, but urban theaters should be okay in the medium-run. I'm honestly scratching my head.
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  #858  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2018, 4:35 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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So, just a quick eyeball report from being in Lawrenceville this weekend. A new building is going up in Upper Lawrenceville on Butler Street (here). I had heard nothing about it previously. It looks like for some reason they mistakenly filed for addition/alteration rather than new construction, but got approval back in February. It's a two-story mixed-use building - what uses I'm not sure. Steel is up already. I also noticed that construction has finally begun on the Morgan's BBQ in Central Lawrenceville, which had been held up due to NIMBY concerns for quite awhile.

Elsewhere, I took a few pictures of two infill houses going up on N Euclid in East Liberty. A guy grilling outside a house next door to one told me they are asking $650,000 for each. Not the best photos, but my four-year-old son was walking with me, and I couldn't spend much time on composition. Overall style seems very similar to the infill homes already on the block. The guy claimed they were being done by the same developer, though considering those houses were built back in 2011 it's a pretty big gap in development.





I also passed by an infill duplex which is going in on Callowhill Street in Highland Park. The formerly vacant lot is here. I couldn't get a good shot though - my kids complained when I wanted to detour down that block.
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  #859  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2018, 4:55 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is online now
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Presuming the post-Amazon Whole Foods doesn't want to move any longer . . .
Last I knew they weren't saying that exactly.
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  #860  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2018, 6:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Nice article about Community Forge in Wilkinsburg, a shared space organization which is renovating a cool old school building:

Bummer though that the atrium was closed off from the rest of the second floor (due to building codes, I assume).
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