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  #941  
Old Posted May 15, 2018, 2:26 PM
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Amazon appears to find Strip District appealing

Not surprisingly, a lot of negative comments...
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  #942  
Old Posted May 15, 2018, 2:58 PM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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Originally Posted by Steel City Scotty View Post
I wouldn't think there would be enough land in the Strip for HQ2, unless Amazon buys out Buncher's properties in the lower strip. This is of course possible, but IIRC Buncher was totally uninvolved with the HQ2 bid despite having a good array of available property.

Given the sniping that has been happening recently between Amazon and Seattle, I would say Pittsburgh's star has risen a bit. I think Amazon is looking towards a smaller city than Seattle, where it will be economically dominant enough to create a "company town" dynamic and get what it wants out of local government. This is a dubious boon for Pittsburgh, but it's the one major advantage we might have over say Philly, which shares the same basic pluses otherwise.
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  #943  
Old Posted May 15, 2018, 3:55 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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As I suggested before, you could ultimately cobble together a lot of square footage by combining these three areas:



That's particularly true if you were willing to do significant highrises in some of those locations.
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  #944  
Old Posted May 15, 2018, 4:20 PM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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As I suggested before, you could ultimately cobble together a lot of square footage by combining these three areas:



That's particularly true if you were willing to do significant highrises in some of those locations.
I can totally buy having a campus extend from the Lower Strip to Schweitzer Loch. It helps that Buncher owns the land on both sides of the bridge, and the 16th Street Bridge isn't terrible from a pedestrian standpoint. Plus there are (or soon will be) hundreds of apartment units within a few block radius of both sites.

Integrating the Lower Hill into this would be harder, IMHO. Even post deck-park, it's going to be pretty circuitous to walk from there to the Strip due to topography and 579. I also anticipate there would be a lot of community opposition to Amazon filling up the Lower Hill, because the gentrification of the Hill District would become a certainty. Of course the hundreds of affordable units would be protected for decades to come, but everything else would not.
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  #945  
Old Posted May 15, 2018, 4:22 PM
mikebarbaro mikebarbaro is offline
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Originally Posted by Steel City Scotty View Post
Amazon appears to find Strip District appealing

Not surprisingly, a lot of negative comments...
It's really depressing to read those comments. I always try to refrain from reading them because they are mostly just trolls. The one does have a point regarding the large amount of Pittsburghers who just seem to not want growth. I wish those people would move to smaller surrounding towns and let Pittsburgh be the large city it is meant to be.

Also, why are people so hung up on the traffic issue? With the growth, population and economic benefits Amazon would bring it would help in being able to improve upon our current systems. Without this growth how will we ever afford to implement the needed and expensive transit improvements?
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  #946  
Old Posted May 15, 2018, 4:58 PM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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Also, why are people so hung up on the traffic issue? With the growth, population and economic benefits Amazon would bring it would help in being able to improve upon our current systems. Without this growth how will we ever afford to implement the needed and expensive transit improvements?
Because these people feel like they got theirs already. Amazon won't improve things for them, only make things worse. They won't get Amazon jobs, but they will have to live in a city which is larger, more expensive, and more congested.

Of course, this ignores that the additional Amazon jobs will probably put upward pressure on all wages (until our labor force expands enough through migration) and that anyone who is a homeowner looking to sell will do quite well for themselves. But more fundamentally, it shows why NIMBYism happens. Current residents virtually never see growth as being in their interests, even if it's in the interests of the metro as a whole.
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  #947  
Old Posted May 15, 2018, 5:28 PM
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I can totally buy having a campus extend from the Lower Strip to Schweitzer Loch. It helps that Buncher owns the land on both sides of the bridge, and the 16th Street Bridge isn't terrible from a pedestrian standpoint. Plus there are (or soon will be) hundreds of apartment units within a few block radius of both sites.

Integrating the Lower Hill into this would be harder, IMHO. Even post deck-park, it's going to be pretty circuitous to walk from there to the Strip due to topography and 579. I also anticipate there would be a lot of community opposition to Amazon filling up the Lower Hill, because the gentrification of the Hill District would become a certainty. Of course the hundreds of affordable units would be protected for decades to come, but everything else would not.
Strangely enough, I have an idea in mind for how you could tie together the Lower Hill, Strip, and Schweitzer Loch, with possibly further connections into the North Side, Oakland, and so on . . . .

The portions of the Lower Hill site closest to Downtown were always supposed to be office highrises. Would Amazon necessarily be worse than most tenants, or would they just accelerate the ultimate end state?
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  #948  
Old Posted May 15, 2018, 5:42 PM
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Strangely enough, I have an idea in mind for how you could tie together the Lower Hill, Strip, and Schweitzer Loch, with possibly further connections into the North Side, Oakland, and so on . . . .
Gondolas right? Hell, maybe we could have one go from the Hill District to the Pennsylvanian as well, giving the East Busway some functionality for people in the Lower Hill.

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The portions of the Lower Hill site closest to Downtown were always supposed to be office highrises. Would Amazon necessarily be worse than most tenants, or would they just accelerate the ultimate end state?
Yeah, that's why I said fill up. I don't think 1-2 towers right by the future deck park will be that damaging to the existing neighborhood, as it would function more like an extension of downtown than anything. But if it became Amazon-land in toto it would undoubtedly be bad for existing residents.

Last edited by eschaton; May 15, 2018 at 6:49 PM.
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  #949  
Old Posted May 15, 2018, 6:17 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Gondolas right? Hell, maybe we could have one go from the Hill District to the Pennsylvanian as well, giving the East Busway some functionality for people in the Lower Hill.
Yep, that could all be one line connecting Oakland, the Hill (Upper and Lower), Penn Station, the near-Strip, and the North Side.

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Yeah, that's why I said fill up. I don't think 1-2 towers right by the future reck park will be that damaging to the existing neighborhood, as it would function more like an extension of downtown than anything. But if it became Amazon-land in toto it would undoubtedly be bad for existing residents.
Agreed. It never made sense to me to try to pack all of the Amazon HQ in there, but if they wanted a couple tall towers right next to Downtown, that could make sense.
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  #950  
Old Posted May 16, 2018, 1:41 AM
joe brody joe brody is offline
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Just give Amazon the air space over the convention center -- or give Amazon the Convention Center outright. When is the debt paid off?

. . . or put up a long, high, thin tower up over the train tracks along Liberty Avenue. Putting a tower up over railroad tracks worked in Philadelphia and New York, right?

As for the other lots in the Strip, I can't imagine Amazon putting any building hard up on 579 -- though I'm sure they'd grab everything in sight along the river for low-rise.
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  #951  
Old Posted May 16, 2018, 2:37 AM
Minivan Werner Minivan Werner is online now
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How large is Amazon’s site in Seattle? In both height and acreage.
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  #952  
Old Posted May 16, 2018, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Minivan Werner View Post
How large is Amazon’s site in Seattle? In both height and acreage.
So I believe the two tallest buildings on their Seattle campus are just over 520 feet, and 37 stories each.

My understanding is they started with about 4.5 blocks in the South Lake Union campus, and in the current phase are adding another 5 so far in the Denny Triangle campus, with plans for more. I think the blocks in question are 240 x 320, so the current 9.5 blocks (if that is right) is about 730,000 sqft, or almost 17 acres, with more to come.
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  #953  
Old Posted May 16, 2018, 11:35 AM
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In honor of Mayor Fetterman winning the Democratic primary for Lt. Governor, here is an article on all the exciting things going on in Braddock (along with neighboring North Braddock, Rankin, and Swissvale):

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201804090128

There is a lot of interesting stuff in there. Just to pick out one section:

Quote:
What’s next? Gregg Kander, a corporate and property attorney from Squirrel Hill, has big plans. He invested in Superior Motors when it ran into financial problems before opening and he is honoring his late wife’s passion for nonprofits by working on other projects in Braddock.

One involves remodeling the former Ohringer’s furniture store building at Seventh Street and Braddock Avenue — what Mr. Kander calls “the Empire State Bulding of Braddock” — into housing for 35 artists. Down the street at the former Levitt furniture store, he’s raising money to create studio space and programs for the artists.

“We need to create a village first,” Mr. Kander said. “I think artists will lead the way.”
This is the Ohringer's building, which could be pretty cool with a nice renovation:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/64...!4d-79.8676745



It was built in 1929 (relatively late for downtown Braddock), hence the Art Deco vibe.

Generally the Carrie Furnace site has the most potential to be transformative economically for the whole area. But Braddock coming along may also help make that happen--note Amazon toured the site, and while it is probably a bit early yet for that, eventually other such employers could build out that site.

Last edited by BrianTH; May 16, 2018 at 12:31 PM.
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  #954  
Old Posted May 16, 2018, 12:36 PM
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The Planning Commission sorta approved the Penn Plaza project, but with the condition the height be greatly reduced, despite zoning allowing it to be higher:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201805150152

That sucks.

Opponents apparently want to stop any project and have the City use eminent domain to take the land back to build affordable housing.

That's almost certainly illegal, and if that is how it gets played it is likely to remain undeveloped for a long time, which benefits no one.
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  #955  
Old Posted May 16, 2018, 2:01 PM
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Because these people feel like they got theirs already. Amazon won't improve things for them, only make things worse. They won't get Amazon jobs, but they will have to live in a city which is larger, more expensive, and more congested.

Of course, this ignores that the additional Amazon jobs will probably put upward pressure on all wages (until our labor force expands enough through migration) and that anyone who is a homeowner looking to sell will do quite well for themselves. But more fundamentally, it shows why NIMBYism happens. Current residents virtually never see growth as being in their interests, even if it's in the interests of the metro as a whole.
Well said
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  #956  
Old Posted May 16, 2018, 8:20 PM
mikebarbaro mikebarbaro is offline
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Because these people feel like they got theirs already. Amazon won't improve things for them, only make things worse. They won't get Amazon jobs, but they will have to live in a city which is larger, more expensive, and more congested.

Of course, this ignores that the additional Amazon jobs will probably put upward pressure on all wages (until our labor force expands enough through migration) and that anyone who is a homeowner looking to sell will do quite well for themselves. But more fundamentally, it shows why NIMBYism happens. Current residents virtually never see growth as being in their interests, even if it's in the interests of the metro as a whole.
Yes very well said. I myself wouldn't mind paying more to live in an improved, larger city. But I know the vast majority sees otherwise. I just think that overall growth and improvement for the metro trickles down to everyone who lives here overall in some way or another.
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  #957  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 1:37 AM
WillyC WillyC is offline
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Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
The Planning Commission sorta approved the Penn Plaza project, but with the condition the height be greatly reduced, despite zoning allowing it to be higher:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201805150152

That sucks.

Opponents apparently want to stop any project and have the City use eminent domain to take the land back to build affordable housing.

That's almost certainly illegal, and if that is how it gets played it is likely to remain undeveloped for a long time, which benefits no one.
Living just a few blocks away, I was so frustrated with how this project has gone. That said, I'm happy now. I'm happy that nothing is going to happen with that site. All the "activists" got their scalp, but at what cost? Where there was originally going to be housing and additional funding for affordable housing in the area, they are now going to get nothing. They deserve nothing. They've turned East Liberty into a joke. During lunch a few days ago I got to hear some of the Walnut guys a few tables over have a good laugh at how stupid and ignorant these "activists" are. They are ecstatic at how things turned out, less competition to pressure rent rates in one of their most prime areas. I'm sure they are doing cartwheels now because I'm sure they are thinking along the same lines as the rest of us, the idea that the site could provide any competition is now dead and buried probably for years.
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  #958  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 4:36 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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I'll say I understand their concerns. But that makes it all the more frustrating their tactics are actually making things worse.
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  #959  
Old Posted May 17, 2018, 5:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
In honor of Mayor Fetterman winning the Democratic primary for Lt. Governor, here is an article on all the exciting things going on in Braddock (along with neighboring North Braddock, Rankin, and Swissvale)...
The Ohringer Building is beautiful. In fact, many of the existing buildings along Braddock Ave, though in shambles, have great architectural merit.

From the article -

Quote:
“I think there are a lot of positive things happening,” said Barry Kukovich, director of community affairs for Peoples Natural Gas Co. “The attitude is changing, largely because of millennials who don’t remember what it was like before, so they aren’t afraid to go there.
I think that is an interesting point and there is truth to it. Collective memories and personal experiences can play a big role in helping or hindering development.
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  #960  
Old Posted May 18, 2018, 1:50 AM
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The Irony is stunning.

Activists who want affordable housing may have just killed a project that, by either adding housing supply directly or contributing to an affordable housing trust that would eventually add supply to the market, would have helped made housing in East Liberty more affordable. Amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
The Planning Commission sorta approved the Penn Plaza project, but with the condition the height be greatly reduced, despite zoning allowing it to be higher:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201805150152

That sucks.

Opponents apparently want to stop any project and have the City use eminent domain to take the land back to build affordable housing.

That's almost certainly illegal, and if that is how it gets played it is likely to remain undeveloped for a long time, which benefits no one.

Last edited by Wave; May 18, 2018 at 2:01 AM.
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