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  #19421  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2017, 2:03 PM
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photoLith photoLith is offline
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What a horrible thing to put st that site. That's basically the entrance to the Southside and I would imagine it's not going to look any better than that horrible rendering.
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  #19422  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2017, 2:27 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minivan Werner View Post
The new, straighter route that Bates Street takes seems unrealistic. It looks like it goes right through people's backyards as it terminates at BotA, practically skimming the housing structures themselves.
So when I zoom in on the proposal image and compare it to this satellite image of that area, I want to say they have pretty much tracked the line of backyards in that area, although I believe they are in fact intruding onto the land included in those last few parcels as shown in the second link:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pi...!4d-79.9958864

http://www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/R...28R00260000000

I don't know what land rights they have acquired yet, but that looks like a classic case for eminent domain if necessary.

Quote:
What's the cul-de-sac in the middle for?
I don't know, but my guess is that may be for parking the planned shuttles and PAT vehicles. That might explain the wider stretch in the middle, and what appears to be a large turnaround circle at the end.

Last edited by BrianTH; Aug 13, 2017 at 3:03 PM.
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  #19423  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2017, 3:45 PM
Minivan Werner Minivan Werner is offline
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That makes sense.
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  #19424  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2017, 10:55 AM
TBone7281 TBone7281 is offline
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Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
No, she lives by choice now with her parents, her two brothers, one of which has a wife and 6 kids who live in this house and her grandparents who live in the same house. It was horrifying. She didn't live with her parents and this hellish suburban compound until 6 months ago. I always knew she was obsessed with her family but since she's moved in with her entire extended family it's gotten to be insane. For freaking Valentines Day this year instead of me and her going on a date alone like normal people, she invited her parents and her brother with his six kids on our date without my consent.

I had to deal with a screaming new born and a screaming 2 year old and other kids for the past two and a half months and whilst living in the suburbs with nothing to do. I'm breaking up with her this week, sucks as I hate breaking up but we're just not compatible at all and I just want to bang hot Asian girls in Oakland now, like I used to a few years ago.
That does sound terrible, but being bored is more on you than your location. You can always find something to do or go somewhere else instead of moping around or staring at the wall.
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  #19425  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2017, 12:27 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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A few more details have come out regarding the BRT plan:

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/tra...s/201708140015

They lead in this article with the fact over 20% of the budget is for underlying improvements to Fifth and Forbes through Uptown--this isn't really news, but it is a useful reminder this truly is a multi-modal project, not just a bus-specific project.

This was also interesting:

Quote:
The budget calls for the purchase of 25 electric articulated buses for the system’s main core between Downtown and Oakland and one of its wings, the Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway to Wilkinsburg. Wings to Squirrel Hill and Highland Park will use 34 diesel buses that will be outfitted with the same color scheme as the electric vehicles. The authority already is scheduled to buy diesel buses and the budget calls for paying the difference between the diesel vehicles that cost $800,000 each and the electric buses, which are expected to cost more.
That's one of the reasons why the project doesn't cost that much as major transit projects go--it only requires paying for an upgrade to certain vehicles (although I'd like to see them use more electric vehicles in the future if these work out well). I know there is a lot of controversy over BRT versus LRT, but electrified BRT does have a lot of appeal for this (among other) reasons.

Finally, I'll just note that as a Wilkinsburg resident, I am quite intrigued about whether this might accelerate development activity around the Wilkinsburg bus station.
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  #19426  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2017, 10:31 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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The former Johnston Elementary School in Wilkinsburg is getting a new life as the combined HQ of an extreme pogo company and for-profit community-oriented co-working space (and I promise I will stop noting this soon, but this is yet another in a series of recent great "living-the-Millenial-dream" articles I have seen):

http://www.nextpittsburgh.com/city-d...mmunity-forge/

Quote:
Ryan, a Carnegie Mellon grad, is the CEO and co-founder of Xpogo. (If you’re not familiar with them, it’s exactly what you’re thinking: an extreme pogo-sticking company.) Formerly based in New York, he was originally looking for a headquarters for his business when he came across the property. There was just one problem: it was too big; it needed something else.

That’s when Ryan’s real estate agent introduced him to a group of six local educators and Ph.D.s working together as Pittsburgh Learning Commons, who were also looking at the space. The two parties joined forces and harmonized their vision: Community Forge will provide community-oriented programming, business and co-working space and will also serve as a community events space. . . .

Ryan imagines a CMU tech startup that also teaches after-school STEM lessons, or a local real estate agent who offers evening classes on first-time home ownership. A large portion of the 20-plus classrooms will be offered at a discount for mission-driven small businesses looking to benefit the community. In addition to after-school programming, Community Forge also hopes to transform the former library into a theater/arts space and fix up the playgrounds adjacent for basketball and pogoing. They plan to tailor their vision as time progresses with input from the community.
As noted in the article, because this group is for-profit, the building is going back on the tax rolls.

The building is a fairly typical cool old school building, with a prominent location as it is on the path into Downtown Wilkinsburg from the highway:

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.4376...7i13312!8i6656

Last edited by BrianTH; Aug 15, 2017 at 8:06 PM.
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  #19427  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2017, 8:21 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Activists are pushing the URA to develop affordable housing in the Lexington Technology Park site, which is right next to Homewood Station on the East Busway:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201708150037

My two cents is this is a very good idea. I wouldn't want to do all affordable housing, because I think there is good evidence mixed-income works out better in the long run. I also would want this to be additive, meaning developers would be given zoning and other permissions to do more units in exchange for making some units affordable. But with those caveats, I think this would be a good place for such a project.
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  #19428  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2017, 2:46 PM
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The developers of the former Saks site are adding 17 more condos and 2 floors to their plan, with a goal of starting construction on that phase as soon as the garage is done in October:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business...s/201708160078

Quote:
Millcraft Investments and McKnight Realty Partners now are planning to build 87 condos in the second phase of the Smithfield Street development. That’s 17 more than was first envisioned when they ditched plans in the spring to build a 174-room Moxy Hotel and 56 loft apartments in favor of condos. The for-sale housing will be built above a 582-space parking garage and about 25,000 square feet of retail space scheduled to be completed by the end of October. Work on the second phase is expected to start as soon as the garage is finished. . . .

The increase in the number of units will add two floors to the second phase, making it nine stories. That’s on top of the seven-story garage. Among the condos, at least 15 percent are being classified as “workforce units” — with prices below the mid-$200,000 range. Mr. Piatt said the goal is to price the housing at a rate competitive, if not cheaper, than the cost of renting an apartment Downtown. Overall, the average price of the condos will run in the $440,000 to $450,000 range. There also will be two floors of larger higher-end units that can be customized by the buyer. . . .

Among the amenities will be operable windows in the units as well as a rooftop deck with entertainment and dog walking areas, a fire pit and kitchen. Buyers also will have the option of opening up their facades, with appropriate barriers, similar to the way restaurants use folding glass doors to provide open air space for customers.
16 floors total is not bad at all. This is one version (possibly out of date now) of what it looked like with 7 upper floors, so you can somewhat imagine how 9 would look:



There was also a little news about their retail plans:

Quote:
On the retail side, Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse, will open in its 11,000-square-foot street level space in February. The developers are looking for a grocer or music venue to fill the other 13,000-square-foot space. Mr. Piatt feels the latter would add to the vibrancy Downtown. “We feel this is a great opportunity for us to do that,” he said.
Everyone wants a Downtown grocery and this would be a good central location for it. But a music venue would be cool too.
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  #19429  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2017, 2:57 PM
Minivan Werner Minivan Werner is offline
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It also blocks off the ugliest side of the Park Building.
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  #19430  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2017, 8:13 PM
highlander206 highlander206 is offline
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Pretty cool news to hear for the former Saks site, it will be nice for Mellon Square to have a more closed off feel from an additional high rise as well. With two additional floors, that should end up being just as if not slightly taller than the Park Building then. I was partially concerned with how long it would take them to start phase 2, but it sounds like those concerns can be put to rest as well.

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Originally Posted by Minivan Werner View Post
It also blocks off the ugliest side of the Park Building.
How did such an old and historic building get a side of it to look so hideous?
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  #19431  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2017, 8:23 PM
wpipkins2 wpipkins2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highlander206 View Post
Pretty cool news to hear for the former Saks site, it will be nice for Mellon Square to have a more closed off feel from an additional high rise as well. With two additional floors, that should end up being just as if not slightly taller than the Park Building then. I was partially concerned with how long it would take them to start phase 2, but it sounds like those concerns can be put to rest as well.



How did such an old and historic building get a side of it to look so hideous?
1960s modernization plus there was a sizable building next door before Saks. It was either the original city hall or a post office??
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  #19432  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2017, 8:34 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Originally Posted by wpipkins2 View Post
1960s modernization plus there was a sizable building next door before Saks. It was either the original city hall or a post office??
Old City Hall:



It was built in 1872, then abandoned in 1917 when the City moved to the City-County Building.

And here is David Lawrence proudly whacking it with a sledgehammer in 1952:

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  #19433  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 12:29 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Pittsburgh has the best tippers in the country:

https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsbur...h-are-the.html

All the more reason to come and open a new restaurant here--happy, grateful customers.
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  #19434  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 12:39 AM
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Urbana Urbana is online now
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Here is what I believe to be a more up-to-date rendering of the Saks development showing the 9 floors.

Its a rather attractive design, I think.

In the nighttime rendering it sort of seems like the ground floor retail is a grocery store (I may just be seeing things). This would be a great spot for that sort of thing. The new Urban format Targets, for instance, seem to be gravitating toward similar mixed-use, new-construction building across the country.





http://millcraftideas.com/portfolio/350-oliver/
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  #19435  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 12:51 AM
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I just rode my bike past that and damn did they build that parking podium fast as hell. I could have sworn like 2 weeks ago it was still just dirt. Glad they're adding onto the height.
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  #19436  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 12:54 AM
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photoLith photoLith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
And here is David Lawrence proudly whacking it with a sledgehammer in 1952:

What a bunch of dick heads, wish I could go back in time and smack them across the face with that sledge hammer. I just will never understand how people back then cheered on the destruction of grand old buildings and then turned around and replaced them with garbage "architecture". Just look how happy those idiots look.
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  #19437  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 3:32 PM
wpipkins2 wpipkins2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photoLith View Post
What a bunch of dick heads, wish I could go back in time and smack them across the face with that sledge hammer. I just will never understand how people back then cheered on the destruction of grand old buildings and then turned around and replaced them with garbage "architecture". Just look how happy those idiots look.
If you look closely you can see the reflection of the new Alcoa Headquarters. This was an "amazing" time for Pittsburgh. Modernization was considered progress. Gateway Center, I 376 E, and Hill District slum removal was underway at this time.
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  #19438  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 6:38 PM
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An update on the work soon to begin on the Produce Terminal...

http://wesa.fm/post/end-beginning-de...minal#stream/0
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  #19439  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 6:42 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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Originally Posted by Steel City Scotty View Post
An update on the work soon to begin on the Produce Terminal...

http://wesa.fm/post/end-beginning-de...minal#stream/0
It is taking forever, but it is important to get this right (including how they redo Smallman).
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  #19440  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2017, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbana View Post
Here is what I believe to be a more up-to-date rendering of the Saks development showing the 9 floors.

Its a rather attractive design, I think.

In the nighttime rendering it sort of seems like the ground floor retail is a grocery store (I may just be seeing things). This would be a great spot for that sort of thing. The new Urban format Targets, for instance, seem to be gravitating toward similar mixed-use, new-construction building across the country.





http://millcraftideas.com/portfolio/350-oliver/

Looks like a modern version of Chatham Center in Uptown. I like this though. Should turn out nice.
Of course, the loss of that original Post Office building is heartbreaking. Second or perhaps tied with losing the Wabash Train Bldg.
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