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  #61  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2011, 4:57 PM
Captain Crash Captain Crash is offline
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Originally Posted by themaguffin View Post
It's not that unusual that a resort would get the highest rating, as some of the highest rated hotels in the world are resort hotels which focus even more on service and amenities than city hotels where guests presumably do many things outside of the hotel etc.
Simply saying that it's sort of funny that it's in Fayette County. That's all.
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  #62  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2011, 5:43 PM
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Simply saying that it's sort of funny that it's in Fayette County. That's all.
Fayette County has some of the most dramatic scenery in Metropolitan Pittsburgh.
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  #63  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2011, 6:11 PM
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Fayette County has some of the most dramatic scenery in Metropolitan Pittsburgh.
Agreed, I know it very well. I work as an outdoor guide part-time in that region. Thus how I knew exact overlooks on those mountains from which you can see the USX Tower like I mentioned in a recent post.
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  #64  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2011, 6:56 PM
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http://post-gazette.com/pg/11355/1198372-100.stm

Quote:
North Shore development site valued at $900,000-$2.6 million

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A parcel of land on the North Shore eyed by the Steelers and Pirates for retail development is worth between $900,000 to $2.6 million, according to an appraisal of the property.

The lower end value, as determined by Integra Realty Resources, is nearly double the $466,760 the teams would have had to pay for the land under an old agreement renegotiated this fall. It is far less than the $10 million offered by parking magnate Merrill Stabile for the parcel and an adjacent one.

In his analysis, Douglas Herold, Integra director, said the proposed retail development is not the highest and best use for the land but is the only one that would be "marginally financially feasible" at this time.

He said better uses would be office, residential or hotel, but none of those are financially feasible given the current market.

The city Stadium Authority renegotiated a nine-year-old option agreement with the teams after they missed deadlines for developing parcels between Heinz Field and PNC Park.

The teams are now proposing a two-story retail and office development to meet the next deadline. Development must begin by March 2013.

However, in his presentation to the stadium authority board, Mr. Herold said the deadline in essence limits the potential for the site given current market conditions. He said building guidelines requiring a steel frame for construction also serve to reduce the land value because they are more costly to implement.

He said the land is worth $900,000 based on those standards; $2.6 million if wood or masonry construction is used.

Mr. Stabile of Alco Parking offered $10 million for a 3.3-acre site that includes the subject parcel. Mr. Herold said that translates into about $4.8 million for the 1.3-acre site the teams want to develop.

However, Mr. Herold said comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges because Mr. Stabile was not constrained by a development deadline and also could continue using the land for parking after he bought it, which the teams are not permitted to do.

The appraisal and accompanying analysis have prompted some stadium authority boards to rethink development objectives on the North Shore.

Also today, the board approved an agreement that will allow for free light rail transit rides between the West General Robinson Street garage and Downtown once the T extension to the North Shore opens next year. Alco and the Stadium Authority will split the $160,000 cost for the free rides.
Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.
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  #65  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2011, 7:19 PM
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A two story office and retail development? Seriously? Fuck these people.
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  #66  
Old Posted Dec 21, 2011, 8:41 PM
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A two story office and retail development? Seriously? Fuck these people.
I tend to agree. What a load of crap.

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  #67  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2011, 5:10 AM
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Did anyone else see the article in the post gazette a few days ago about how the URA is planning and/or in the process of acquiring properties downtown for development?...sounded similar to what happened with properties before the announcementof the new PNC tower
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  #68  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2011, 1:38 PM
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http://post-gazette.com/pg/11356/119...pid=newspanel1

Quote:
Noodles & Co. restaurant will join the bustling Market Square scene

Thursday, December 22, 2011
By Taryn Luna, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette
The Oakland location of Noodles & Co., a restaurant chain headed by Whitehall native Kevin Reddy, opened last week. Another location will open Downtown.


It's probably no surprise that Noodles & Co., a Denver-based restaurant chain, chose Pittsburgh as the site of its first Pennsylvania eatery.

CEO Kevin Reddy, 53, was born and raised in Whitehall and went to Duquesne University. He also started his career of more than 30 years in the restaurant industry as a "fry guy" at a McDonald's in Castle Shannon.

"I started out like most teenage kids. I worked french fries and I swept them off the dining room and cleaned bathrooms," he said in a recent telephone interview from his office in Denver.

Now he heads a food establishment that offers everything from Japanese pan noodles to Wisconsin mac and cheese. In his 6 1/2 years with Noodles, the company has more than doubled in size, from 100 stores to 284 by year's end.

Last week the chain opened a new restaurant on Forbes Avenue in Oakland and a second is scheduled to open tomorrow in Market Square -- two of 12 new Noodles locations opened in the U.S. between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"I'm looking for a really great long-term relationship with the city and I think these two restaurants are the start," Mr. Reddy said.

His personal relationship with the city is already well established. Mr. Reddy said he was born into "a good solid typical Pittsburgh middle class family." His father, who still lives here, worked in municipal management for Whitehall. His mother, who is in Colorado now, was a bookkeeper and accountant.

During high school at Baldwin, Mr. Reddy got the job at McDonald's and stuck with the fast-food giant for more than 20 years. From "fry guy" he became an hourly supervisor. By 18, he had a set of the restaurant's keys and was told the combination to the safe.

While he was attending college at Duquesne, his employer, Jim Delligatti, who is famous for inventing the Big Mac, hired him to do the restaurant's accounting -- Mr. Reddy's area of study.

After a brief stint as an accountant with Ernst and Young, he returned to work for Mr. Delligatti in the accounting office before moving up the corporate ladder. Eventually, he rose to the position of senior regional manager over 310 stores, representing more than $420 million in sales.

When McDonald's invested in Chipotle Mexican Grill in 1998, Mr. Reddy was hired by the Colorado chain and held the positions of chief operations officer and restaurant support officer. He helped oversee expansion from 13 to 420 stores over seven years.

Meanwhile, as he was working for the Mexican food restaurant in Denver -- where he still lives with his wife and three children -- he was splitting his lunches between Chipotle and Noodles & Co.

In 2005, he became president of Noodles & Co., which had been founded a decade earlier in Boulder, Colo. The next year he was named CEO and then chairman in 2008.

The company, which had systemwide sales of $300 million in 2011 and owns 80 percent of its locations, has laid out a strategy to grow the number of stores by double digits in markets around the country in the next five years.

Mr. Reddy said he hopes to expand the restaurant's presence in the Pittsburgh area to 15 to 20 restaurants here in the next three to five years.

"Pittsburgh has all of these defined neighborhoods and communities, and we would hate to see anyone struggle without a Noodles," he said.

Taryn Luna: 412-263-1985 or tluna@post-gazette.com.
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  #69  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2011, 1:59 PM
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Originally Posted by KINGPIN View Post
Did anyone else see the article in the post gazette a few days ago about how the URA is planning and/or in the process of acquiring properties downtown for development?...sounded similar to what happened with properties before the announcementof the new PNC tower
Link: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11349/1196955-53.stm
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  #70  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2011, 4:01 PM
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http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburg...rforms-us.html

Quote:
Pittsburgh's economy outperforms U.S.

Pittsburgh Business Times by Paul J. Gough, Web Producer
Date: Thursday, December 22, 2011, 6:33am EST

You knew things were better in Pittsburgh. Here's one of the reasons why: Pittsburgh was one of only five metro areas in the United States that had more jobs in October 2011 than it did in October 2001 - and the only one of the five that wasn't in Texas.

An On Numbers analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms what we already knew about the Pittsburgh region: It has a diversified economy that has held up over the past decade, even during the recession.

"This reinforces what we've been saying," says Jim Futrell, vice president of market research at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

Read more about it in the Pittsburgh Business Times online, and search other cities in the On Numbers database.
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  #71  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 1:18 AM
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Originally Posted by glowrock View Post
I tend to agree. What a load of crap.

Aaron (Glowrock)
How about that parcel with a steel frame structure worth less than that same parcel with a wooden/masonry structure. What the hell?!!!

Parcel with steel-frame structure = $900k
Parcel with wood-frame/masonry structure = $2.6 million... (masonry, ok. wood-frame, no effing way!)

that aforementioned building is probably the worst possible use for that land! They'd be better off keeping it as a parking lot if that's all they're going to do with it! the Kaufmanns warehouse store (now occupied by the north-end goal post in Heinz Field) was a better use for that land than this proposal!

Whatever genius(es) is(are) responsible, do the city a favor and stay the hell out of city planning and land development. It's clearly not your strong suit...

And you know... I really don't understand why they're saying office space would be hard to finance. Class A office space in Pittsburgh is in high demand. Residential use I guess is risky in just about any market.

What is the zoning for that parcel? I know that Pittsburgh is working on their comprehensive plan as we speak. I'm curious as to what they want to have in place between now and 2040 regarding the North Shore. I'm not sure what the approved land use is/would be, but if it were up to me, at the very minimum I'd have it rezoned as moderate-density commercial or residential use, or some other conditional use that would involve a combination of the two uses (i.e. commercial use with xx percent of residential/retail use, etc. in a way that would help Pittsburgh meet its objective for the North Shore, which I imagine would call for something a little more substantial than an insignificant 2-story development). So in that respect, this proposal involving a short commercial/retail use structure would NOT be in the city's best interest, and would therefore be denied/rejected and sent by to the drawing board for revision by yours truely...

Last edited by Jonboy1983; Dec 23, 2011 at 1:40 AM. Reason: added commentary
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  #72  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 2:04 AM
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That's a problem with Pittsburgh and other cities like it (read: poor) -- ANY "development" is seen as better than no development at all. Even though it often ends up being counterproductive in the near future.

How many times throughout this part of the country in particular have we seen prime, empty urban land (well, not really prime if there is no demand to warrant sound investment) used for completely inadequate purposes?
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  #73  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 2:35 AM
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That's a problem with Pittsburgh and other cities like it (read: poor) -- ANY "development" is seen as better than no development at all. Even though it often ends up being counterproductive in the near future.

How many times throughout this part of the country in particular have we seen prime, empty urban land (well, not really prime if there is no demand to warrant sound investment) used for completely inadequate purposes?
I think a major problem is that those who possess the political power in the region are not really in tune with the vigorous economy, evolving demographics and market potential of today's Pittsburgh. They still function like this is a hopeless Rust Belt basketcase a la Youngstown or Elkhart ("We'll take any development we can get! Squander prime urban real estate with kitschy chain bars! Go Stillers!"). And of course, the municipal hyper-fragmentation of the region impedes progress as well.

We need to get some innovative DC region planners, designers and public policy people in here. It's not good to have all this land under the control of a myriad of myopic quasi-public authorities (see: Stadium & Exhibition Authority) who would rather trade favors with their cronies (see: Steelers) than pursue the highest and best use.
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  #74  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 3:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Evergrey View Post
I think a major problem is that those who possess the political power in the region are not really in tune with the vigorous economy, evolving demographics and market potential of today's Pittsburgh. They still function like this is a hopeless Rust Belt basketcase a la Youngstown or Elkhart ("We'll take any development we can get! Squander prime urban real estate with kitschy chain bars! Go Stillers!"). And of course, the municipal hyper-fragmentation of the region impedes progress as well.

We need to get some innovative DC region planners, designers and public policy people in here. It's not good to have all this land under the control of a myriad of myopic quasi-public authorities (see: Stadium & Exhibition Authority) who would rather trade favors with their cronies (see: Steelers) than pursue the highest and best use.
Well said. I think that you may be one of these "innovative DC region planners, designers and public policy people", even if you're not in DC. Your kind of thinking is what is desperately needed here -- though I surely understand that it's hard to break into the game here.

Certain sectors here are definitely booming, but it hasn't translated to a robust (or even healthy) overall economy in sectors across the board -- yet. I optimistically see it happening, though I think that the predominant attitude and structure you describe among the political set contributes to the Pittsburgh area not moving ahead as it really could/should be.

An organization affiliated with Pitt GSPIA called CONNECT has been involved in some interesting stuff in the region. Do you know about them?
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  #75  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 3:36 AM
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I was at GSPIA when CONNECT was being established with the input of regional governance guru David Miller. I haven't really followed its progress, however.
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  #76  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 4:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Private Dick View Post
Well said. I think that you may be one of these "innovative DC region planners, designers and public policy people", even if you're not in DC. Your kind of thinking is what is desperately needed here -- though I surely understand that it's hard to break into the game here.
And how about my thinking? I'd like to consider myself among these folk. These bureaucratic neanderthals who think they know everything and are in touch with today's and tomorrow's Pittsburgh are just clueless. I would love a chance to work on the city's comprehensive plan. I am watching what is happening in downtown, and believe me, what they're proposing now is not going to be in the city's best interest in 30 years...

I'm just about finished with my "rough" sketch in sketchup I'm designing for Allegheny Center. It's something that I think will suit the city (particularly the North Shore) and region quite adequately in the next 30 years.
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  #77  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 2:08 PM
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http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburg...ding-boom.html

Quote:
Pittsburgh’s apartment building boom continues with two new projects

Pittsburgh Business Times by Tim Schooley, Reporter
Date: Friday, December 23, 2011, 6:00am EST


Rendering courtesy McCaffery Interests

Construction on Lot 24, a 96-unit apartment complex designed as the second phase of the Strip District’s popular Cork Factory, began this month. The partners expect to open in the fall.


Two more apartment projects are ready to get under way in the Strip District and Lawrenceville, one the second phase of the highly successful Cork Factory Lofts, the other the conversion of a long-established school building.

In Lawrenceville, Jim Aiello Jr. said his family-owned company is ready to buy out partners in its longtime Catalyst building. It has a funding commitment from Fidelity Bank that it expects to close on in January, and expects to push forward with construction converting the property into a 20-unit apartment complex that would be completed next summer.

At an open parcel catercorner to the ...
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  #78  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 4:29 PM
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While I don't necessarily object to a 4 story apt building in the Strip, given the landscape there, it still would be nice for some a little large to go up. A coouple urban looking, Strip District appropriate 8-12 story buildings, maybe one or two a little larger, but in any case, it would be nice to have an appropriate "critical mass" of apartments in the strip...
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  #79  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 6:37 PM
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Originally Posted by themaguffin View Post
While I don't necessarily object to a 4 story apt building in the Strip, given the landscape there, it still would be nice for some a little large to go up. A coouple urban looking, Strip District appropriate 8-12 story buildings, maybe one or two a little larger, but in any case, it would be nice to have an appropriate "critical mass" of apartments in the strip...
I'd bet the people that already live in the Strip probably enjoy their views as they are. I know from our office at 24th and Smallman I can see downtown pretty nicely from one corner of the second floor. And if you go to the top of the 3 or 4 story parking garage across the street the views are completely unobstructed. Obviously I haven't been up there but I'm sure the view from the top of the Lofts is that much better. Putting up a development that messes with that could have some push back. (Though really there isn't much they could do besides bitch... and there aren't that many people living there now so I doubt you would hear much from them.)

My point is, there really isn't anything in the strip that is very tall, currently, so I wonder what the reaction to a more urban style proposal would be.
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  #80  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2011, 6:50 PM
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Regarding the Strip, I also thought this neighborhood could use something taller. After a fairly recent trip to the Steel City to visit family which also included a day trip down Penn Avenue and Smallman Street, I began to change my mind. What I would like to see is the Public Market eventually take over the entire Produce Terminal. That whole building would become a huge tourist attraction just like its surrounding neighborhood. I really do not want Bunchar to remove sections of it to reconnect vehicular traffic with the river.

That part of town never had anything taller than 4 or 5 stories, so I don't think a development of 12-plus floors would be the best thing for that neighborhood. I thought it would be kinda cool to have a few floors of loft apartments above the Produce Terminal, but I'm starting to rethink that as well. Perhaps if they had 6-to-8-story apartment buildings that were adjacent to the terminal building -- on the side facing the river but structurally connected to it, I think that would be neat. I'd like to see its roof converted into some kind of green/open space.
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