Originally Posted by markson33
Allegheny Center was brought about by the concept that government planners knew what was best; the very concept that you are now championing.
Another thing... this is totally NOT what I have been "championing". As you'll see in my post that you replied to, I specifically stated: city government is every bit as complicit in flawed development as private developers are, if not more so.
Government planners had much to do with the Allegheny Center (like so many other failed 1960s urban redevelopment initiatives across the nation), but remember, it was an Alcoa project. Planning mistakes are the fault of both public and private players.
Originally Posted by glowrock
I guess I don't share the same hatred for the Buncher properties as most others here... While I certainly agree that the Seagate building isn't the highest and best use for that particular piece of land, I'm not against it being there. Same goes for the Hampton Inn across from the Heinz History Center...
All of this being said, I think it's still going to take time for many of those people in city government to get over the notion that they have to take anything they're given in terms of development because Pittsburgh's still a dying city and start being more choosy once again. Too much "old blood" is likely at work here, not enough forward-thinkers and "new blood"...
It takes a long time for old habits and old notions to change. It takes a long time for old dogs to learn new tricks, and I think that's more or less what we're dealing with here.
Those really weren't the Buncher properties I was initially talking about. In comparison to most of the other Buncher crap, those are urban gems. Buncher loves to build skyscrapers on their sides.
Liberty Commons in the Strip is just okay...
But my favorite has to be Gateway View Plaza -- it offers stunning views of the confluence of the three rivers and downtown in what is likely the worst use of valuable land in the Pittsburgh region. Buncher is notorious for it. It is warehouse/distribution space located on a most valuable piece of property in the center of the city -- and there is no reason for it to be there! It is a truck distribution facility, with no connections for rail or river transport. Not only is the land wasted on this, but the associated semi traffic contributes greatly to bottlenecks at Carson St., Ft. Pitt bridge/tunnel, 279, West End circle, etc.
You're correct in that Pittsburgh was basically in an economic depression and it took whatever it could get (this happened in a lot of cities in this area of the country). The thing is, Pittsburgh has had a long time (a very long time, actually) to learn from past mistakes, and has to start demanding more sound development.
If Pittsburgh's positive economic outlook is not just hype, then the city should have the ability to provide a fair, development-friendly (but not overly-restrictive) framework in which developers must operate in. Because if they can make money here based on what everyone is saying about Pittsburgh's resurgence, then they're going to want to do business here whether city planning plays a role in their developments or not. Providing the right incentives for developers to work towards a plan goes a long way towards spurring additional development.
Originally Posted by BrianTH
That sort of land banking is best addressed with economic incentives to develop. You can start with shifting to a higher property tax rate on land rather than improved properties, with realistic, up-to-date land-value assessments.
True. PA's property tax code is antiquated beyond belief and has much to do with destruction of properties in favor of empty lots and/or detrimental uses of the land.