Monday, July 10, 2006

If you build them...

Is there really enough demand for Downtown housing for both this and this?


Blogger djhlights said...

The short answer is No.

Regarding that Trust project, the hands at the Benedum are the few who noticed that right before this project was announced the only building in the development area that the Trust doesn't own got a new paint job. The first time it got a facelift since the Benedum was the still the Stanley. I guess somebody wants to get top dollar before they tear down their building.

Also there is a performing arts venue in the development as well. I wonder why that hasn't gotten a mention?

11:23 AM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

Do you know anything about the new venue?

3:09 PM

Blogger Amos_thePokerCat said...

"Urban living rooms"!?!

Oh, ya, that sounds lovely. Pay a stupid expensive price (for PIT) like $300K for a condo, only to be able to watch a wino piss on your living room window.

And then there is the parking thing. "Parking spaces for 1,500 cars will be scattered throughout the area." What no dedicated assigned parking as part of your condo?!? Or would that just be too convenient?


4:31 PM

Blogger Mark Rauterkus said...

The demand for downtown housing becomes greater as the neighborhoods are further neglected.

8:43 PM

Blogger djhlights said...

All I have heard is there is a performance space in the plans. The head carpenter at the Benedum was at the meeting and called me because we had placed bets as to what was going up in the lots. Why it got no mention we still can't figure out?

We have been hearing mumblings for some time now as the trust started to grab all of those lots, that in the mix was more than likely a modest sized venue in the space somewhere. I'm still waiting to hear size and type of stage.

Considering the August Wilson Center has yet to break ground - they were supposed to start back in May - they maybe waiting to see what happens with the size of that venue.

Trust plans change all the time. Hell the O'Reilly was originally a proscenium instead of a thrust as it is now. They used to have the original plans in the main walkway of the Fulton and you could see how the space changed. They might still, but I rarely get out of my venue these days to know.

11:10 AM

Blogger djhlights said...

Sorry, force of habit. We still call it the Fulton even though it is now the Byham. At least I didn't call it the Gayety.

11:13 AM

Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

Amos sez: "Urban living rooms"!?!

Oh, ya, that sounds lovely. Pay a stupid expensive price (for PIT) like $300K for a condo, only to be able to watch a wino piss on your living room window.

And then there is the parking thing. "Parking spaces for 1,500 cars will be scattered throughout the area." What no dedicated assigned parking as part of your condo?!? Or would that just be too convenient?


Sean sez:
It's amazing how much locals complain about paying for downtown parking, whether it's for shopping, dining, theater going, events or living. check real estate in other cities (even cincinnati) and you'll notice that the only place you'll find free parking is on the corner of the nearest monopoly board. and if can afford the ridiculous price of a condo (for PIT), you're probably not going to flinch at paying an extra $200 to $300 a month to park your BMW or Porsche.

as for those pissing winos, obviously amos is another one of those cats who really doesn't get downtown much these days. besides, even winos know enough to relieve themselves in an alley than on the main streets.

amos, what part of cranberry do you call home? (yeah, i'm joking. but you sure do sound like a suburbanite, or almost an exurbanite with your obvious dislike for city life.)

as for which project might work, i'll bet on the cultural trust. much of what's good downtown is the result of their work.

11:20 AM

Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

as for that performing space, it's been mentioned in the PG before. check the paper's top 50 cultural forces in the June 6 edition. no specifics were mentioned.

11:53 AM

Blogger Amos_thePokerCat said...

Exurb, baby! Way exurb. I have to dodge Amish on my way to the airport to earn a real living in another city.

What no more winos in dawn-tawn PIT? Man, the canary has left the city. If winos can't make here, what hope do the rest of us have?

First. Canard alert. I said *nothing* about free parking. Not once, did not even imply it. Not even close.

Lets, see. Buy a condo with a parking space, or find a space not in your building where the fee can go up every year? Which would most people pick?

Oh, I sure they will eventually sell them most of them. I just think it is obviously an easier sale when you bundle it with assigned parking.

Shopping dawn-tawn?!? Brah-HA, HA, HA, HA. ROTFLMAO. Oh, you are funny Sean. Seriously, why?

7:09 PM

Blogger John Morris said...

Brendan Gill placed Pittsburgh as one of world's three most beautifull cities and I would agree. Real estate in the downtown stands out as an absolute bargain.

But, this is entirely different type of market. Density must be raised radically which will raise the convenience level of the place. Gradual elimination of parking is the key. If the suburban scum want to visit they can pay.

7:08 AM

Blogger John Morris said...

I am from NY and passed through Pittsburgh just a few times. The first impresion was that this was a little NY run by barbarian huns who hate cities and everything they are about.

Living in a real city is not about parking. It's about being in a place where you don't have to drive all the time. Yinzer is another word for barbarian.

7:19 AM

Blogger Amos_thePokerCat said...

As proud ex-urb scum, I can think of almost no reason why I would want to go "dawn-tawn", even if they paid me.

Other than NYC, I could not imagine any other city that would have a majority of thier condos/co-ops/etc that would sell without bundled parking.

Stomp your little silver slippers (in the original Wiz of Oz book they were not ruby), most people do not want to live stacked on top of each other. Always have, always will.

7:47 PM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

Pittsburgh is not New York. Nor is it Chicago, nor San Fransisco. Nor should it be, just as none of those places should be Pittsburgh.

Yes, Pittsburgh has been run for quite some time by people who don't have much regard for what makes cities work, for what good, vibrant cities should be. But they are not "scum" nor are people who live in the suburbs, much as you or I may disdain their lifestyle. It's hard to respond intelligently to someone who resorts so quickly to insults.

7:52 PM

Blogger John Morris said...

The fact is that, as you can see. There is a war going on. Pittsburgh is has a the kick me sign and it doesn't even know it.

Pittsburgh's relationship with it's "exurbs is not a benefitial one."

11:09 PM

Blogger John Morris said...

The people we are talking about. Have a nasty little habit of tearing down other peoples homes and stealing thier stuff. That the urban planners of this city and the people who think this is a cool situation have not taken more flack is a problem.

11:14 PM

Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

ah, JM: newsflash...war is going beirut and baghdad...don't hyperventilate on the city, not nyc or sf or pittsburgh (in its glory days) got to where it is without some barbarians profitting. today it might be subsidies for ballparks and condos (and sweetheart casino deals for ex-county execs). but years ago, carnegie and frick got away with enough heavy handedness to make ken lay look like a (dead) boy scout. same happened in nyc with tammany hall and in chicago during the first daley regime.

you seem to be waiting for a great leap forward in which artists and deep thinkers will reign...and the 1984 type proletariat (blissed out on rap and grand theft auto video games and crystaly meth, i guess) will serve the needs of the ruling class.

the barbarians are at the the middle east...what's going on here is fun and games in comparison.

war is hell...pittsburgh is merely limbo.

9:17 AM

Blogger John Morris said...

Amos is a solid reflection, I think of what a lot of the ex-urb people think of the city. It's pretty clear that this is he is not the market. Please stay out of Pittsburgh. He at least is honest enough to state things clearly. The bulk of people just want to come in 5-10 times a year and wave black and gold objects around.

11:05 AM

Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

well, people move to the exurbs for exactly the reason amos states. (i guess people who move to montana or cape cod to get away from it all are scum too and should be barred from visiting denver or boston.) and you shy away from his neck of the woods with an opposing but equally strong distate...but there are plenty of people who live in the city, suburbs, exurbs and elsewhere won't view each other and the place they live with contempt and ridicule (my take is that amos is bemused by city life).

if people want to visit 5-10 times a year...fine...just ask the restaurant and bar owners on the n.side and in downtown if they mind the barbarian invasion. the guy who own atria's at pnc park it was like a week of christmases during the all star festivities...and his smile beamed like the star of bethlehem. and he's local guy...grew up in manchester....raised his family in brighton heights...and still lives there. and i'm proud to say that i helped him enjoy a good deal of success on that piece of subsidized land on the north side. and he's not connected...just a guy who got tired of working at westinghouse and other places and decided to make a go of it on his own. and made it work...thanks to suburbanite slimebags who support him.

11:45 AM

Blogger John Morris said...

Once again the conversation goes around and around.

The question is not whether some people might benefit ocasionaly from visitors but how much space and resources should be spent on them relative to other possible uses. NY, London and Tokyo benefit from guests because those people tend to deal with the city in a sustainable way. They fly or take the train and then use public transit. Then they stay in expensive hotels or take the train out.

If you were forced to live in a small cramped room while three huge homes were siting there for occassional guests you might feel this way.

That is my opinion of the parking lots. Pittsburgh seems intent on focusing on tourists at the expense of it's own residents.

12:03 PM

Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

i don't consider myself a tourist.

the city and its neighborhoods are far more part of my daily life than the suburban sprawl all around me. if you consider a tourist anyone who lives beyond those lines drawn on a piece of paper that defined the legal boundries of the city, then pittsburgh is dead. because views like yours will kill any chance the place has to thrive. seriously, what are going to do when your landlord forces you out in favor of an upscale bar that attracts tourists/patrons from across the 40th street bridge?

i guess i better start carrying my passport when i ride my bike across the border. because unless i have a true pittsburgh address i'm just a worthless outsider...damn, this is one sightseer who won't be dropping by ever again at a certain lawrenceville gallery during a late saturday afternoon bike ride. too bad, i liked a lot of the stuff there.

12:48 PM

Blogger John Morris said...

Do what you want. You should by now no exactly what I mean. I am talking about the people who are not riding bikes around and most people are not. Amos, I think would be who I am talking about.

5:25 PM

Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

so what if amos only visits the city once or twice a year? there are plenty of others who come into pittsburgh far more often...who knows, one day he (or someone like him) might can his opinion and become a frequent (and welcome) guest.

6:35 PM

Blogger John Morris said...

Ok we will keep the north side as parking lot for when he shows up. Or maybe he would like to shop in the strip? We will keep that empty too. But what if he wants to go to the South Side? Is there enough parking? No we will seize some peoples homes so we can have a place for his Hummer. Let's hope he doesn't want to bring the kids.

7:20 PM

Blogger John Morris said...

I liked the Woody Allen remark and I think that I am sort of a good example of how a lot of New Yorker's think. But maybe that's why NY is still such a great city. NY knows it's great and it's smart enough to see the things that will hurt it. Many cities haven't survived the government induced attack on them that started in the 40's. NY managed to and it learned who to hate.

NY hates New Jersey and it hates LA. Oh and San Fransico hates LA. The people in those places see that the suburban lifestyle is not compatible with the life of thier cities

7:36 PM

Blogger Sean McDaniel said...


Let's consider Amos the Visitor: first of all let's not assume that he's a "i don't like cities" type of guy for the sake of discussion...

okay...let's say that Amos lives in the exurbs/suburbs for a reason...say he's a farmer in Evans City, growing corn on 120 acres of land that's been in his family for 10 generations (his great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather got the parcel as payment for serving in the revolutionary war...ever hear of the depreciation lands?) So living in the city is out of the question...but does that mean he can't jump in his Dodge Ram Charger for a trip to pittsburgh to see a Pirates game ...or Rent at the Benedum of a truck pull at the arena. Is he really a leech if he only comes to the city 5 times a year?

or maybe Amos is a young asst. professor working at LaRoche University, just off McKnight Road in N. Hills...about 12 miles from he lives a couple miles from school...but almost every month he goes to the symphony or opera and shops in the strip, but he doesn't have a residence in the this guy a parasite?

now for a real life example...take a look at the monday morning social pages in the PG and Trib...those pretty people with all the money are the ones who sit on board chairs of local charities and cultural organizations...they work hard to raise millions for these groups...and the donate thousands of their owns...even better many of them live in the suburbs...sure those places might be fox chapel and mt. lebanon and sewickley heights...but even if they are the uppercrust...aren't they still scum?

by the way, people in SF don't LA...they don't hate anything...especially the droves of tourist who crowd the city to ride cable cars (really not much use in getting around) and stick around the very purposely designed trap called fisherman's wharf...crammed with t-shirt shops and other tacky SF souvenir stuff...well, except for that ripley's believe it or not musuesm...which is sooooo SF.

yeah, SF is a great place to live...if you can afford rents of $2,500 a month for just about anything...but most of the tourists i talk to when i visit never stray from the wharf or go much further afield than the 12-minute trip to alatraz or a drive just across the golden gate bridge to see the city from across the bay. very few ever venture into the mission district...or pacific heights or discover the great little neighborhoods and shopping district that surprise you nearly every 10 blocks or so.

so if people go to SF to see the wharf...and people go to baltimore for the harbor place (and rarely stray into fells point or the lexington market), what would be wrong with pittsburgh putting together something similar to attract visitors...along with pulling in more residents?

the problem with pittsburgh's attempts to build a "first day" attraction is that it hasn't found the right matter how spectacular the architecture, not many people will go anywhere just to see a convention center...the ballparks aren't it either...and the science center can't hold the interest of anyone more than 5 years old for more than a couple hours...i don't know the answer. yes, it would help if visitors could get to sq. hill from the strip on mass transit without trying to figure out which of the 900 bus routes get you to sq. hill without transferring 17 times...and oh yeah, try finding a pittsburgh transit map. not that anyone could figure it out, even a regular rider...something like 9 routes run through the my neighborhood, some of the bus stop signs have 6 route numbers on them and even i don't know the differences between all of them. what's an outsider going to make of that?

really, and we're getting away from the attracting the visitor idea...i think PAT needs to eliminate multiple routes through most neighborhoods and, of course, cut the number of stops, and have more direct, semi-express routes to South Side, Oakland, Bloomfield, Shadyside and those types of places. Also, one- to three-day ride passes would be nice...anytime i visit a city, buying a transit pass is one of the first things i do

8:12 AM

Blogger John Morris said...


I know a lot of people in San Francisco and they all hate LA.

And, every time I am in jersey I try to remember to spit.

9:03 AM

Blogger John Morris said...


The answer is to attract and keep residents above all else. That always seems to be the lowest thing on the list here.

9:07 AM

Blogger John Morris said...


Yes, those people for the most part are the real scum. The people who want to plan the city around them.

9:10 AM

Blogger Sean McDaniel said...

well, JM, you finally succeeded...a comment that i can't and won't respond to as far as it's content. good luck, and you might want to check out the free mental health services at western psych.

10:57 AM

Blogger John Morris said...

I understand, that is where the power is. They are the players and anyone speaks about that is just nuts. I didn't come here to make money , I wanted to do the right thing.

11:08 AM

Blogger John Morris said...

I understand, that is where the power is. They are the players and anyone speaks about that is just nuts. I didn't come here to make money , I wanted to do the right thing.

11:08 AM


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home