Pittsburgh Homes Daily

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Progress on Federal North Redevelopment Project

August 16th, 2008 · 10 Comments

The Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday gave Aiello Development and the JRA Development Group exclusive rights to produce architectural plans for six parcels in the Federal North Corridor near the Garden Theater, as well as develop a budget and secure tenants, for six months (with the possibility of a six month extension). Their plans for the $3 million dollar mixed-use redevelopment on the northwest corner of the intersection of Federal and North include a Fifth Third Bank, retail stores, and apartments. The URA also approved the creation of a master plan for the rest of the area by the Central Northside Neighborhood Council. Read more about the news in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The advancement of the project is good news since I had feared that the project would be threatened by the slumping real estate market and difficulty securing financing that stalled the Riverparc Project. My fears seemed to have come true when I saw this posting by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation suggesting that Federal North was being postponed for community planning and further study. Although the news stories suggest that financing for the project hasn’t been secured yet, the small size of the project, the commitment of Fifth Third Bank, and the hot nationwide rental market gives me some optimism that they will be able to secure the funding despite the nation’s credit concerns.

In other news from the Central Northside, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh broke ground this summer on the new North Side Library at 1210 Federal St, Franco Harris’ efforts to open a restaurant on the North Side received a brief mention in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and Allegheny General Hospital announced last fall that they would proceed with renovations on the Aeberli House, a historic structure once a funeral home at the corner of North and Sandusky. You can read more about the Aeberli building project from the news stories last year in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Pop City Media.

→ 10 CommentsTags: City of Pittsburgh · Commercial Real Estate · Federal North · Mexican War Streets · URA

Sorry – Test

July 14th, 2008 · 9 Comments

So somewhere along the way – probably around the time that I was hacked and subsequently upgraded wordpress – my feedburner feed stopped pulling correctly from my regular feed. Hopefully, this post will go out to both the old feed and the feedburner feed and everything will be almost back to normal.

→ 9 CommentsTags: Personal

Pittsburgh Crime Down

June 11th, 2008 · 10 Comments

A preliminary report from the FBI has noted a slight decrease in violent crime in Pittsburgh and a dramatic decrease in property crimes in 2007. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review coverage is here.

→ 10 CommentsTags: crime rates · Why Pittsburgh

Ahhh – Hacked

June 10th, 2008 · 9 Comments

So I discovered that someone dumped some code linking to a bunch of spammy sites into my last two posts. I’ve since eliminated it and upgraded wordpress – so – here’s my TEST POST to see if I’ve got it fixed or if I’ve got to go back to the drawing board.

→ 9 CommentsTags: Personal

Upper St Clair Best for Intellectual Retirees.

June 8th, 2008 · 10 Comments

The U.S. News & World Report named Upper St. Clair one of “The 10 Brainiest Places to Retire.” USNWR was looking for thriving intellectual and cultural centers where retired individuals who want to keep on learning can stay as busy as they want to be – and with Pittsburgh’s thriving downtown area and 29 colleges and universities – the editors found plenty to offer here.

→ 10 CommentsTags: Pittsburgh · Why Pittsburgh

RiverParc Suspended

June 2nd, 2008 · 10 Comments

The downtown Pittsburgh cultural district project that was once called one of the linchpins of the revitalization of the City of Pittsburgh and a project without equal in the United States was indefinitely suspended last month by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust blamed the poor economy and credit markets as the cause of the suspension, but the lead developer on RiverParc, Concord Eastridge, blamed mismanagement and a loss of nerve by the Cultural Trust – and is reportedly considering its legal options.

Although Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said that the majority of Pittsburgh projects are going forward, I’ve wondered for a few months when Pittsburgh would start to see the suspension or cancellation of projects that other cities have seen. Although the credit crunch is the stated reason, it seems likely that flat to declining real estate prices and sales – the loss of easy revenue from the development of housing – is also to blame.

I’m curious regarding the practical effect of the suspension of the project on the surrounding area. It may have been preferable to cancel the project altogether and put in place an alternative plan for use or development of the area. Now, with an indefinite suspension, the area may be waiting for a long time for the return to normalization of the credit markets and the rebuilding of support for the project. With the choice words spoken by the current developer about the management of the project, I suspect that the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust would have to smooth some serious concerns about its leadership before another developer would step forward. And in the meantime, a section of the city is frozen awaiting the development or announcement of new plans for the area.

Recent News Coverage: Post-Gazette, Tribune-Review (here and here)
Past Pittsburgh Homes Daily articles about the project: Riverfront Pittsburgh

→ 10 CommentsTags: Commercial Real Estate · Downtown · Financing · Pittsburgh · Real Estate · Theater District

South Side Historic Home Tour

May 31st, 2008 · 22 Comments

The South Side’s 17th Annual Historic Home Tour is coming up on June 17th from 10 AM to 4 PM. Advance tickets are $12.

Read more in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review or at the South Side Local Development Company.

South Side Works
Photo by brunkfordbraun with a Creative Commons license.

→ 22 CommentsTags: House Tours · South Side

Pittsburgh Art Festivals

May 30th, 2008 · 13 Comments

With all of the opportunities to observe art in Pittsburgh, it’s no wonder that Pittsburgh was named one of the five best places for the creative class (read more here).

Starting June 6th, the Three Rivers Arts Festival will descend onto the streets of downtown Pittsburgh. Apparently, they didn’t hear that there is a shortage of shipping containers in the United States right now. They have purchased ten used shipping containers to drop onto the streets of Pittsburgh during the festival to create makeshift art galleries – allowing patrons to enjoy the art exhibits rain or shine. Read more in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Container Housing
There’s a lot that you can do with a container!

The Three Rivers Arts Festival (which will once again be forced from its traditional location because of the Point State Park construction) will not be the only major art festival to call Pittsburgh home this year. For 16 days in October, the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts will be making another appearance (the first Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts was in 2004) to celebrate contemporary art which hasn’t been previously exhibited in the United States. Read more in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Photo by caterina via a creative commons license.

→ 13 CommentsTags: art · Downtown · Pittsburgh · Things to Do · Why Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Marathon – Welcome Back!

May 23rd, 2008 · 8 Comments

In what is being called a positive sign for the city of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Marathon will run in 2009 for the first time since 2003, thanks to sponsorship by Dick’s Sporting Goods. It will be the 20th running of the Pittsburgh Marathon.

Read more in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, or the Pittsburgh Business Times.

August 2008 Update – The marathon in Pittsburgh will be held on May 3, 2009. According to a note on the website (which is still under construction), the official 2009 Pittsburgh marathon website will launch in mid-September. Registration for the marathon is open, however, and the link for registration can be found here. Prices for registration begin to increase on January 10, 2009, and the first 50 marathon runners to register receive a $25 Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card. Enjoy!

Running Race in Progress

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik via a creative commons license.

→ 8 CommentsTags: Marathon · Pittsburgh · Things to Do · Why Pittsburgh

Market Square Rally – Much to Celebrate!

May 22nd, 2008 · 9 Comments

At Noon on Friday, when Pittsburgh Penguins fans rally at Market Square to celebrate the Penguins Stanley Cup Finals appearance against the Detroit Red Wings, they’ll have much more to celebrate than the Penguins successful hockey season.

They’ll be able to celebrate the absence of bus noise, the renovations leading to Market Square Place, the redesign of Market Square (more in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review), and Market Square’s Stay & Play Fridays.

→ 9 CommentsTags: Downtown · Market Square · Penguins · Pittsburgh