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  #2821  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2019, 5:04 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Some other rando development news. This is all behind paywalled PBT stories, so I'll just make note of them, not link to them.

1. Davis Companies is seeking to sell the Union Trust building downtown after a successful restoration and gaining a nearly 90% occupancy rate.

2. CBRE has begun marketing the huge Riverbend Foods complex (just east of Heinz Lofts). This was completely unsurprising when the plant closing was announced this summer. The site is over 17 acres, has RIV zoning, and is close to the core, meaning the sky is the limit in terms of potential redevelopment. It seems more likely than not the current manufacturing use will not be retained, due to how problematic the road access has been for trucking.

3. Morgan at North Shore Apartments will likely - following an okay by the courts - be sold to Cleveland-based NRP, the operator of Edge 1909 in the Strip District.

4. CCAC is planning on beginning construction next year of a new $40 million Workforce Development and Training Center. The site is listed being on Ridge Avenue. It's unclear to me exactly where it is, but I think this is the location.

5. Manchester Bidwell has dropped their plan to purchase the former SCI Pittsburgh site, meaning the complex is once again without a buyer.
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  #2822  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2019, 7:18 PM
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Some interesting economic data on the Pittsburgh MSA: https://www.clevelandfed.org/newsroo...ittsburgh.aspx
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  #2823  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2019, 8:12 PM
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Some interesting economic data on the Pittsburgh MSA: https://www.clevelandfed.org/newsroo...ittsburgh.aspx
I thought the younger population was increasing but not at a fast enough rate to offset the deaths.
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  #2824  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2019, 8:30 PM
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post

4. CCAC is planning on beginning construction next year of a new $40 million Workforce Development and Training Center. The site is listed being on Ridge Avenue. It's unclear to me exactly where it is, but I think this is the location.
This is from the June 21, 2018 edition of the PBT showing the building in the same location as you do (Jones Hall shown across the street).
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  #2825  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2019, 12:25 AM
contellus contellus is offline
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New buildingpittsburgh post: https://buildingpittsburgh.com/2019/...market-awards/

Of note, it looks like Pitt is moving forward aggressively on its new indoor track/sports complex on the OC surface parking lot on top of the hill, adjacent to/part of the current Cost Indoor Sports Center. I wasn’t sure if they’d perhaps wait until they got a large donation before proceeding, but it looks like they either have commitments that haven’t been announced or they’re moving forward with internal funds. It will be the only indoor track facility between Morgantown, State College, and Youngstown.
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  #2826  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2019, 6:46 PM
highlander206 highlander206 is offline
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I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who contributes to this site. I don't contribute much here, but this site is a great tool to see what's going on in the area, especially since City Data has crumbled into such a cesspool thanks to three or four posters (if you go there, I'm sure you know who I mean).
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  #2827  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2019, 8:18 PM
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I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who contributes to this site. I don't contribute much here, but this site is a great tool to see what's going on in the area, especially since City Data has crumbled into such a cesspool thanks to three or four posters (if you go there, I'm sure you know who I mean).
Not a moderator, but glad to know. I'd like to think just about all of us here have standards. Every once in a while I know I'll slip up and share something I regret later, but heck we are all human.

Didn't realize there were no indoor track and field facilities in Pittsburgh other than at those aforementioned places that Contellus mentioned...
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  #2828  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 1:20 PM
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In completely unsurprising news, the Stadium Authority has granted Continental yet another extension - albeit only for one month this time.

Seems like the latest plan for Gold Lot 4 is an eight-story structure, with first-floor retail, office space, "up to 40 condominiums," some sort of public plaza, and structured parking.

Peduto is still attempting to get Continental to build housing on Gold Lot 2, which Contential now has until May 2021 to develop.

Apparently Red Lot 5 (which is relatively small in terms of a developable parcel, due to the West General Robinson Garage and 279 overpass) is still on the development schedule as well. I continue to be pretty pissed they've apparently given up on developing Gold Lot 1 entirely though. Why bother recessing the garage like that against the T tracks if not to allow for later development along W General Robinson?
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  #2829  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 2:33 PM
DKNewYork DKNewYork is offline
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From Arch Daily. Don't agree with much in the piece but loved the line: The initial multitower phase of Gateway Center, for instance, resembles a single superblock of Le Corbusier’s Plan Voisin, only executed by people with no imagination.

https://www.metropolismag.com/cities...re-pittsburgh/
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  #2830  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 3:19 PM
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Pitt

In August, at a wedding in Philly, I was seated at the reception beside an architect from Baltimore whose firm did Pitt’s latest master plan. During the course of our conversation, the architect stressed that Pitt’s emphasis was to be on building higher as the university did not want to increase its Oakland footprint. I asked about what might have been proposed but ultimately rejected by Pitt and was surprised to hear that the architects suggested reviving half of the original plan for the Cathedral of Learning site, using the building as a dormitory for the Honor College students. The building was to be a U-shaped Collegiate Gothic building which would front along Fifth Avenue and continue down Bellefield (stopping before Heinz Chapel) and down Bigelow (stopping at the current midblock cross walk). It would have been designed to be no more than four or five stories and in authentic Gothic style, not imitation, using the same stone as the Cathedral---actual stone blocks rather than veneer and with hand-cut stone detail. Apparently the architect’s firm never designs buildings that it proposes as it would be seen as self-serving, so it recommended that the building be designed by Robert AM Stern or the firm responsible for the two new residential colleges at Yale. I was told that the reaction among Pitt leadership was nearly uniform: initially, everyone was shocked at the idea of losing the open space and not all open to it, but then intrigued as the benefits and aesthetics were explained, particularly in a fixed-footprint environment. I can only imagine the outcry if such a proposal were made. And the second outcry when the cost is disclosed.
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  #2831  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 5:57 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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PBT is reporting (not behind a paywall for once) that a new mini-development is coming soon to S. Craig Street in North Oakland. It's planned to replace two ugly wood-frame structures at the corner of Winthrop - making it one of those "nothing of value is lost" situations. The planned replacement is a six-story mixed-use building, with ground and second floor commercial and 23 apartments above. The developer (who also owns Ramen Bar and Rose Tea Cafe) has had some opposition regarding parking (and upped the number of spaces to 11), but so far opposition sounds comparably minor.
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  #2832  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 6:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DKNewYork View Post
In August, at a wedding in Philly, I was seated at the reception beside an architect from Baltimore whose firm did Pitt’s latest master plan. During the course of our conversation, the architect stressed that Pitt’s emphasis was to be on building higher as the university did not want to increase its Oakland footprint. I asked about what might have been proposed but ultimately rejected by Pitt and was surprised to hear that the architects suggested reviving half of the original plan for the Cathedral of Learning site, using the building as a dormitory for the Honor College students. The building was to be a U-shaped Collegiate Gothic building which would front along Fifth Avenue and continue down Bellefield (stopping before Heinz Chapel) and down Bigelow (stopping at the current midblock cross walk). It would have been designed to be no more than four or five stories and in authentic Gothic style, not imitation, using the same stone as the Cathedral---actual stone blocks rather than veneer and with hand-cut stone detail. Apparently the architect’s firm never designs buildings that it proposes as it would be seen as self-serving, so it recommended that the building be designed by Robert AM Stern or the firm responsible for the two new residential colleges at Yale. I was told that the reaction among Pitt leadership was nearly uniform: initially, everyone was shocked at the idea of losing the open space and not all open to it, but then intrigued as the benefits and aesthetics were explained, particularly in a fixed-footprint environment. I can only imagine the outcry if such a proposal were made. And the second outcry when the cost is disclosed.
I think it would be great to build out the Cathedral lot a little bit if it were matching materials. There would still be a lot of green space I would imagine and Pitt would gain some additional space.
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  #2833  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 12:17 AM
MarkMyWords MarkMyWords is offline
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I think it would be great to build out the Cathedral lot a little bit if it were matching materials. There would still be a lot of green space I would imagine and Pitt would gain some additional space.
Most emphatically disagree. Those areas provide very needed breathing space on the campus, and serve as suitable settings for both the Cathedral and Heinz Chapel. I can see the stretch of land to the southeast of the Cathedral, facing the Carnegie along Forbes, being the location for some low-rise construction. But to match the materials and design of Klauder would be so prohibitive, and fought mercilessly by so many, that it's not practical.

It seems desirable (and inevitable) that the surrounding portions of Oakland, especially along Fifth and Forbes, are going to be studded with mid-rise buildings. Though I would like to see a return of more retail and commercial space along Fifth - interspersing it with all those institutional buildings. Oakland needs to embrace urbanization, but intelligent urbanization.

Some of the areas nearby deserve protection from development, like the Schenley Farms neighborhood, and the area to the east along Fifth. But more and more density, along with supporting infrastructure including mass transit, is the way to go.
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  #2834  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 5:57 AM
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The Cathedral grounds ain’t getting touched. Not even a 1 in a billion chance of that happening
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  #2835  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 6:03 AM
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Yup, most of Lawrencvilles and the rest of the cities historic neighborhoods will be torn down before any of the Cathedral grounds will be touched, even though I'd love to see more density around it built in a well done Art Deco revival style.
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  #2836  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 12:24 PM
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I think the Cathedral/Heinz Chapel grounds are just about perfect. It is arguably one of the best urban university settings in the world.
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  #2837  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 1:29 PM
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Photolyth, while I do see where you are coming from, I have to concur with PJ3000 and MarkMyWords. Building anything else around the Cathedral and Heinz Chapel would not be in the best interests of the university or Oakland. Since they removed the surface parking lot in between the libraries and Posvar Hall and replaced it with Schenley Plaza, the grounds around the Cathedral and Chapel now seem integrated not just with Schenley Plaza but also Schenley Park. Therefore, I think it's a very unique green space in Oakland, and I would hate to see it give way to development.
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  #2838  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 7:09 PM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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I actually strongly dislike the vast quantity of open space around the Cathedral and Chapel, and would love to see that space converted into what felt more like a European medieval town center. Of course SOME green space is sometimes part of such town centers, but usually not nearly so much. Indeed, just, say, the space between the Cathedral and the Chapel would be considered plenty of green space for such a medieval center.

I agree it is unlikely to happen, but I always like to think of this sort of issue in terms of status quo bias and hypotheticals. Suppose there were in fact high-quality Gothic quads on some parts of the current Cathedral grounds. Would most people want them torn down to give the Cathedral more open space around it?

Indeed, is anyone proposing tearing the Chapel down to give the Cathedral more space? Or the Theater complex for that matter?

Again, probably not going to happen. But if it did, I think it would be great, and an excellent use of that land.
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  #2839  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 7:51 PM
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But, indeed, the Cathedral of Learning lawn is not a European medieval town center.


However, I do think the status quo there could be shaken up a bit via the addition of 30 or so log cabins scattered haphazardly around the lawn. These could serve as authentic, high-quality, early 1800s frontier-style “tiny houses” for Pitt Honors College students.


Last edited by pj3000; Oct 1, 2019 at 8:15 PM.
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  #2840  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 8:21 PM
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But, indeed, the Cathedral of Learning lawn is not a European medieval town center.
But it could be!

Obviously aesthetic preferences can vary, but for me it is VERY odd to have Gothic architecture without a Gothic setting.

Just a brief note. Gothic architecture with its distinctive pointed arches, rib vaults, flying buttresses, and so forth was all about building up as high as possible, given the limitations of the materials available at the time. The reason they were building up was sometimes romanticized as reaching up to the heavens and such, but in practice what was really going on is that towns and cities in the High/Late Middle ages were growing, and as always in such situations centrally-located land was becoming precious, and that meant wanting to build up as much as possible.

OK, so now look at Heinz Chapel:

https://www.heinzchapel.pitt.edu/gallery/exterior

Why would you build something that looked like that? Well, originally they would build something something that looked like that so it could be tall but also skinny. And why skinny? So they could fit it into the middle of a growing town or city without using up so much land.

OK, so to me, when I see something like Heinz Chapel sitting in the middle of a giant lawn, I think--WTF? That's totally out of place for that sort of architecture. Indeed, it sort of reminds me of pictures of European cities which got bombed to hell in WWII, and somehow a single building escaped (or got restored).

Anyway, people like what they like. But my trump card, so to speak, is that at least what I like makes sense of the architectural style of Heinz Chapel.

And all the more so the Cathedral. I mean, that is literally combining Gothic building techniques with early-20th Century skyscraper techniques, to build what ended up supposedly the second-tallest Gothic-style building in the world--after the Woolworth Building in NYC, which (seriously) was sometimes known as the Cathedral of Commerce. And of course the Woolworth Building is in an appropriate urban setting, because that is what it was designed for:



So to me, the Cathedral is even MORE out of place than the Chapel.

In that sense, if you believe in "form follows function" to ANY significant degree, I think sticking these forms designed for dense urban settings in the middle of a giant lawn is just wrong.

But again, I recognize my strong feelings on this subject may not be widely shared--yet.

But if we ever did build up around them with high-quality Gothic buildings, I am dead sure no one would then want to tear them down just for more green space.
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