Pittsburgh Airport-Area Development Exceeding Expectations

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It wasn’t much more than two years ago that Richard Donley committed to erecting a new building near Pittsburgh International Airport every 18 months.

At the time, he had no tenants and there was plenty of empty office space in the corridor.

Talk about pressure.

“We were nervous about it,” said Mr. Donley, president of developer Chaska Property Advisors of Cranberry.

Not so much anymore.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/10/02/Pittsburgh-airport-area-development-exceeding-expectations/stories/201410020254

Gov. Corbett Announces Redevelopment Grant For Former Saks Site, Oliver Building

Trinity Epsicopal with its neighbors, the Oliv...

Trinity Epsicopal with its neighbors, the Oliver Building and the old Gimbels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Surrounded by an array of Pittsburgh civic and development interests, Gov. Tom Corbett stood in Mellon Square Monday to announce a $4 million state grant to seed the redevelopment of the Henry W. Oliver Building and its neighbor, the former Saks Fifth Avenue department store.

Mr. Corbett told a small crowd overlooking the planned developments that the Henry W. Oliver Building had special interest for him because he had worked in an office there during his career in private practice before joining the U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Noting that he had been in the city last week to release state funds for a theater project for Point Park University, Mr. Corbett called Pittsburgh, “a model for redevelopment and smart growth.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/09/29/Governor-Corbett-announced-redevelopment-grant-for-Downtown-Pittsburgh/stories/201409290199

Pittsburgh To Display City’s Progress, Potential At Major Bike Conference Downtown

DSC01828Pittsburgh is already America’s most livable city, and a conference here this week might help it become even more so.

The city is hosting the Pro Walk/​Pro Bike/​Pro Place conference today through Thursday, welcoming more than 1,000 planners, architects, public health professionals, real estate professionals, educators and advocates from around the globe.

The conference could benefit Pittsburgh and the visitors.

“To have them learn from us and have us learn from them and all of their years of experience changing their cities into walkable, bikeable places is really really important for Pittsburghers but also for the people visiting Pittsburgh,” said Scott Bricker, executive director of Bike Pittsburgh.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/2014/09/08/Pittsburgh-will-display-progress-potential-at-major-bike-conference/stories/201409080015#ixzz3CkHIYKhK

Judge OKs Sale Of Wilson Center; Hotel Feasibility Study To Begin

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Allegheny County judge on Tuesday approved the sale of the debt-ridden August Wilson Center for African American Culture to a New York-based company.

Common Pleas Judge Lawrence J. O’Toole agreed that 980 Liberty Partners will have 60 days to perform an engineering study to determine the feasibility of building a hotel atop the center and 10 days to show proof that it has the money to close on the sale.

The judge scheduled a status conference for June 9 and did not rule on pending objections.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6182390-74/center-980-judge#ixzz32xdSjjBn
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US Airways To Close Moon Flight Operations Center, Affecting 600 Jobs

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Built less than six years ago, a state-of-the-art flight operations control center in Moon will be closing and the work transferred to Texas, a casualty in the American Airlines-US Airways merger.

American Airlines announced Friday that it intends to consolidate flight operations in Dallas-Fort Worth over the next 18 months, costing the region a facility built specifically for the needs of US Airways and the 600 jobs that go with it.

“It’s pretty sad for the people that have been here for a long time,” said Danny Persuit, president of Transport Workers Union Local 545, which represents 164 employees at the center.

In a separate action, American also plans to transfer 53 mechanics out of Pittsburgh in what it said was an annual maintenance “rebalancing” unrelated to the merger.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/01/24/US-Airways-to-close-Moon-flight-operations-center/stories/201401240148#ixzz2rQyL9pLw

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Allegheny County Police Arrest 29 On Drug Charges In Pitcairn Area

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allegheny County Police arrested 29 Pitcairn-area residents on drug charges in a 10-month undercover investigation that yielded warrants for 51 suspected “low-level dealers,” Superintendent Charles Moffatt said.

The sting began about 6:20 a.m. Friday and extended into the afternoon. One suspect suffered a heart attack during the course of his arrest and was hospitalized, Moffatt said.

Officers recovered one weapon and small quantities of prescription pills, crack cocaine and heroin. Investigators sought warrants for the suspects after observing them sell drugs at least three times each between March 13 and Nov. 15, Moffatt said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5207992-74/county-drug-police#ixzz2mojNV8bW
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Downtown Pittsburgh, Oakland Rapid Bus Route Urged

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Backers of a proposed Bus Rapid Transit corridor connecting Downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland have adopted an ambitious timetable to advance the project.

Wendy Stern, Port Authority assistant general manager for planning and development, told a board committee recently that project supporters hope to apply for federal funding next fall. That would require completion of preliminary engineering and environmental review before then, and securing all of the non-federal funding needed for construction.

That would keep the project on track for a start of service in 2017.

A preliminary estimate of the overall cost is $200 million and the project would have to prevail in a highly competitive federal grant program to move ahead, Ms. Stern said. A federal grant likely would cover only 50 percent of the cost.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/12/02/Port-Authority-pushes-Downtown-Oakland-rapid-yyy-Downtown-to-Oakland-rapid-bus-route-urged/stories/201312020059#ixzz2mL8hxINw

Southwestern Pennsylvania Transit Merger Report Is Due Out In April

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A private firm hired by PennDOT to study the merging of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s 10 transit systems — which has drawn interest from county leaders across the region — said on Monday it will present its findings in April.

Officials from outside of Alle­gheny County said forming a regional transit system is a good idea but are wary of taking on the costs of the Port Authority of Allegheny County.

“We’ve got to look at it. All of these small transit systems are dying on the vine. There’s no federal and state funding. You want to see if you can consolidate some things, but a lot of details have to be worked out,” said Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi. “I certainly don’t want to absorb (Port Authority legacy costs) to Washington County taxpayers.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/4961575-74/transit-county-authority#ixzz2j8v6KQEL
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Pittsburgh’s ‘Knit The Bridge’ Project Declared A Success

Seventh Street Bridge (aka Andy Warhol Bridge)...

It was covered by the BBC and NPR, Time.com and the Huffington Post and by media in Europe and Israel.

The vast, improbable, record-breaking Knit the Bridge project — in which the 1,061-foot-long Andy Warhol Bridge was covered with 580 knitted and crocheted blankets during the second weekend of August — is officially a success, according to organizers, public officials, knitting enthusiasts, yarn bombers and people on the streets of Downtown.

Today is the last day to see the largest such “yarn bombing” of a structure in the United States and possibly in the world, before a team of volunteers arrives at 5 a.m. Saturday to start dismantling the project. The bridge will be closed until 7 p.m. Sunday as volunteers undo the thousands of plastic ties fastening the acrylic yarn panels to the structure, said Amanda Gross, a local fiber artist who came up with the idea for the Knit the Bridge project.

As the city basked in warm September sunshine Thursday, those strolling near the 87-year-old steel suspension bridge gave the project rave reviews.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/knit-the-bridge-project-declared-a-success-702219/#ixzz2e8uj3g5u

Dick’s Sporting Goods To Expand Findlay Headquarters

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Six weeks ago, one of the region’s newest corporate players — Chevron — announced agreements to acquire land for a potential regional headquarters. Now one of the more established local players — Dick’s Sporting Goods — is gearing up to expand its own corporate footprint.

Dick’s has reached an agreement with the Allegheny County Airport Authority to lease about 73 acres at the Northfield Commerce Park near Pittsburgh International Airport “for possible expansion of our corporate campus.”

The Findlay-based retailer’s deal is the latest example of an upsurge of interest in the Parkway West office market, which is benefiting from the need for space by energy companies involved in Marcellus Shale drilling.

But the Dick’s deal shows there are other factors at work as well.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/dicks-sporting-goods-to-expand-findlay-headquarters-691353/#ixzz2WCGzzLWy

Chevron Acquires Kmart Property In Moon Township For Possible Regional Headquarters

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A discount superstore and a large vacant tract of land on a bluff overlooking the Parkway West could become the latest symbols of the region’s growing energy identity.

Global energy giant Chevron has reached agreements to acquire 61 acres of land in Moon, including a Kmart targeted for closing in July, as a potential site for a regional headquarters.

The San Ramon, Calif.-based company made the announcement Wednesday, only days after Sears Holdings Corp. confirmed it would be closing the Kmart. It made no mention at the time that the store was closing to make room for the first major global driller to build a regional campus.

In its statement, Chevron said it expects to close on the acquisitions in the next few months. No terms were disclosed. It said a decision on the use of the properties would be made later this year.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/chevron-acquires-kmart-property-in-moon-for-possible-regional-headquarters-685784/#ixzz2S9hTaqc3

US Airways Moon Township Center May Close

FAA Airport Diagram of KPIT

FAA Airport Diagram of KPIT (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

US Airways may jettison yet another Pittsburgh International Airport facility built specifically for its needs — one financed with the help of more than $16 million in public subsidies.

In a meeting last week with pilots, US Airways CEO Doug Parker said the carrier may close its state-of-the-art operations control center in Moon in “a couple years” as a result of its merger with bankrupt American Airlines.

If Mr. Parker’s prediction holds true, it would be the latest blow to a region that has seen US Airways slash more than 10,000 jobs and hundreds of flights over the past decade.  The airline also eliminated its Pittsburgh hub in 2004 — 12 years after the midfield terminal, built to its specifications, opened to support the airline’s growing needs. US Airways now has about 1,800 employees in the region.

Closing the operations control center would cost the region another 700 jobs.  The 72,000-square-foot building opened in November 2008 after Pennsylvania and Allegheny County officials outbid Charlotte, N.C., and Phoenix for the facility.  It combined a center in Findlay that US Airways had operated for 11 years and a smaller one in Phoenix, the result of the carrier’s 2005 merger with America West Airlines.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/us-airways-moon-center-may-close-680893/#ixzz2OfqwUXRr

Allegheny County Port Authority Board Fires CEO

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Port Authority’s board of directors voted today to fire CEO Steve Bland after efforts broke down to reach a settlement under which he would resign.

The dismissal was engineered by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.  He has not commented on the matter but sources who asked not to be identified have said friction developed between the two over Mr. Fitzgerald’s desire to have greater control of day-to-day operations at the agency.

The vote to dismiss Mr. Bland was 5-3, with four members recently appointed by Mr. Fitzgerald all voting yes, along with board member Jeff Letwin, who was appointed by the prior county executive, Dan Onorato.  The others voting to fire were Joe Brimmeier, Connie Parker, John Tague, Tom Donatelli.

Voting no were Mavis Rainey, Amanda Green Hawkins and Eddie Edwards Jr., all of whom are board veterans.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/transportation/port-authority-board-fires-bland-672980/#ixzz2JfkDbXwW

Braddock Looks To New Kevin Sousa Restaurant As Urban Renewal Project

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Now this is walking the talk! Good luck Chef Sousa!

Even more people are going to think chef Kevin Sousa is nuts: He’s not only opening his next restaurant in busted-down Braddock, he’s also moving his family there.

At a press conference today at County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s office, the multi-tasking co-owner of Salt of the Earth in Garfield — and Station Street Hot Dogs and Union Pig and Chicken in East Liberty — announced that he’s opening a restaurant in the former Cuda’s Italian Market building at Eighth Street and Braddock Avenue, a desolate corner in one of the region’s most desolate business districts.

As a sign of his commitment to this broke but the once-bustling borough on the Monongahela River, Mr. Sousa decided he’s going to live there, too, in the old Ohringer Building just down the street.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-south/braddock-looks-to-new-kevin-sousa-restaurant-as-urban-renewal-project-641021/#ixzz1yHTCD9Sl