Pittsburgh Is Home To The Best Cake In America, Says HuffPost

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)

We here at Pittsburgh Magazine are not so different from Jay-Z. We’re also all about the cake (cake, cake, cake cake). So we’ve been trumpeting the deliciousness of Prantl’s Bakery to anyone who would listen (that would be you, dear reader) for years. Thankfully, the nice folks over at the all-consuming digital media behemoth The Huffington Post have taken notice, too.

HuffPo’s Taste blog has named Prantl’s burnt almond torte The Best Cake America Has Ever Made. That’s a bold proclamation, made bolder still by the author outright trolling the inevitable New York City comment section mumblywumps right in the lead paragraph.

Read more: http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best-of-the-Burgh-Blogs/The-412/April-2014/HuffPost-Taste-Praises-Prantls-for-Having-the-Best-Cake-America-Has-Ever-Made/

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Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Turnaround Complete, Owner Patel Says

Kiran Patel says the days of turmoil at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh are finally over.

“The city and people at large want to see this property not as an eyesore,” Patel, the hotel’s owner since 2011, said this week.

Nearly $15 million in renovations were completed in January, adding three floors to the front of the building, more meeting space and a pool with a breathtaking view of the Fort Pitt Bridge and the Point.

But getting there was not easy. Patel, a Tampa physician and businessman, had to navigate the hotel out of bankruptcy, manage union unrest over a new contact, and complete the renovation project that was stalled for at least two years under the previous owners.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5924249-74/hotel-patel-wyndham#ixzz2yj4m6ho8
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A Major Chunk Of PNC Tower’s New Glass ‘Skin’ Being Built In Pittsburgh

In a nondescript building in a city industrial park near Crafton, a big part of PNC’s $400 million Downtown skyscraper is being assembled piece by piece.

Permasteelisa Group, one of the world’s top contractors in the manufacturing and installation of building shells and interiors, has set up a mobile factory in the 80,000-square-foot warehouse to put together the 33-story Tower at PNC Plaza‘s “double skin” glass facade.

Roughly half of the building shell is being assembled at the site, with the rest being done in Windsor, Conn., Permasteelisa’s North American headquarters.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/02/27/A-major-chunk-of-PNC-tower-s-glass-skin-being-built-in-Pittsburgh/stories/201402270150#ixzz2uYvLYSzr

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Macy’s Exits As Lead Sponsor Of Pittsburgh’s Holiday Parade

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)

Department store operator Macy’s has pulled out as lead sponsor of Pittsburgh’s holiday parade kicking off the Christmas season, ending a 32-year relationship with the event.

The change was announced this morning by WPXI-TV, which said it is seeking a new sponsor to help support the event.

“We will do everything in our power to keep this parade alive, and we fully expect to,” said Ray Carter, vice president and general manager of the station, in a prepared statement.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/02/27/Macy-s-exits-as-lead-sponsor-of-Pittsburgh-s-holiday-parade/stories/201402270254#ixzz2uYsJr8AQ

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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

Families Flock To Downtown Pittsburgh For Annual Light Up Night Festivities

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

They filtered into the city, slowly at first, late on Friday afternoon, some pushing strollers, others holding hands and huddling under umbrellas.

They were determined to celebrate Pittsburgh’s annual Light Up Night.

Before nightfall, the rain stopped, the crowds swelled and Pittsburgh did not disappoint, putting on a show that began with the lighting of eight Christmas trees across Downtown and ending with a fireworks spectacular.

The holiday kickoff got under way early in the afternoon at the courthouse, where Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald lit LED lights installed at the top of the 325-foot tower. A crowd gathered at the corner of Grant Street and Forbes Avenue at noon to watch the tower shine red and green for the first time in its 125-year history.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5110417-74/christmas-downtown-anna#ixzz2lU4sOBiA
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Light Up Night Events In Pittsburgh

One Mellon Center in downtown Pittsburgh, Penn...

One Mellon Center in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Possible showers and traffic delays aside, the 53rd annual Light Up Night events start at noon, with the tree lighting at the City-County Building. The PPG Plaza tree will be lit at 6 p.m., and 45 minutes later, Macy’s festive windows will be unveiled.

The BNY Mellon Fireworks Finale will go off at 9:38 p.m., as Zambelli Internationale fireworks will launch from the Warhol Bridge, synchronized to a live broadcast on 3WS (94.5 FM).

Expect street and sidewalk closures and transit detours throughout Downtown Pittsburgh today.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/11/22/Light-Up-Night-events/stories/201311220102#ixzz2lP1p3rD4

You Know, Downtown Pittsburgh Life Can Be Quite Sweet

English: Downtown Pittsburgh

English: Downtown Pittsburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was a downtown Pittsburgh resident for the month of Buctober and Ducktober.

A bit of an explanation first: In August, I entered an online contest sponsored by Imagine Pittsburgh, an initiative of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, designed to drum up interest in living in the Golden Triangle. The prize: One month in Millcraft Investment’s River Vue apartment building, the old state office building.

And my room had quite the view, overlooking Point State Park and a spectacular vista including Mt. Washington, and our three rivers. I liked River Vue, which bills itself as luxury apartment living — a lot. It’s quiet, the residents are friendly, and it’s in a great location.

Downtown living was a big change for me. Even though I’ve worked at the Trib on the North Side for more than 31⁄2 years, I’ve always been a suburbanite and have owned a house in Beaver County for more than nine years. I’ve never lived in a big-city, downtown setting.

Read more: http://triblive.com/lifestyles/morelifestyles/4941109-74/downtown-river-living#ixzz2jVJqYDn7
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Proposal Will Make Downtown Pittsburgh Core Totally Bus-Free

Locator map with the Central Business District...

Locator map with the Central Business District neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania highlighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Port Authority has begun working on a plan to remove buses and bus stops from the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh.

The plan, backed by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and the city’s presumptive mayor-to-be, Bill Peduto, would relocate routes and stops toward the edges of the Golden Triangle, creating what Mr. Fitzgerald called “a zone in the core of Downtown that is bus-free.”

Details have not been worked out and Mr. Fitzgerald said the changes aren’t likely until sometime next year. “We don’t want to rush into it and not do it right,” he said.

Mr. Peduto said he envisions a circular route pattern using wider streets toward the edges of Downtown rather than having buses coming from four different directions and turning around in the middle of town.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/proposal-will-make-downtown-pittsburgh-core-totally-bus-free-706169/#ixzz2glvcd970

Residents’ Input Spurs Revisions At Grandview

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)

After scrapping a grandiose hotel and condo project on Mount Washington in favor of apartments, a developer once again is tinkering with plans for the development.

The 300 apartments won’t be changing, but developer Beau Beemsterboer is adding an overlook and building a more “iconic” tower at the site of the former Edge restaurant at the east end of Grandview Avenue.

Charles L. “Luke” Desmone, the architect for the project, said Thursday the changes are being made to address concerns and comments raised by residents at meetings to discuss the switch from the hotel/condo project to the apartment complex.

As part of the latest revisions, a “stage-like” platform will be built just east of the Monongahela Incline and will offer visitors views of the Downtown skyline. While part of the proposed apartment complex, Mr. Desmone said the goal is to have the observation deck open to visitors.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/residents-input-spurs-grandview-revisions-704114/#ixzz2fSF3aCJP

Developer Scales Down Grandiose Project For Mount Washington

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)

Some five years after it was first proposed, a developer is scrapping plans for a grandiose $100 million hotel-condominium project on Mount Washington in favor of a more modest apartment complex.

Gone will be the 20-story high-rise featuring a four- to five-star, 163-room luxury hotel. Gone will be about 58 condos perched on a cliff overlooking Downtown.  Gone, apparently, will be amenities like a scenic overlook and a giant plaza that would have been open to the public.

Instead, Sycamore Grandview Development is proposing to construct about 300 market rate apartments in four buildings wrapped around a “grand central yard” at the four-acre site at the end of Grandview Avenue near the Monongahela Incline.

Developer Beau Beemsterboer is expected to present the revised plans to the community at a meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Mount Washington Senior Center.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/developer-scales-down-grandiose-project-for-mount-washington-702313/#ixzz2eDmwdroM

New Heinz Owners Cut 600 Jobs — Including 350 In Pittsburgh

PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Not off to the greatest start!

The new owners of the H.J. Heinz Co. are eliminating 600 office positions across the Pittsburgh company’s operations in the U.S. and Canada – including 350 jobs in Pittsburgh — as a move toward a more efficient operation.

A company spokesman this morning confirmed reports that layoffs had begun in Pittsburgh this week, about two months after the close of the $28 billion sale of the historic food company to 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway.

The cuts here will take Heinz employment in the region down from close to 1,200 to about 800.

“As part of our transition to a private company, the senior leadership team has examined every piece of our business to better position Heinz for accelerated growth in a very competitive global market,” said Michael Mullen, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/new-heinz-owners-cut-600-jobs-including-350-in-pittsburgh-699153/#ixzz2bs2KegX2

Pittsburgh Planning Commission Hears Of Downtown Demolitions, Plans For New Building Near Target In East Liberty

Locator map with the East Liberty neighborhood...

Locator map with the East Liberty neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania highlighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The city’s planning commission has inched the Pittsburgh Playhouse a step closer to its relocation from Oakland to Downtown.

In a 5-0 vote, commission members approved the demolition of three buildings on Forbes Avenue after receiving assurances from representatives of Point Park University that everything possible would be done to preserve their turn-of-the-century facades.

Also Tuesday, the commission learned of plans for a new six-story office building in East Liberty across the street from the Target department store, the latest in a wave of development in the neighborhood.

While the commission had received letters from two people opposed to the demolition of the Point Park-owned buildings at 320, 322 and 330 Forbes, including the former Honus Wagner sporting goods store, members decided to approve the request based on assurances that efforts would be made to preserve the terra-cotta facades.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/developer-plans-6-story-building-near-target-in-east-liberty-696643/#ixzz2ZzOy1mpW

1,364 Pennsylvania Bridges Face Weight Limits Unless Repaired

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The ...

English: The source of the Ohio River at “The Point” in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The Allegheny River (left) and the Monongahela River (right) join to form the Ohio here. The West End Bridge crosses the Ohio in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Liberty Bridge in Downtown Pittsburgh is among nearly 1,400 state-owned bridges that could be posted with weight restrictions in the next few years if the Legislature fails to enact a transportation funding bill, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Gov. Tom Corbett is scheduled to be in Pittsburgh today to press his case for funding, and he will hold a news conference under the 2,700-foot-long Liberty Bridge crossing the Monongahela River.  The bridge is in need of rehabilitation estimated to cost $40 million to $60 million, but PennDOT doesn’t have the money.

The department has identified 1,364 bridges statewide that could have weight restrictions soon if they aren’t repaired, rehabilitated or replaced.  The list, obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, contains about 400 bridges already posted with weight limits, but also includes several that are under construction now or will be soon, removing them from being at risk.

The Liberty Bridge is the biggest of 49 bridges in Allegheny County that are on the PennDOT list and not funded for rehabilitation or replacement.  Twelve of the 49 already have weight limits. Others, including the Hulton Bridge spanning the Allegheny River between Harmar and Oakmont and bridges near the Route 51-Route 88 intersection in Overbrook, are funded for replacement starting this year.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/1364-state-bridges-face-weight-limits-unless-fixed-690705/#ixzz2VY1cFWZL

Three Rivers Arts Festival Opens Friday

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

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

Whether you’re paddling to a floating platform for a mind-elevating experience or scratching your head over the meaning of a painted white Mustang with corn rows in place of racing stripes, you’re doing just what the organizers of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival hope you’ll do.

The 54th annual festival begins at noon Friday and continues through June 16 Downtown.  Admission is free to the 100 visual and performing events and activities that will bring in more than 500 artists to 20 venues including four stages.

New this year will be a half dozen artworks with the primary purpose to engage, perhaps puzzle, and inspire discussion.  Generally referred to as “public art,” these outdoor, often large and ambitious projects will extend from the middle of the Allegheny River by Point State Park to the walls of Tito Way in the Cultural District, near the “Cell Phone Disco.”

There are two ways of thinking about art, said, who became this year’s festival director as a part of her earlier appointment to Pittsburgh Cultural Trust director of festival management and special projects.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/ae/art-architecture/three-rivers-arts-festival-opens-friday-with-a-broad-spectrum-of-arts-and-entertainment-690509/#ixzz2VS8mw0Q1

Frothy Point: Pittsburgh’s Iconic Fountain Makes A Welcome Return

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)

The Golden Triangle‘s biggest outdoor party starts Friday with a big exclamation point on it — the iconic, 150-foot fountain that will spring back to life after being dormant since 2009.

Repairs and upgrades to the fountain were the last and most expensive part of a $35 million renovation of Point State Park that has been years in the making.  The $9.6 million fountain project included moving pumps and electrical systems to higher ground and out of a flood plain and installing a new granite ring, restored outer basin and LED lighting.

The graceful spray marks the point where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers join to form the Ohio, and it is both beautiful and refreshing.

The timing of the fountain’s return is not coincidental but deliberate, announced months ago jointly by Riverlife, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/editorials/frothy-point-the-citys-iconic-fountain-makes-a-welcome-return-690480/#ixzz2VS6NXBzG

Downtown Pittsburgh Building Boom Shows No Signs Of Letting Up

Pittsburgh Downtown at Night

Pittsburgh Downtown at Night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The development boom in the city center is showing no signs of abating.

Whether it’s in urban living, where three-quarters of the residents are relative newcomers, or light-rail transit usage, which saw an increase last year thanks to the new North Shore Connector, or reports of yet another hotel in the works, Downtown’s fortunes continue to be on the rise.

At least that appears to be the case based on a new Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership report measuring economic activity in and around the Golden Triangle last year.  The “State of Downtown Pittsburgh 2013″ details a number of encouraging trends, from the widely reported bump in residential and office space demand to an increase in the number of building permits issued for improvements last year.

Overall, the partnership counted 60 projects totaling more than $2.2 billion that have been announced or are under construction in the city’s core and fringes, including the 33-story, $400 million Tower at PNC Plaza on Wood Street, which is scheduled to open in the summer of 2015.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/downtown-pittsburgh-building-boom-shows-no-signs-of-letting-up-687244/#ixzz2TBe3tPvI

Oxford Development Co. Still In Talks With Possible High-Rise Tenants In Downtown Pittsburgh

English: Downtown Pittsburgh

English: Downtown Pittsburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another deadline will come and go without a decision by Oxford Development Co. on whether to build a 33-story skyscraper on Smithfield Street or renovate an existing building there.

Oxford initially had hoped to decide by the end of 2012 before extending the time frame to Sunday, the end of the first quarter.

While Shawn Fox, director of business development for the company, acknowledged that the firm probably won’t meet that deadline either, he added that Oxford is closing in on a decision.

“It’s not going to go that far into the future,” he said.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/oxford-development-co-still-in-talks-with-possible-high-rise-tenants-in-downtown-pittsburgh-681417/#ixzz2P2GZ6Up6

The Next Page: High Point Pittsburgh’s Lofty Ambition

U.S. Steel Tower in downtown Pittsburgh, Penns...

U.S. Steel Tower in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Imagine this incredible Downtown experience. You enter the lower elevator station on the Seventh Avenue side of the U.S. Steel Tower. As you rise up the side of the building in a glass elevator, the cityscape expands to ever-longer perspectives up the Allegheny River.  As magnificent as these vistas are, they’re a mere prelude to the scenic wonderland at the top.

Welcome to High Point Pittsburgh!

A glass atrium encloses the building’s entire 1-acre rooftop, creating 60,000 square feet of interior space on two levels and a glass-walled, open-air promenade at the very top.

High Point Pittsburgh’s heart is Stage HP, a spacious center area and performance venue.  The main floor also features the Gallery of Interactive Arts; the New Top of the Triangle restaurant; Pie-in-the-Sky cafe; and The High Bar, the city’s loftiest watering hole.  “Viewseums,” expansive garden areas in each corner of the triangular structure, are places to ponder the amazing vistas.  Glass-floored sections look down 850 feet to the streets below.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/perspectives/the-next-page-high-point-pittsburghs-lofty-ambition-678719/#ixzz2NMv9BiB4

Click this link to be taken to the project website:  http://highpointpark.org/the-investigation