$2.5 Million Grant To Aid Granite Building Hotel Project In Downtown Pittsburgh

DSC01828Gov. Tom Corbett delivered a $2.5 million state redevelopment assistance capital grant this morning to jump start Downtown’s latest hotel project — 104 rooms, three bars, and a brasserie-style restaurant at Wood Street and Sixth Avenue.

The $38 million independent boutique hotel will be housed in the Granite Building, a Romanesque-style structure built in 1889 and site of the former German National Bank. A building next door that once housed an Arby’s restaurant also will be part of the development.

The project is being developed by Holly Brubach, a former New York Times style editor who bought the Granite Building in 2006 with the intent of turning it into condominiums.

But that project was done in by the recession, prompting Ms. Brubach to change course.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/10/24/2-5M-grant-to-jump-start-Granite-Building-hotel-project-in-downtown-Pittsburgh/stories/201410240194

‘Celebrate Downtown’ Shines Light On Pittsburgh Revitalization

Downtown Pittsburgh as seen from PNC Park across the Allegheny River

Downtown Pittsburgh as seen from PNC Park across the Allegheny River

Downtown should be an exciting place to go or live. It remains an important indicator of any city’s health.

For the past 20 years, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has worked to revitalize Downtown and will call attention to its progress with eight days of activities called “Celebrate Downtown” from July 14 to 21.

New this year to the annual Celebrate Downtown attractions are Dining Around, sampling food and drink at some of the city’s most highly regarded restaurants; All Access Pittsburgh, a series of tours; and Open Streets, which will create space for people to enjoy part of Downtown free of cars, buses and trucks.

The creation of the Cultural District and revitalization of Market Square are only part of the changes Downtown. More than 12,000 people live Downtown now, with more than 2,000 new apartments coming.

Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/moreaande/6418404-74/downtown-july-market#ixzz37GwwnvK9
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We Were On Assignment In Pittsburgh Since Last Thursday But We’re Back

 

 

Workers, Officials Mark Placement Of Last Steel Beam Atop Tower At PNC Plaza

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)

Downtown’s newest skyscraper has reached a milestone.

Scores of construction workers, with their hard hats on and cell phones recording the moment, watched from the ground today as the last steel beam for PNC Financial Services Group’s 33-story Tower at PNC Plaza was put into place.

The beam featured the signatures of many of the iron workers, carpenters and other tradesmen who have been working on the $400 million building, billed as the world’s greenest skyrise. Others signing the beam included officials with PNC, which intends to make the glass high-rise its new global headquarters.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/06/24/Workers-officials-mark-placement-of-last-steel-beam-atop-Tower-at-PNC-Plaza/stories/201406240197#ixzz35b8WsYv1

Nearby Businesses Can’t Escape Effects As PNC Tower Goes Up In Downtown Pittsburgh

Locator map with the Central Business District...

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

As a $400 million project to build PNC Financial Services Group’s new corporate headquarters nears the midpoint, surrounding business owners are anxiously awaiting completion of Downtown’s biggest skyscraper in more than a quarter-century.

Some look forward to an anticipated boost in business. Others long for their misery to end.

“It’s tough to complain about progress, but this project has definitely been a struggle for us,” said Rob Kania, owner of Metropolitan Preschool & Nursery, which runs a Fifth Avenue facility in the shadow of the project.

Most agree The Tower at PNC Plaza will become a jewel in the city’s skyline. PNC hopes it will be the world’s most environmentally friendly office building.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6233934-74/pnc-project-tower#ixzz34AFlxv00
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Downtown Pittsburgh Enjoys Growth In Population, Building Boom

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)

Fred and Christine Thieman migrated from the suburbs to Downtown when their youngest child went to college about three years ago.

That year, for the first time in more than 90 years, the nation’s biggest cities, including Pittsburgh, grew faster than their suburbs, according to the Brookings Institution, a Washington policy group.

The trend continued in each of the past two years, though growth rates for cities and suburbs hover around 1 percent and the gap between them is narrowing, Brookings reported in May.

But the population living Downtown has soared. Census data show the area was home to 12,343 people last year, up 10.5 percent from 2010.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/6202435-74/downtown-units-percent#ixzz33UyDfZnb
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New Economic Study Points To Rapid Growth In Downtown Pittsburgh

English: Downtown Pittsburgh

English: Downtown Pittsburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it comes to economic and residential growth, the Golden Triangle has had the golden touch in recent years, with almost $800 million in development under construction and about twice that much planned.

A study released on Thursday predicts that trend will continue with explosive development of apartments, hotels and retail and high-end office space in Pittsburgh’s Greater Downtown, including the Triangle, North Shore, South Shore, Uptown, the Bluff and near Strip District as far northeast as 31st Street.

“We’re only experiencing the beginning of Downtown’s transformation,” said Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Downtown Partnership.

The partnership produced the study, which looked at economic indicators in several key areas to evaluate Downtown’s vitality. It gave the results in a presentation at Union Trust Building — itself a symbol of Downtown’s revitalization.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/6115943-74/downtown-percent-partnership#ixzz31tEGYvVi
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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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Golden Triangle Triage: 5 PennDOT Options For Easing Traffic And Improving Safety At Manheim Township Intersection

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

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

Think the intersection at Golden Triangle is a mess?

If so, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation agrees.

PennDOT hired an engineering firm to figure out how to improve the intersection at Lititz and Oregon pikes, Fordney Road and the Golden Triangle shopping center.

The state is prepared to spend between $300,000 and $1 million on construction, signals, signs and restriping of lanes to make traffic flow more smoothly and safely through the intersection.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/911475_Golden-Triangle-triage–5-PennDOT-options-for-easing-traffic-and-improving-safety-at-Manheim-Township-intersection.html#ixzz2j8sqjmCv

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

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

Makeover For Pittsburgh’s PPG Place May Include Grocery Store

PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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

A little more than a year after acquiring the Downtown complex, the owner of PPG Place is eyeing a property makeover that could drastically alter the food court and Wintergarden as well as the space fronting Market Square.

Highwoods Properties is seeking to upgrade PPG’s retail space and is considering the option of replacing the food court with a grocery, CEO and president Ed Fritsch said.

“We’re evaluating a number of options, and that certainly is one of them,” he said.  “It is still early on.  I think any Downtown worker or resident … would love to have that type of shopping amenity in Downtown.”

Highwoods paid $179.4 million in September 2011 to acquire the glass castle-like, six-building complex in the heart of Downtown and has boosted the office occupancy from 81.2 percent to more than 90 percent since then.  It also is in the process of making $17.1 million in capital improvements, including new signs and directories and modernized air conditioning and heating systems and elevators.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/makeover-for-ppg-place-may-include-grocery-store-669441/#ixzz2HR7nN5MJ

Pittsburgh Ready To Light Up The Night

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)

Pittsburgh police are hoping Light Up Night revelers will avoid the buzz kill of a parking ticket or trip to the tow pound.

They are recommending extra caution tonight for those who drive to the festivities.  Because several parking meters have been removed and replaced with kiosks, the temporary “no parking” signs might not be as in-your-face as when they were attached to each meter.  They recommend that visitors park in lots or garages rather than on the streets.

As an added precaution, they are urging visitors not to leave valuables like iPods, laptops or GPS devices within sight in their vehicles.

“The holiday season is upon us and there are predators who seek the opportunity to vandalize vehicles when they observe unsecured valuables left in plain view,” said police spokeswoman Diane Richard.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/city-ready-to-light-up-the-night-662359/#ixzz2CP2kXJyz

More Light Up Night info here:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/downtown-will-be-packed-again-for-light-up-weekend-662083/

“Pop Up” Store Trend Coming To Pittsburgh

Downtown Pittsburgh

Image via Wikipedia

This is a great idea that could be applied in Pottstown to help fill our empty downtown!

A new trend has developed that is being successfully used in several cities across the county.  “Pop up” stores are being used to fill empty retail spaces.  These temporary stores and exhibits are helping to increase foot traffic and decrease crime in downtown areas.  Seattle has been very successful with this approach and has filled 25 store fronts in 11 months.  Pittsburgh hopes to fill 15 store fronts using this idea.

I am sure you have all seen seasonal pop up stores in the mall for Halloween and Christmas, for example.  They may only need space for a few months however, at least the store front is occupied part of the time.  Pittsburgh is also looking at artists who need studio and exhibition space along with retailers.  The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has hired consultants to oversee their new grant program that gives operators and artists start-up grants from $1,500 to $10,000.

Here is a link to Pittsburgh’s website that goes into more detail about the program:

http://projectpopuppittsburgh.wordpress.com/

50th Annual Pittsburgh Light Up Night Festivities Tainted By Violence

As usual, one bad apple…  A joyous annual event, eagerly anticipated by Pittsburghers, was tainted this evening.  During the fireworks a shooting occurred.  A man was shot and wounded at the corner of Smithfield Street and Liberty Avenue.  During police questioning, an unruly crowd gathering in front of the Wood Street subway station and a fight broke out.  35-50 people were arrested.  K-9 units were called in and pepper spray was used.  After an hour and a half, order was restored. 

Kudos to the Pittsburgh Police Department for quickly restoring order!

Shame on the n’er do wells for trying to spoil a downtown holiday event that 200,000 people were expected to attend!

The holiday events continue all day tomorrow.  For details: http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/entertainment/1038754/detail.html

This link shows some great pictures of downtown Pittsburgh at night, all lit up…there are several pictures with Christmas decorations and the Christmas tree in Point State Park lit up for your enjoyment!

http://pittsburghskyline.com/content/2007/01/07/pittsburgh-scenes-for-the-new-year/