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Old 01-18-2011, 05:43 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,978,157 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditchdigger View Post
To extend main lines some given distance to reach a site in the farmer's field the costs are going to be similar.
You'll need lower capacity main-line extensions for the industrial plant.

Quote:
Maybe you won't be able to sell anybody on the idea of high density residential in a rural setting, but there's no physical reason you couldn't build to any density you want.
What you can sell matters. The reason developers in the exurbs have to offer decent-sized yards is they have no other comparative advantage: commutes are longer, you are farther from other amenities, and so forth. But land is cheap so they can sell you a big yard.

Quote:
So if we already have excess capacity in the central areas, (and cheap housing in other areas, where infrastructure already exists as well), how does that mitigate in favor of even more residential in an area that requires re-development, and new and "a whole lot more" infrastructure?
As I pointed out above, both of us are talking about a hypothetical future. There are no industrial plants clamoring to locate in the City's brownfields either. But it is reasonable to anticipate that in the future, there will be increasing demand for centrally-located housing. Again, people in Pittsburgh aren't used to this, but it will only take moderate population growth for a short time before we start using up the existing housing capacity in the core area. And various trends are pointing to a demand shift in that direction as well.

Quote:
The river is sort of an industrial amenity. The RIDC has put some very nice industrial parks around the region, but I haven't visited one yet where you can dock a barge. River transportation is one of the factors that played into the mills locating where they did. Indeed, if you look at where they were, it must've been a key factor. Now, since this all hypothetical anyway, there's nothing to say that whatever industry might want to locate there would need the river, but lack of the river out there in the farmer's field could mitigate against some industrial possibility.
As I pointed out above, of course the rivers extend well outside the urban core. In other words, you don't need to use up urban core property just because you want a riverfront location.

Quote:
Which brings me, anyway, back to square one. I'm not sure another lap around the subject would be of any use.
Probably not. But I will note this post by Chris Briem:

Null Space: depends what your definition of stability is

Briem documents there that the severe depopulation of the Mon Valley mill towns actually began well before the steel bust, and that rising incomes for steel workers actually encouraged depopulation as people could afford to move away from the mills. This of course was the point I was making above: the mill town model is long dead, and these days even if you had industrial plants to locate, if you locate them in the core urban area not only are you going to be making relatively inefficient use of that space, but you are also going to be killing the residential potential of the surrounding areas as well.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:30 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,978,157 times
Reputation: 2827
Well, I have to take at least one thing back . . . there IS someone who wants to build a major new industrial plant in the Hazelwood LTV site:

UPMC hopes to build vaccine center in Hazelwood

I think you can maybe distinguish a vaccine center from many other industrial uses in terms of location needs--in this case, UPMC specifically said they decided to relocate their planned center from the old airport in Moon to this location in order to be near Pitt and other UPMC facilities. Nonetheless, they want 30 acres for it, and I think in general it is fair to say this project is more along ditchdigger's vision than mine.
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:50 AM
 
Location: About 10 miles north of Pittsburgh International
2,176 posts, read 2,091,158 times
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Quote:
...I think in general it is fair to say this project is more along ditchdigger's vision than mine.
If anybody asks me, I'll advocate in favor of gondola service to the Oakland area as a condition of the project moving forward.
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Old 01-22-2011, 12:13 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,978,157 times
Reputation: 2827
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditchdigger View Post
If anybody asks me, I'll advocate in favor of gondola service to the Oakland area as a condition of the project moving forward.
Deal! In all seriousness, some sort of transit linking the Hazelwood LTV and Oakland would be a very good idea.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:45 PM
 
366 posts, read 481,195 times
Reputation: 81
what do you guys think about this
One financial expert's opinion: home ownership = horrible investment : On The Block: SFGate
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:04 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,978,157 times
Reputation: 2827
I think it is absolutely true that viewed purely as a financial investment, buying a house is a pretty bad idea, and if you want to make a leveraged investment in real estate, you are better off doing that through a diversified portfolio of REITs.

As a way of financing paying for your residence--it really depends on the numbers, where you are in life, and so on. I do think we push home ownership on way more people than we should. On the other hand, it can work out in some circumstances, and in places like Pittsburgh where home values as a multiple of rents are not unreasonable, those circumstances will be a little more common.
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