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Unread 01-25-2011, 11:40 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 16,236,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
If 10,000 people suddenly move to Pittsburgh, will everyone suddenly move into high rises? Will people stop choosing to live in a 2 story building in Shadyside? Maybe some, if the highrises are cheap, but most will still choose the older buildings, IMO. After all, a desire to live in older buildings is one of the big reasons people move to Pittsburgh.
So there are multiple ways this can work. Right now, for example, developers are converting various buildings and upperfloors in Downtown Pittsburgh to residential units, and there are some condos in our latest highrise (Three PNC) and other new buildings Downtown (like Piatt Place). Living Downtown, either in an old building or a new one, puts you right in the heart of a bunch of historic architecture. There have been some popular conversions of industrial buildings nearby, and there is a vacant Burnham highrise in East Liberty that may get converted to residential units.

Accordingly, I don't think this is a neat distinction. Indeed, even in some of the mostly-SFH neighborhoods you will see new stuff filling into the old stuff, and for some people that may be ideal. Sometimes those are new SFHs, sometimes they are townhouses, sometimes they are multi-unit buildings (note that many of our mostly-SFH residential neighborhoods have at least some historic multi-unit buildings mixed in).

Personally, I expect a lot of everything in the future. Some people will occupy and fix up historic SFHs. Some people will gravitate to new-builds in the same neighborhoods of varying types. Some people will look for condos/lofts/apartments in places like Downtown, the Strip, and East Liberty. And some people will live in totally new developments with an urbanist vibe, like Summerset at Frick Park or South Side Works, that are nonetheless near historic districts. And so on--there are lots of ways to participate in the historic aspects of Pittsburgh.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,391 posts, read 12,486,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Personally, I expect a lot of everything in the future. Some people will occupy and fix up historic SFHs. Some people will gravitate to new-builds in the same neighborhoods of varying types. Some people will look for condos/lofts/apartments in places like Downtown, the Strip, and East Liberty. And so on--there are lots of ways to participate in the historic aspects of Pittsburgh.
Cool! I'm looking forward to watching how this progresses and I think it's great that so many people appreciate the historic aspects of your town (especially if you can convert old industrial buildings). I like cities that have a little bit of something for everyone and high rises have a lot of appeal for some. At the same time, I sure hope Pittsburgh avoids the temptation to tear down too many of its older buildings, as nice as highrises can sometimes be. I really believe your older neighborhoods are a huge draw if you want to attract people to move there. Those old buildings and distinct neighborhoods are a much bigger asset than many people may realize.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Yankeesfan View Post
Just want to point out that one of reason for the growth in NoVA is that college-educated people with professional experience are more likely to find jobs that pay more than $10 per hour and provide benefits, than they apparently can in Pittsburgh .
I know this was meant as a joke, but I should note that Pittsburgh is actually doing very well in terms of employing young professionals. Of course so is the DC area, and the DC area is just flat out bigger and so has more total opportunities to offer. It also has more opportunities in specific fields (e.g., federal government), and pay is also higher in DC, although it is an open question whether it is high enough to compensate for the higher cost of living.

To sum up, there are differences, but in broad terms that isn't really a notable contrast between Pittsburgh and DC--each in its own way is among the best metros in the country these days when it comes to employing young professionals.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 11:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
At the same time, I sure hope Pittsburgh avoids the temptation to tear down too many of its older buildings, as nice as highrises can sometimes be. I really believe your older neighborhoods are a huge draw if you want to attract people to move there. Those old buildings and distinct neighborhoods are a much bigger asset than many people may realize.
Absolutely agree--that is a big part of our comparative advantage right now.

Fortunately, we have lots of centrally-located land which is currently vacant and could be used. Assuming only slow growth in the City population, it should be a long time before we really run out of space. The trick is making sure those areas are developed and serviced in a timely fashion, such that we don't see too much pressure to make space available in more established neighborhoods.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Philly
8,040 posts, read 6,033,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Quality over quantity. In other words, slow growth does seem to be more conducive to an improving quality of life than rapid growth, and at least for now, Pittsburgh appears to be on that path. I do think a little growth is a good idea because it helps attract capital funding for maintaining and improving infrastructure, key institutions, the housing stock, and so on. Similarly, it also helps keep legacy costs from overwhelming local governments (the biggest single problem Pittsburgh has today, in my opinion). But studies like this suggest the growth rate can be quite low.
I'm not sure it says that, exactly. reading it, it doesn't appear there is a hard and fast rule. slow growth doesn't necessarily meaning income growth or any other quality of life improvement (buffalo, cleveland) but it also doesn't mean people are struggling and may even be improving (pittsburgh). it appears that it's entirely possible to be fast growing but not have good job and income growth, fast growing with those things, slow growing without them, or slow growing with them. if you look at philadelphia you'll find a city (not necessarily the region) where tourism took off but higher end office jobs decamped for the suburbs leading to a situation where low growth and low income growth went hand in hand. in buffalo, it appears the people and the jobs left. in florida there's lots of growth but few good paying industries. he book sounds like it might be worth a read. if you consider two slow growth cities in pennsylvania, there is one big difference: philly's business taxes make pittsburgh's look like texas. OTOH, pittsburgh has been even more absentee funding it's legacy costs over the years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
By the way, I somewhat disagree with one of the claims in the article. Various government policies are in fact limiting growth in places like New York or Boston, basically by making it hard to develop a lot of new housing units. I don't necessarily think you should be deliberately doing that, but I think a fair conclusion would be that you can have fairly tight land-use policies and still achieve improving prosperity.
very true, though he seems to be concerned mainly with direct controls (leave it to california)
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Unread 01-25-2011, 02:33 PM
 
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I agree it is complicated. I think if you controlled for other factors the correlation would be as I stated it, but that is difficult to do.

Suffice it to say you don't need rapid growth for improving prosperity, and at least in some cases rapid growth appears to have hampered improving prosperity.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 05:54 PM
 
4,297 posts, read 4,336,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
I know this was meant as a joke, but I should note that Pittsburgh is actually doing very well in terms of employing young professionals. Of course so is the DC area, and the DC area is just flat out bigger and so has more total opportunities to offer. It also has more opportunities in specific fields (e.g., federal government), and pay is also higher in DC, although it is an open question whether it is high enough to compensate for the higher cost of living.

To sum up, there are differences, but in broad terms that isn't really a notable contrast between Pittsburgh and DC--each in its own way is among the best metros in the country these days when it comes to employing young professionals.
One would probably need to consider this on a field-by-field basis. In some fields, it's not an open question as to whether the opportunities and profit margins in DC and other cities are higher than in Pittsburgh, although one might rationally ask whether other quality-of-life factors compensate, either in whole or in part, for the lower financial rewards.

For example, in your chosen field, all the major Pittsburgh-based firms opened offices in NYC and DC, hoping that more profitable practices in those cities would subsidize the Pittsburgh operations. They achieved that goal, but frequently at the expense of losing control of their firms to leaders based outside Pittsburgh. Even the firms that remained controlled by leaders in Pittsburgh sought to rebrand themselves as "national," rather than "Pittsburgh-based," firms. In comparison, major NYC or DC firms only rarely perceive a benefit to opening an outpost in Pittsburgh, although a few have done so to cement a relationship with a company headquartered in the city.

Last edited by JEB77; 01-25-2011 at 06:20 PM..
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Unread 01-25-2011, 06:01 PM
 
4,297 posts, read 4,336,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
So there are multiple ways this can work. Right now, for example, developers are converting various buildings and upperfloors in Downtown Pittsburgh to residential units, and there are some condos in our latest highrise (Three PNC) and other new buildings Downtown (like Piatt Place). Living Downtown, either in an old building or a new one, puts you right in the heart of a bunch of historic architecture. There have been some popular conversions of industrial buildings nearby, and there is a vacant Burnham highrise in East Liberty that may get converted to residential units.

Accordingly, I don't think this is a neat distinction. Indeed, even in some of the mostly-SFH neighborhoods you will see new stuff filling into the old stuff, and for some people that may be ideal. Sometimes those are new SFHs, sometimes they are townhouses, sometimes they are multi-unit buildings (note that many of our mostly-SFH residential neighborhoods have at least some historic multi-unit buildings mixed in).

Personally, I expect a lot of everything in the future. Some people will occupy and fix up historic SFHs. Some people will gravitate to new-builds in the same neighborhoods of varying types. Some people will look for condos/lofts/apartments in places like Downtown, the Strip, and East Liberty. And some people will live in totally new developments with an urbanist vibe, like Summerset at Frick Park or South Side Works, that are nonetheless near historic districts. And so on--there are lots of ways to participate in the historic aspects of Pittsburgh.
This sounds a lot like the range of development that took place in Brooklyn over the past decade, when NYC was awash with money from the financial services industry.

Can the renascent industries in Pittsburgh (health care, education, banking, others?) really be expected to generate comparable levels of wealth to bankroll such comparatively expensive forms of urban development? Is it a "if we built it, they will come" scenario, or perhaps you're just describing incremental development that may start out on a relatively small scale, but reap benefits over a longer period.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 06:45 PM
 
5,677 posts, read 3,103,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
For example, in your chosen field, all the major Pittsburgh-based firms opened offices in NYC and DC, hoping that more profitable practices in those cities would subsidize the Pittsburgh operations. They achieved that goal, but frequently at the expense of losing control of their firms to leaders based outside Pittsburgh. Even the firms that remained controlled by leaders in Pittsburgh sought to rebrand themselves as "national," rather than "Pittsburgh-based," firms. In comparison, major NYC or DC firms only rarely perceive a benefit to opening an outpost in Pittsburgh, although a few have done so to cement a relationship with a company headquartered in the city.
It's also a recognition that DC and NYC are important access points to those who regulate their industry and the doorstep to the world respectively. An HQ based in Pittsburgh can direct these offices or move the HQ there and base the bulk of the operations in a low-cost city namely Pittsburgh.

I live in Atlanta and it is the representative of and access point for the southeast region so companies and the federal government like to put their branch offices here. And Atlanta's airport has a broad national and international reach so we even get the North American headquarters of companies as well. CNN is Atlanta based but there is no denying that the media center is NYC so CNN has an important presence there and for obvious reasons in DC. CNN might move its headquarters to NYC someday but to hold down costs, I think a lot of operations will remain in Atlanta.

That's one advantage Pittsburgh (and Atlanta) have is that DC and especially NYC are really expensive places so a company should have only the personnel that they really need there. Companies in NYC and probably elsewhere look to have branch offices in other locations in case of the worst like what happened on 9/11.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Philly
8,040 posts, read 6,033,214 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
I agree it is complicated. I think if you controlled for other factors the correlation would be as I stated it, but that is difficult to do.

Suffice it to say you don't need rapid growth for improving prosperity, and at least in some cases rapid growth appears to have hampered improving prosperity.
to be sure slow.changes are easier to deal with than big ones. i dont think youd say rapid population loss would equate improving qol. otoh...sometimes you just have to take the hand your dealt and make the best of it. someone atgued this on this site a couple years ago with data. he said places like phoenix were population growth related. obviously when pittsburgh boomed originally there was real wealth being created not theft like dc. there was a boom in value and people...even if the profits were unevenly distributed (of course many old world countries were worse).
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