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Old 05-30-2009, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,104 posts, read 56,047,586 times
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Default Beechview: is there a catch?

OK, so recently I was thumbing through some online listings for homes in Beechview. And to me, some of these houses look like a stone bargain, even by Pittsburgh standards. So I have to ask, is there a catch? It's been quite a while since I've been up through Beechview, and the impression I got back then is that the neighborhood is a little run-down and the business district looked as though it had seen better days, but other than that it struck me as a livable place.

I did some "driving around" via Google Street View and it still looks like the business district could use a little help. Why is that? Especially with the T running right through Beechview's 'downtown,' you'd think this would be some prime real estate. So what's holding this area back? Is it that proximity to sketchier areas makes its future stability uncertain? Is it still a fundamentally stable neighborhood for now? Is there anything other than aesthetics that would make any of you uncomfortable with the idea of living in Beechview?
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Old 05-30-2009, 04:26 PM
 
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Maybe it's just the reptuation of being a run down area. Etna has the same problem. It's safe and filled with mostly hard working families. People with money want houses in neighborhoods with status. People who have limited funds will buy in areas like Etna and Beachview because they are safe neighborhoods they can afford. As a result, the areas never really improve and housing prices stay within reach of working class families.
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Old 05-30-2009, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Maybe it's just the reptuation of being a run down area. Etna has the same problem. It's safe and filled with mostly hard working families. People with money want houses in neighborhoods with status. People who have limited funds will buy in areas like Etna and Beachview because they are safe neighborhoods they can afford. As a result, the areas never really improve and housing prices stay within reach of working class families.
Given what's happening in other urban cores, this is actually kind of refreshing. It seems in so many other cities the "working class" areas either gentrified and the working class got pushed out, or they devolved into slums and the working class (emphasis on WORKING) got pushed out. And the fact that there are still safe and affordable areas is one reason I'm looking around in Pittsburgh. I may need to leave this city just so I can still afford to live in "the city." Beechview was an area that had slipped under my radar for some reason.
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Old 05-30-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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I just looked on google maps and Beechview does have some great real estate---solid brick homes with interesting designs. Etna has some nice brick houses in the neighborhood surrounding Mt. Hope street. Granted, these areas do have a non-working element, but the working class is predominant. I think Etna holds its own because the residents are active in the community.

I'm glad you pointed out that this is refreshing. I've always felt bad for Etna. Of the three river towns of Millvale, Sharpsburg, and Etna, I think Etna has the most promise. It has an attractive main street and the shopping district has potential but the lack of customer parking holds it back.

Even with constant police support from Shaler Township, it makes a huge difference that Etna maintains its own police force. There isn't anything that can happen in Etna without the police knowing about it or quickly getting to the root of it. Its small size keeps crime under control.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:27 PM
 
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Sadly, Beechview has gotten a reputation as being the "hispanic" part of Pittsburgh. I don't know where this comes from, considering probably less than 1% of the city is hispanic and I doubt it's even close to 10% in Beechview, but whatever. For some reason, it has gotten this stigma and it was viewed as a "dying" neighborhood even before that. If you can get a real good deal and plan on staying a while, I'd go for it. Be weary though, you might have to stay a while before you can sell your house and get your investment back. It's not that the area is really that bad, it's just that it has a lot of older homes and a bad reputation.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Yeah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Etna has the same problem.
That's where my wife was living when we met. Etna reminds me a lot of the Beechview/Brookline/Dormont area, old and kind of run down. Her rent was great, a two story apartment, one bedroom for around 350 a month. It's been almost two years since we got our place in Point Breeze and since she moved out, and her apartment still has not been rented. Judging by the needs and locations a lot of people ask about on our forum, it's kind of out of the way.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scottrpriester View Post
Judging by the needs and locations a lot of people ask about on our forum, it's kind of out of the way.
It's not out of the way at all. It's 5 minutes into downtown and 10 minutes into Oakland.

I never recommend it because most people are looking for better real estate, not a working class neighborhood.

If anyone wants an inexpensive, safe, working class neighborood, that's convenient to Pittsburgh and Oakland, I'd recommend Etna in a heartbeat.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
3,873 posts, read 3,398,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattjd View Post
Sadly, Beechview has gotten a reputation as being the "hispanic" part of Pittsburgh. I don't know where this comes from, considering probably less than 1% of the city is hispanic and I doubt it's even close to 10% in Beechview, but whatever. For some reason, it has gotten this stigma and it was viewed as a "dying" neighborhood even before that. If you can get a real good deal and plan on staying a while, I'd go for it. Be weary though, you might have to stay a while before you can sell your house and get your investment back. It's not that the area is really that bad, it's just that it has a lot of older homes and a bad reputation.
That reputation would be the Post Gazette and Tribs fault. While I saw a couple Hispanic there a few months ago, the neighborhood did not ring a feeling of Hispanic to me. The stores there were for Hispanics I remember from 2006 wern't even open anymore the last time I was there, so some of them probably left if those stores that catered to them are now closed. I highly doubt Beechview is even 10% "Hispanic". The idea it is a Hispanic neighborhood should be thrown in the garbage and is prob from someone who wanted to make Pittsburgh feel "diverse". Many of the Hispanic stores were put in by a Bernardo Katz from Brazil who ended up screwing the neighborhood over and his properties are now owned by the URA. I would move there though it is a nice neighborhood with great houses.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Chicago
36,104 posts, read 56,047,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattjd View Post
Sadly, Beechview has gotten a reputation as being the "hispanic" part of Pittsburgh.
Why "sadly?"
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:26 AM
 
Location: Chicago
36,104 posts, read 56,047,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradjl2009 View Post
That reputation would be the Post Gazette and Tribs fault. While I saw a couple Hispanic there a few months ago, the neighborhood did not ring a feeling of Hispanic to me. The stores there were for Hispanics I remember from 2006 wern't even open anymore the last time I was there, so some of them probably left if those stores that catered to them are now closed. I highly doubt Beechview is even 10% "Hispanic". The idea it is a Hispanic neighborhood should be thrown in the garbage and is prob from someone who wanted to make Pittsburgh feel "diverse". Many of the Hispanic stores were put in by a Bernardo Katz from Brazil who ended up screwing the neighborhood over and his properties are now owned by the URA. I would move there though it is a nice neighborhood with great houses.
I've read about Katz and some of his ambitions for Beechview. And what I get is that it's a little simplistic to say Katz screwed over the neighborhood but rather there was political infighting and intrigue involved in Beechview's redevelopment plans. Sounds to me like he made some enemies and paid the price.
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