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Old 04-19-2011, 12:08 PM
 
Location: O'Hara Twp.
4,341 posts, read 6,507,386 times
Reputation: 1602

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I think the South Side came back so quickly because it was predominately white. Same for Lawrenceville. Unfortunately, I think educated and somewhat affluent whites, the ones who gentrify an area, are ruluctant to move into a black neighhorhood. Now, I have no recollection of the South Side in the early to mid 1980's when it began its revitalization but I thought it was just a rough white neighborhood. Also, I think a business district helps attract residents. The people that want to take a chance on neighborhood are the ones who are going to open a gallery, restaurant, bar, coffee house, etc.

I also thing public money is almost irrelevant if private individuals aren't going sink money into real estate. Take Crawford Square, nice development but it has not really spurred any private investment into the Hill. I drive through the Hill all the time and I am amazed at how many vacant lots are there. Public money should follow private dollars not the other way around. The South Side Works happened after the South Side came back.

Unfortunately, I think the East End of Pittsburgh is where all the potential is. This is because of its proximity to Oakland. I guess Stanton Heights is the only predominately white neighborhood left and it really isn't predominately white. If this wasn't the case, then I would put my money on Brookline.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:35 PM
 
20,273 posts, read 30,101,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raubre View Post
Just wanted to ask you, what would you like to see done in Wilkinsburg (besides your usual cleaning up and lower crime, etc.) What would you like to see in Wilkinsburg as far as businesses and the central business district as well as activities? What do you see Wiliknsburg as in the future?
So Wilkinsburg has come up with a Comprehensive Plan, and it has a lot of good stuff in in it:

http://www.wilkinsburgpa.gov/pdf/Fin...Comp_Plan.pdf#

One major theme is Transit Oriented Development, which of course makes a lot of sense with the East Busway running through Wilkinsburg. What that basically means is developing a high-density mix of uses close to the two East Busway stops, plus the Hay Street ramp.

Hamnett Place is already heading in that direction, thanks in part to the PHLF, and that will likely be mostly residential with a little neighborhood-scale retail. The bigger fish are the Hay ramp and Wilkinsburg stops, and you could really do a lot in those areas. For example, eventually I would like to see the park and ride lot at the Wilkinsburg station turned into a garage, and have a big residential development on most of that land (note that I believe a good chunk of that land is actually in Pittsburgh).

The old Wilkinsburg train station is sitting vacant next to the Hay ramp, and I would like to see that utilized in some sort of high-profile, promotional way (e.g., I thought this would be a great location for an Allegheny County Transportation Museum, which would go all the way back to colonial times and then trace forward through different eras, almost all of which happened in or near Wilkinsburg--there was even an airport in Wilkinsburg in the 1930s). They are talking about opening the former pedestrian tunnel next to the train station, which would make TOD on the other side of the Busway more attractive, and you could put some higher-density residential developments over there.

The commercial area already has a lot going for it, including some great old buildings. Basically, it needs more businesses to want to locate there, allowing owners to finance improvements, and eventually in-fill. The CDC and Borough are already working on streetscape improvements and such.

If all that starts happening, and they also get other issues addressed (tax rates, municipal costs, and maybe the schools), then I would expect to see people investing in nearby sections of the residential neighborhoods (including neighborhood-scale retail). I think pretty much everything west of the Busway could redevelop and densify fairly quickly. Similarly, neighborhoods just east of the Busway, like Singer Place, could take off relatively quickly. It would likely take more time for development to spread farther out east, and I am concerned about how far some of that gets from the Busway--at some point it may be worth running a small circulator service or something like that, if PAT does not.

All this will require cooperation between local authorities, county, state, and federal authorities, non-profits, and for-profit firms. But I think it is achievable, and maybe even inevitable--I really see it more as a question of pace than of final outcome.

Edit: Oh, for an even more comprehensive vision--I sort of see the East Busway as potentially equivalent to the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, along the Orange Line in Arlington, just outside DC. In this corridor there are dense mixed-use developments around each station (sometimes called "Urban Villages"), then a little farther out a slightly-less dense spread of thriving residential and local retail areas. Here is a quick description, and a neat picture:

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kb...opment_in.html



The East Busway's "urban villages" could include Shadyside/Friendship, East Liberty, Wilkinsburg, and Swissvale, and maybe eventually the Strip, Homewood, and even Braddock (if it was extended).

Anyway, having lived in Rosslyn, that vision colors what I see happening in Wilkinsburg, and I am glad to see the Comprehensive Plan is along the same lines.

Last edited by BrianTH; 04-19-2011 at 12:56 PM..
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:40 PM
 
20,273 posts, read 30,101,292 times
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Originally Posted by robrobrob View Post
Unfortunately, I think educated and somewhat affluent whites, the ones who gentrify an area, are ruluctant to move into a black neighhorhood.
Just an aside, but this hasn't been true in other cities once prices in all the predominantly white neighborhoods get high enough. Basically people start pushing out from those neighborhoods, and each expansion builds on the last one. We haven't seen a lot of that in Pittsburgh in recent decades, but I suspect we see a lot more of it in the next few decades.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
1,758 posts, read 3,781,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alleghenyangel View Post
Yes, it's true. There is a guy who owns tons of property in Uptown (a lot of those little row-houses), but he seems to think they are a goldmine. I talked to him on the phone about property, because at the time I wanted to buy a little fixer upper row house in the Bluff. When he found out I wanted to spend less than $20,000, he got a little impatient, and told me about the row-houses in the South Side Flats selling for "$200,000". Sorry, but the Bluff is not the South Side Flats. Almost all of the houses are sitting there rotting and in deplorable condition because investors like him bought them up for a couple thousand each, and sit on them until they are worth a fortune. It's never going to happen until people start fixing up the neighborhood, and they can't because some guy owns all the houses and wants to charge an arm and a leg for them.
That is what is called "bargaining in bad faith" and should be held accountable. If those properties were worth $20,000 five years ago, they are worth not more than $30-35,000 today if they have not been touched. To even gain that much is only because Pittsburgh is recession proof and the location has potential, that is the key word. The South Side has already made it. Even twenty-five years ago, the South Side was simply blue-collar, but hardly squalid, like much of Uptown. When the demand is there, he will sell. He may get between 50 and $100,000 a few years down the road, if the neighborhood takes off as expected. So far, there have only been a few small steps.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:13 PM
 
Location: You name it!
149 posts, read 429,612 times
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Any opinions on Dormont or any other neighborhoods along the T in store for a revitalization? I know they are not technically in the city & maybe they are already revitalized but thought I'd inquire. Seems to me that these areas would be desirable to others as they are to me -someone looking to move to the city w/ accessible public transit to downtown.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Philly
10,067 posts, read 14,954,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robrobrob View Post
Unfortunately, I think the East End of Pittsburgh is where all the potential is. This is because of its proximity to Oakland. I guess Stanton Heights is the only predominately white neighborhood left and it really isn't predominately white. If this wasn't the case, then I would put my money on Brookline.
the lower hill has proximity to downtown, oakland, and the south side...depending on what gets on there. I certainly wouldn't overlook the northside which has a lot of potential. I think a lot of people have misgivings about it but eventually it will reach a tipping point if it hasn't already (if I'm not mistaken, I think home values have done relatively well there)
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Kittanning
4,659 posts, read 7,987,550 times
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Dormont is already a very desirable neighborhood. It's in such good shape that revitalization isn't necessary, at least not more than any other well-maintained older section of town.

Allentown, Beltzhoover, Mt. Oliver, and to some extent Carrick, Brookline, and Beechview are where dollars need to be spent.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
12,118 posts, read 15,310,411 times
Reputation: 10038
Quote:
Originally Posted by alleghenyangel View Post
Dormont is already a very desirable neighborhood. It's in such good shape that revitalization isn't necessary, at least not more than any other well-maintained older section of town.

.
I may argue that point with you. Very high taxes for what you receive in municipal services and the school district is mediocre at best. Too many rentals that will eventually go Section 8.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Kittanning
4,659 posts, read 7,987,550 times
Reputation: 3615
Quote:
Originally Posted by pman View Post
the lower hill has proximity to downtown, oakland, and the south side...depending on what gets on there. I certainly wouldn't overlook the northside which has a lot of potential. I think a lot of people have misgivings about it but eventually it will reach a tipping point if it hasn't already (if I'm not mistaken, I think home values have done relatively well there)
Not only that, but if I remember right, the Central North Side (War Street Area) was one of the few neighborhoods in the city that had a population gain from 2000-2010.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:10 PM
 
1,183 posts, read 1,925,216 times
Reputation: 1580
Quote:
Originally Posted by alleghenyangel View Post
Allentown, Beltzhoover, Mt. Oliver, and to some extent Carrick, Brookline, and Beechview are where dollars need to be spent.
I would say that Brookline is in totally fine to "improving" shape?

Hopefully the Hispanic immigration to Beechview continues and saves it from what seems like a long, slow decline.
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