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mjcatl2

Station Square slots casino details unveiled

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http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06023/643020.stm

0123master_plan-a.jpg

Obviously the Isle of Capri porposal gives a lot to the city, while this one does not. I wish they were a combine proposal, as Station Square is the best place for a casino.

I have always felt that the eastern building (with the revolving door of sports bars and clubs) should be raised for mid rises housing with ground level retail and this plan has a lot of housing this regard.

But why does Station Square need a casino to put up something that makes so much sense like a massive housing complex overlooking the downtown and walking distance to shops and downtown?

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Yeah, I hope that SS takes the same view as Charlie Betters, he is still putting in the much needed condos/entertainment/and residential complex in the Hays hilltop with the great view of Downtown, but has given up with the Casino thing. SS should bow out (though it's not really free market) and build the condos without the casino and have the city save the Pens!

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I like the design, but I dont think a casino is the answer to Pittsburgh's financial problems. This is a good location for this project because of access to public transit (both bus and train), and the beautiful views of the downtown district. I think this could be a nice addition to the downtown neighborhood. Plus this would be infinitely better than old useless warehouses.

I hope it goes forward with or without the casino! Exciting!

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Mostly I think the Pens Casino along with private financing is the "greater good" here. Betters and SS should bow out and help the Pens stay!

Oh by the way did everyone see the ads with Sidney Crosby for NIKE awesome!!!!

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Actually, it seems like the SS proposal gives mroe to the city than the new Civic Arena proposal. The SS proposal is calling for building condos on teh waterfront - something that can really kick start Downtown living (yes, its not technically Downtown but its part of teh greater Downtown area). This will have more long-term benefits than gettng a new arena.

Yes, the Pens have threatened to leave unless they get a new arena. At some point, however, the city has to call the bluff of these sports teams. A new baseball park, a new football stadium, and now a new arena?

Whether the Pens leave or stay will depend more on whether they find it economically expedient for them to stay. Even if they get a new arena and agree to stay for a period of time, nothing will prevent them from leaving after that time is up, jsut like nothing prevented US Airways from shutting down its hub even though the County built a new terminal for them.

New condos on the waterfront, on the other hand, will attract new residents to the greater Downtown area and this will ean mroe retail, more restaurants, and perhaps more employers attracted to the Downtown area due to it having a local residential base.

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But, Urban, doesn't the Pens' proposal include rebuilding the lower Hill with housing and office space etc? Surely that would be great for Downtown living too. Also, we need a new arena whether the Pens use it or not. The one we have is truly falling apart.

As far as the SS idea, I would LOVE to see them do it without the casino. But I hope it doesn't mean any of the historic buildings currently in use woud be torn down. I haven't read the article yet, so I'll go do that now :)

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But, Urban, doesn't the Pens' proposal include rebuilding the lower Hill with housing and office space etc? Surely that would be great for Downtown living too. Also, we need a new arena whether the Pens use it or not. The one we have is truly falling apart.

I'll have to re-look at the Civic Arena proposal. Thanks for pointing that out. However, that area is more cut off from Downtown, thanks to Crosstown Boulevard. Any new condos there will result in an isoalted community. The residents will not likely walk into Downtown, infusing it with life after hours (whereas I can see SS residents doing so). Also, it would seem that condos on the waterfront at SS will have a much greater chance of success than condos by the new arena in the lower Hill. I know the lower Hill needs it much more, but from a realistic standpoint it would seem that SS has a greater chance of success AND a greater chance of infusing more life into Downtown.

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Sorry Harrah's & Forrest City, your campaign "efforts" err... contributions notwithstanding, but IOC & the Penguins still have the best overall plan for Pittsburgh city proper, IMO.

Watched the Onorato call-in on WQED last evening...tough read. Squirmmed like a bass when pressed about which casino plan he & O'Connor will eventually back, sounded determined to have a new arena plan in place no matter who gets the casino license,and lastly, got angered when confronted about the rumor (which I had no idea about until last night) that a "local radio personality has expounded on to the public with absolute no proof that he & O'Coonor have warned other local officials about publicly backing the Penguin's plan and that there are 'backroom deals' afoot"...

This is really becoming one interesting issue to watch as it all unfolds. IMO, Stabille is the only one left with zero chance on getting a casino. The other bidder might end up feeling the Rooney family wrath, as well...

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Pens are having a nationally televised news conference at 2:30pm EST 1/24/06 . . . Mario's retirement or something else?

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He's on ESPN's & ESPNews' global feed right now (2pm) . . . no word on the future of the franchise . . . let's see if he takes questions.

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I'll have to catch up on this tonight. I saw the PG headline this morning on him. I guess between health reasons, business and probably a general burn out, he's done I'm guessing. from the headline the other day, sounds like he's got a buyer in the works for the team, so he is stepping aside.

As far as the SS idea, I would LOVE to see them do it without the casino. But I hope it doesn't mean any of the historic buildings currently in use woud be torn down. I haven't read the article yet, so I'll go do that now

Not unless you consider Hooters historic.... I'm sure that (if they are still there) can find another home, as with the other clubs or whatever occupy the building this week.

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Yes, the Pens have threatened to leave unless they get a new arena. At some point, however, the city has to call the bluff of these sports teams. A new baseball park, a new football stadium, and now a new arena?

Since MadVlad has been posting around a little bit, maybe we should ask him about hockey teams who move when their bluff is called...ala Hartford Whalers=Carolina 'Canes

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Not unless you consider Hooters historic.... I'm sure that (if they are still there) can find another home, as with the other clubs or whatever occupy the building this week.

Yeah I went and read the article a while after posting, and saw that it's just that warehouse building they would tear down. Nothing historic about that thing.

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^^OMG . . . launch a campaign at once! Save the Hooters! . . . :P

Oh it's safe . . . ok I'm cool :P

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I'll have to re-look at the Civic Arena proposal. Thanks for pointing that out. However, that area is more cut off from Downtown, thanks to Crosstown Boulevard. Any new condos there will result in an isoalted community. The residents will not likely walk into Downtown, infusing it with life after hours (whereas I can see SS residents doing so). Also, it would seem that condos on the waterfront at SS will have a much greater chance of success than condos by the new arena in the lower Hill. I know the lower Hill needs it much more, but from a realistic standpoint it would seem that SS has a greater chance of success AND a greater chance of infusing more life into Downtown.

If you look at the rendering... part of the Isle of Capri plan is to re-establish the street grid of the Lower Hill and connect it to downtown.

3227.jpg

The Isle of Capri plan blows away Harrah's... I'd rather see a struggling area given new life while reconnecting downtown to the Hill... than an expansion of a tourist trap for suburbanites.

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Hey EverG, fantastic breakdown graphic . . . I tend to side with the Isle deal, however I think Stabile, Station Square and Isle should be good corporate citizens and go forward with the losing developments, sure slots would be great but we shouldnt be 100% dependent on it to develop this city. Charlie Betters and Hays hilltop is a great example of this.

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I admit that the Isle of Capri plan looks pretty good. However, realistically speaking I don't see them succeeding much on the "mixed-use" portion. They'll have a hard time selling places in the lower Hill or attracting business to locate there. hey'll probably end up building a few suburban-style office buildings and some condos - kind of like an updated version of Chatam Center than the ncie mixed-used plan that the scheme shows.

Station Square, on the other hand, is something I really can see taking off like gangbusters. That area is already taking off. What it lacks is residential development. I'm sure residential development there will sell well given its proximity to not jsut downtown but also to the nightlfie opportunities at both Station Square AND the South Side AND Mt. Washington (via incline). The lower Hill, on the other hand, is simply close to downtown and not to much else that would interest the typical resident.

The Harrah's plan will basically put in an insant viable residential neighborhood in the heart of the city. Also, its a more aesthetically beautiful site, in my opinion, given the river and the views of Downtown. Also, there's already T access which the arena site doesn't have.

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I have a question why isn't anyone talking about putting the subway lines in BEFORE Isle of Capri starts construction, this should be a basic infrastructure like sewer, electric, etc. that the contractors should help pay for!

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I have a question why isn't anyone talking about putting the subway lines in BEFORE Isle of Capri starts construction, this should be a basic infrastructure like sewer, electric, etc. that the contractors should help pay for!

They probably don't have enough time to plan the subway. I'm sure once approval is given, the contract winner will wnat to start construction pronto. AS we all know, subways take FOREVER to plan and then there's the very sticky issue of funding.

Plus, PAT will want to incorporate the rotue into their Oakland extension which means rethinking the Oakland extension (not routing it along 2nd Ave or the East Busway as they once considered).

This is another reason why I think the SS plan is better overall. That area really is primed to take off given its location (at the crux of Downtown, Mr. Washington, the South Side, and the nightlife areas in SS itself). Add to that the convenience of the T. PLus, there's all the recreational possibilities with possible marinas and the riverside trails. All it takes is for someone to take the plunge and jumpstart residential growth. Unfortuantely, the greater Downtown area is still a realtively untested residentail market so the big developers aren't going to take the plunge so it'll have to be up to the casino guys.

That said, I do agree with you that revitalizing the lower Hill should be a priority too. However, that area has seen revitalization attempts after revitalization attempts. Its starting to work somewhat with the new mixed-income town homes but that will probably be the extent of it. I don't see it developing into a vital urban neighborhood the way I see the SS area developing into.

Keep in mind that when the original Civic Arena was built it was also seen as being the center piece of a much larger development that included condos/apartments, a new art museum, etc., etc. That dream was only partly realized because the market for the lower Hill just wasn't there. The Islae of Capri plan, while also well intended, might end up the same way.

On the other hand, if you stick a project into an area that seems to have most of its ducks in order and all that it needs is a shot of residential (which the project will be providing) and you'll have a success in the making.

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I'm looking at the Isle of Capri proposal and thinking while we're at it let's throw the city's crime stats in the garbage. I can't think of a worse place for a casino. Putting an arena there in the first place was bad enough, it snuffed out a vibrant neighborhood that was putting Pittsburgh on the cultural map with things like great jazz.

Ideally a new arena would go on the north side within reach of the T extention, letting the hill recover in keeping with it's natural character and connecting the Harrah's proposal to ALL 3 major sports facilities.

I don't know, it's just common sense. Here is a place with a buffer zone, cliff on one side river on the other creating natural barriers to crime, limited amount of ways in and out, a few bicycle cops could enforce the entire area. Then you have 1,200 condos with riverfront views, where else to put them but next to the T? Can we say airport extention, convention center extention, oakland extention, with a billion-dollar corporation lobbying for it every step of the way? Then you have East Carson. Unlike the hill which is a depressed, low income residential area, you have a part of town that is used to being in the guiness book of world records for having the most bars. It thrives with people, tourism, shopping, night life... it just makes good sense.

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I think both plans are good, but I just don't see how we could build a new arena otherwise. That's why I am behind Isle of Capri.

By the way, I seem to recall Forest City talking about building condos at SS even before this casino thing came up. Maybe they'd still do it if they don't win the license. It wouldn't be on the same scale but it'd be a start.

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Forest City has seperate plans drawn up for high end condos between station square and the ft. pitt bridge. My impression is that they are not exactly fast tracked if the slots don't go in.

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This is what it comes down to in my mind:

The community kick-back Isle of Capri is offering is a 290 million dollar multi-purpose arena that will save a sports franchise that brings millions upon millions of dollars a year in tax revenue to the city (not to mention all the intangible benefits of having a sports franchise in town).

Station Square is offering a 25 million dollar landmark fund. Total BS. This whole thing is fixed otherwise SS wouldn't have the audacity to put forth such a pathetic community give-back.

290 million plus a mjor league sports franchise for pgh vs. 25 million for Pittsburgh. Do the math people this is a friggin no brainer.

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