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chucka

Fifth-Forbes set back?

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Oh geez.... This could go one of two ways. Either another developer will step up with an even better plan and everyone will praise O'Connor. Or nothing will happen and he'll set the whole thing back several years (like Chucka said).

I am going to write to the mayor's office and let them know that I think this is a mistake. We have a developer with a good plan who is ready to go, and putting them on hold is way too risky.

I really had hoped O'Connor would prove me wrong (in regards to his ability to lead), but alas he is not doing that so far. He's proving to be rather un-wise if you ask me.

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Local developers have had 10+ years to get a plan together

Not really. Murphy didn't invite local developers - or any one other than who he chose. What was reported this morning had already been publicaly commented on my O'Connor. Well, not the letter of intent, but the fact that he wants to hear from others. We have a local developer, who is building the Firstside condos who is very interested in the corridor. Murphy said nope, but now at least he has a chance to offer a proposal.

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No local developers have the financial backing to pull off a project as big at MMQ

Why should one developer redo the whole corridor? Look, I am anxious for someone to get the nod to get this project going, but Falbo has expressed interest. He's taking a risk with his condo tower and wants a crack at Fifth-Forbes. He deserves a chance to be heard. I don't see (if appropriate) why the project can't go to 2 or 3 developers with the right plans.

it's all in the details.

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Falbo doesn't want to redo all of 5/F, he wants the Murphy's building (IMO). Without the Murphy's building, there aren't enough "good pieces" left to attract other developers (since the Piatts alrady have the Lazurus builidng).

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I hope this doesn't throw a wrench in the plan. These plans are the only thing keeping me interested in staying in Pittsburgh after only a year and a half. They give you hope everytime you hit another pothole in the street. I sent a letter to the mayor's office to express my concerns. I hope everyone who is genuinely interested in the city's rebirth will do the same.

Mayor's Office

Room 512

City-County Building

414 Grant Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-255-2626

Fax: 412-255-2687

[email protected]

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Everybody needs to relax a bit on this. The corridor will improve now. We have PNC and the Lazarus things happening that are adjacent to this. None of this was happening in 1999 or even last year. It's going to happen though and there are many creative ways to improve Fifth-Forbes as well. Perhaps it will be Marquette alone, or with others, but something will happen.

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I agree with Mj, I think this is a good thing, Pittsburgh should start treating itself like a prom queen (or king) and start being very choosy on which proposal to persue with its downtown area. Downtown is the center of a jewel of a region in my mind, better to take things a little slower and get them right then to do something akin to urban redev for the 21st century that they will teach in urban government classes as "mistakes" in a generation. Give O'Connor a chance on this one, just because one single developer has an idea we shouldn't race to accept just yet, lets hold our cards and see what the competition is like :)

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It's not that I don't agree.... I am just growing impatient for some action. And any possible setbacks kind of scare me.

I have seen too many great plans never materialize. And those that do seem to move at snail's pace. I want this city to get the respect it deserves while I am still young :)

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I agree with Mj, I think this is a good thing, Pittsburgh should start treating itself like a prom queen (or king) and start being very choosy on which proposal to persue with its downtown area. Downtown is the center of a jewel of a region in my mind, better to take things a little slower and get them right then to do something akin to urban redev for the 21st century that they will teach in urban government classes as "mistakes" in a generation. Give O'Connor a chance on this one, just because one single developer has an idea we shouldn't race to accept just yet, lets hold our cards and see what the competition is like :)

Slow is one thing, going backwards is another. The Pittsburgh Task Force was in talkes with MMQ in June. The have been pressing the developer very hard to push things forward fast as not to let the project get bogged down. Considering it has been over 5 years since the original plan collapes, and that the corridor is approaching slum status I don't think that is uncalled for. As for being treated like a prom queen...The combination of Madison Marquette and Toll Brothers names alone proves that the previous plan was being treated that way. These are huge, top flight development companies that were willing to dump tens of million of their own dollars into the project.

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That's true, but the proposals have to be in, in a month. The review time will be maybe a few months, that's not a lot of time for the possibility of getting the best solution. This decision will be huge. It's development is key to downtown, more so than than the others. let's get it right.

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Within a month? How can anyone put together a solid and realistic proposal in that time? They may make some pie-in-the-sky promises just so they'll be chosen, and later we'll find out it can't be done. Then we will have lost a lot of precious time and maybe lost the interest of Madison Marquette.

I understand wanting to do this right and get multiple proposals. I understand wanting to let local developers have a shot. But something seems weird about this. It just seems like we were finally getting close and the mayor suddenly said "Hold it! Maybe we should get some other ideas."

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I can understand the frustration but think of it this way if we would have taken just a few more years in the early 60s with the Mellon Arena (the sea of parking and ultra expensive retraction) or the early 70s with TRS or the mid 90s with the Pete or the Waterfront how much better this area would be now. It is very important to get it done but even more important to get it right . . . the first time.

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Within a month? How can anyone put together a solid and realistic proposal in that time? They may make some pie-in-the-sky promises just so they'll be chosen, and later we'll find out it can't be done.

I highly doubt that the interested parties haven't started already on their plans.

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This is what I gather about the situation. Murphy was trying to get the biggest developer who could take on a large risk when Downtown development really needed a shot in the arm. He avoided smaller local bids out of fear that they would divide the corridor and discourage a larger more ambitious effort, leaving the rest of the corridor without investment. And there was nothing wrong with moving forward with that plan just for the fact that it would cultivate a more reliable redevelopment climate in the future. On the other hand O'Connor inherited vastly improved circumstances with a lot of new possibilities that might pay dividends if the latest bids are re-examined. If worse comes to worse he'll set it back for a few more months just to put his stamp on Murphy's original choice, but there's enough interested parties now that it really isn't risking too much.

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I suppose the other developers have probably started planning already.... But I am just feeling really anxious about this whole thing. Now that we are so close, I am feeling that I want it "yesterday" if you know what I mean.

I am also kind of annoyed at O'Connor. I don't think he's that smart about development - but he, like blueblack said, inherited a good situation. Now he's probably going to get all the credit for what Murphy started. I find that unfair. I have never been fond of the man and now he is going to be seen as the hero of Downtown. Of course, first and foremost I want to see Downtown take off, so as long as it happens I don't care who gets credit. But I do find myself generally bothered by O'Connor acting like it's all up to him.

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I have a feeling City Council wont let this thing slip through the cracks even if what you feel about O'Connor is true.

With Piatt place and the PNC thing taking off we can afford to be a little more choosy (and we should be) after this development in question if a major player came knocking for a downtown location a year from now, where could we fit them in? what would be left, maybe one or two areas but we have to start asking ourselves if 100% fully developed is a great thing. I know we are so use to block after block after block of decay but in some cities the problem is fitting the Nordstrom or multiplex or urban mall in someplace.

No matter what happens this will be a defining moment for O'Connor and he should realize it.

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Piatt has discussed a grocery store at Lazarus with Giant Eagle, McGinnis Sisters and Whole Foods.

They have also stated th will add three stories of condominiums and townhouses on top of the building.

I'm glad that they finally confirmed if they were going to add the building.

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Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but I bet this Giant Eagle will be a lot like the one on Centre Ave. It may not be unique to the area but it would be a nice urban store.

I'd certainly rather have Trader Joes though :(

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