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UrbaniDesDev

Baum/Centre Corridor Development Plan

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The plans SWAT analysis describes Giant Eagle leaving North Oakland as a threat. It just closed last week and is all boarded up. It seems like this North Oakland area will be struggling for the next few years.

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Yeah, that little section of North Oakland has been struggling for a long time. The hardware store that closed not long ago is an example. It seems like nothing lasts in that particular storefront. Also, there is a pizza shop near there that has been several other cafes and restaurants over the last few years. Another cursed storefront apparently.

And don't get me started on that ugly block (see the picture of the purple building in the document). I am not against any of the businesses on that block, in fact I adore that little mid-eastern restaurant. But the buildings are hideous and efforts to pretty them up have only made it look more jumbled.

As for this development plan, it is very good plan, and I hope it comes to something. Certainly some good stuff is happening in that area that gives me hope.

I would love to see those bike routes put in! In fact I have no idea why there is only one bike lane in the whole city (Beechwood blvd). I realize some streets are just too narrow, but they could add bike lanes on Liberty Avenue for instance. It would not be that expensive surely.

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I think it will b the center of activity (Centre @ Craig) in the near future. It is a pivotal intersection. If I had the money all 4 corners of it would be mid to high rise residential, as whats happening along Bellefield and is already along Neville

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I don't think the closing of the Giant Eagle consitutes a "threat" as describe in the SWOT analysis. I really take it as an opportunity. Let's be honest, that GE was awful. It was only good for convenience to those that live nearby. I once heard that they are thinking about making this the "official" entry into the Baum Center Corridor. It will be a while before it settles but I think the whole neighborhood is changing on the upswing. BTW, that link above is about two years old now. I wonder if a new one has been crafted yet. Anyone know?

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Isn't that Giant Eagle the only full-scale grocer in the Oakland/University area? I'm not sure if it's frequented by Pitt/CMU students at present... since it is a little bit of a walk from campus... and it appears a bit dingy... but the loss of this Giant Eagle could be a blow to the quality of student life if there's not another grocer option in the area.

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Good pt. Evergrey, I like the fact that they are planning a grand entrance Balist but I hope they have a plan for a University area grocer or maybe one close to the Forbes/Fifth corridor in S. Oakland.

Sounds like progress to me, oh urbani I'm with you on the high rise residential, I am really amazed at what will happen when this generation has a few mil per person and some angel investors lined up. Counting the days!

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Personally, I feel there are quite a few grocery stores but I am in love with the new GE on Center. I live closer to old GE that got shut down but I stopped going there after a few weeks. A lot of the produce was spoiled, meats were sketchy at best. GE just didn't care about that one and it was obvious and shameful.

With Whole Foods and the new Market GE less than a mile down the road, it is hard to justify another small urban grocer. I don't think it would survive on that spot.

However, I think a giant Ethnic market would make great sense. In Boston, right next to Boston University is a complex called Super 88. The front part was like a mini mall of all fast food chains from Asia, from India to Japan. Very cool. The back part was a GE size Asian market with fresh fish and all the fixings that you have to go to multiple stores around Pittsburgh to get and sometimes can't get.

That would survive and thrive on that corner.

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Isn't that Giant Eagle the only full-scale grocer in the Oakland/University area? I'm not sure if it's frequented by Pitt/CMU students at present... since it is a little bit of a walk from campus... and it appears a bit dingy... but the loss of this Giant Eagle could be a blow to the quality of student life if there's not another grocer option in the area.

I think that this Giant Eagle has absolutely no impact on quality of life for students. I really don't know why anyone would go there from South Oakland when it's easier to catch a bus to Murray Ave or Center Ave or to the South Side and have better stores. Or why anyone from North Oakland would go there now that there is a gorgeous new GE on Center Ave. A lot of students live in Squirrel Hill and Shadyside, too, while a large proportion of students in Oakland are underclassmen who live in dorms and have meal plans or at least have a room-mate with a car. So it's a mischaracterization to assume that this one store is the only full scale grocer serving this area. It's probably the least important one out of the ones that are.

Plus students with a car, like anyone else with a tough schedual, pretty much head out to the suburbs for the big, clean, 24-hour GE's around there. I've only started doing my main grocery shopping in the city since the new GE opened on Center and now I'm even thinking it'd be nice to move back into the Shadyside area from Mt Washington this year. So I think GE is making immense improvements across the board, I hope the new store is a big success and encourages them to do the same thing to their other stores in the city.

The best thing that could happen is that after that GE closes down there will be enough reason to open a new grocer in South Oakland that's actually within walking distance to most students. From what I understand, though, Giant Eagle never had any luck in South Oakland. The best thing would be a grocer more like Aldi's or Trader Joe's that is more in line with the type of food busy students with sparse kitchens gravitate to, but still offer a better selection and healthier foods than what's available now.

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Ballist and Blue, great pts. I especially like the idea of having a Super 88 style center in S. Oakland, Trader Joe's is long overdue in the are as well. Sad that the local team at GE can't come up with some innovative concept to really own the marketshare in S. Oakland. With it struggling against newly arrived WalMart and Sam's I would think GE would want to take it's "we're the anti-Wal-Mart" full throttle and give urban Pittsburgh a envy-of-the-world retail complex with GE at the center. Maybe a few of them throughout the urbancore.

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A Trader Joes would be a perfect fit in many of our city neighborhoods, however it would be best straddling Oakland/Baum/Centre. They have great healthy food, and plenty of not so healthy, at wonderful prices. I used to shop there for groceries in CA, and I desperately miss them. Plus they have a great customer service ethic that many places here in Pittsburgh can learn from. I think what stops them from expanding into our market is that they can't sell beer/wine. I know that is a big part of their profits. I drive to Cleveland now to buy cases of wine. I know they have stores in the Philly area, but I think they can make up for it in volume, plus they probably have a customer base that is familiar with their products, since Philly attracts more people from around the country,especially the consumer base they are going after.

Thats why PA needs to dump its liquor control system now!

http://www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/EndPALiquorControl/

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I doubt many students will miss that Giant Eagle. They can still get basic stuff at the CVS on Forbes and in other convenience stores around Oakland. Other than that, most of the students within Oakland have meal plans like blueblack said.

Also, there are several small ethnic grocers in Oakland. Just off the top of my head, I know there is a Korean market, an Italian market and an Indian market.

Although that Super 88 thing does sound cool, I'd be worried about what it would do to the little ethnic stores in the area.

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Here is a nice article on Super 88:

http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/food_d...ts/02568685.htm

Doesn't talk much about the grocery part in the back half.

There are a few ethnic markets but to be honest with you they are WAY overpriced. I am actually quit familiar with one of them and talk to the owner all the time. I tell him that I travel quite a bit and am that particular country several times a year and I know his markups. He winks and then gives me a deal.

By no means would I want to run them out of business but it would healthy to have a little competition and I think the current location of Center/Craig would be great.

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lol, Balist, educated consumerism there!

You should let him know he's cool as long as he vactions in the 'burgh with all that marked-up profit ;).

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Growth is beginning to tale shape in the corridor - here's a rundown of the Bus Times article:

1) a 17-story, mixed-use development called The Chelsea - 156 apartments outfitted with hardwood floors and stainless steel appliances, a parking garage and 9,000 square feet of first-floor "neighborhood-serving" retail space.

2) a major mixed-use project on Oakland's Fifth Avenue that could include between 250,000 and 800,000 square feet of new office space

800,000 sf? this could be pretty tall (for Oakland) even if somewhat smaller, it could be a defining tower in the heart of Oakland

3) a nine-story office building that would front on Bigelow Boulevard.

I think that this one has been mentioned before.

4) Another 17-story condominium development, with 56 units expected to cost more than $300,000 each

5) a 140,000-square-foot office building on what is now a parking lot of the First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh.

http://pittsburgh.bizjournals.com/pittsbur...tml?t=printable

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Great info mj, 17 floors, nice! Another addition for our skyscraper count, wish they would increase the floors on those office towers as well to something over 10 or 12. This is fantastic news for the corridor.

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I just read the piece in the PG about Rand celebrating 6 years in Pittsburgh, they are building their new offices at Centre and Craig right?

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Yes, the new building is either done or almost done. It has retail in the first floor (the bank that used to be on that corner is in there). It looks nice beside that CMU building there.

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Very cool G! I had forgotten about Rand's expansion here before the PG editorial came out this past week.

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