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UrbaniDesDev

Downtown Plans move ahead

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Point Park University expansion plans include demolishing a wonderful row of old Vaudeville-era Theaters. I am heart-broken. I always loved this row of buildings. I had hoped they might be restored someday and used for some sort of entertainment venues and prompt Forbes as the center of a new night-life strip. This was based on Forbes Avenue tied to Fifth and Forbes redevelopment as an entertainment center for downtown.

Is this proper development?

Is Point Park University tax exempt?

PointParkUniversityexpansion.jpg

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06089/678091-298.stm

The Royal Theater

RoyalTheater2.jpg

RoyalTheater.jpg

ForbesAvenue.jpg

ForbesAveTheater.jpg

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Oh, such nice buildings. I do hate to see those torn down! Why did Tom Murphy get such flack for wanting to tear down some older buildings, but this is going unnoticed?

And I am also worried about tax exemptions. It's good the universities are expanding but at this rate there won't be any taxable land left in the city. Ok that is an exaggeration but it's how I feel.

However, the PNC tower is good news. Glad it is continuing to move forward.

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The "Honus Wagner" building you showed is not included in the PPU expansion plans.

I would assume that Point Park is not taxed as even though it is a private university, it is still a non-profit organization...However, I would think the terminal building project being put on in part by the Art Institute would be taxable b/c they are a for profit organization

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The "Honus Wagner"/Royal Theater they hope will someday be used as their Playhouse. A good use for the building.

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Those bldgs have been empty for a long time now. I see no problem tearing them down nor having a University redevelop the area. At least it will be cleaned up and the environment will become vibrant again. Hey, if no one else is stepping up than this is as good as it gets.

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I was wondering what PPU was going to demolish. Thanks, UrbanDesiDev.

Though of course, I'm ecstatic that the city's universities are doing so well and in need of expansion... it pains me to see such elegant old structures to go. PPU (or some creative developer) should rehab these old buildings and put them to an exciting new use. They look dingy now because they're under-used and often covered up by garish 1960-era signs and facades... but if these old gems received a little love they would be an important piece in downtown's next renaissance.

Gerbil: you bring up a point about tax-exempt land in the city.... that is yet another reason why the PGH region needs to C-O-N-S-O-L-I-D-A-T-E!

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I'm a little confused? Do we know for a fact what buildings are going to be raised or not....?

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The Forbes Avenue buildings being purchased house a pizzeria and nail salon. Dr. Hennigan said the school plans to demolish them in advance of settling on an exact use for the land.

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That "Honus Wagener" bldg is by far the nicest of the three. If PPU used it for their playhouse I would be thrilled. That would be perfect. And I think I can deal with the loss of those other two (only one of which looks special at all) if they saved that one.

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Too bad to see some of those go. It would be nice if they could just move them over the North side between the stadiums or something.

But I do support the growth downtown.

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Yes we do know which buildings will be torn down, the PG article quote covers that pretty much--unless things change everything but the Honus Wagner one (which isn't yet owned by PPU).

It is bad that some are being torn down I'd love it if they could find a way to keep some of the better interiors and facades intact and build on them and improve them, but I'd rather they be developed then left to rot.

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Oh, such nice buildings. I do hate to see those torn down! Why did Tom Murphy get such flack for wanting to tear down some older buildings, but this is going unnoticed?

Back when Murphy first proposed the Fifth/Forebs plan in 1997, that area was still doing ok. Now its a dump so people are more willing to udnertake drastic measures. I think the Honus Wagner building and the G's building are the nicest The one in the middle doesn't seem to add much, however. Maybe it used to be beautiful but the renovation job on teh second floor 9adding those big tinted windows) didn't do it any favors.

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^^despite that I hope PPU values the heritage there and trys to save what they can, even if they are nothing more then facades for larger back units.

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I don't know if the Honus Wagner building would be big enough for a new Playhouse. I'd rather them put it on Liberty Avenue anyways to beef up the Cultural District.

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I don't know if the Honus Wagner building would be big enough for a new Playhouse. I'd rather them put it on Liberty Avenue anyways to beef up the Cultural District.

from what I remember of the Palyhouse in Oakland, the theater itself was not verybig. The Honus Wagner was a theater to begin with so I would think it would be large enough. Perhaps they would annex part of their new buildings to accomadate what else would be needed.

I love that the Cultural District is doing so well but I've never been a fan of having EVERYTHING within a few blocks. I think we can now start expanding the success of the Cultural District throughout downtown. A new Playhouse on Forbes would be a good start. I personally think that the success of all of downtown Pittsburgh will amaze us all in a few years. Yes, there will be set backs, but it's success will be so strong we will tend to forget the state that downtown was actually in at one point!

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Point Park AND Downtown really on the move.

The two new suite-style residence halls are just off campus, at 7 and 111 Wood St., and can house 160 students. The new buildings, when combined with existing beds in Thayer and Lawrence halls, bring the total number of Point Park students housed Downtown to 760 and mean Point Park will no longer house students in unused residence space at Chatham College. A strategic planning initiative under way at Point Park, which has 3,400 students, could mean additional housing will be built.

"Based on our planning, it's possible that we could identify, over the next two or three years, [residence hall]demand for another 200 to 300 students living in Downtown Pittsburgh," he said.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06096/679842-53.stm

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love that the Cultural District is doing so well but I've never been a fan of having EVERYTHING within a few blocks

Uh, but that is the critical mass that changed the that corridor and made it a true distric. If (and this will be a great problem to have) if there is a lack of available space for future projects then fine go to the closest space that works, but with Point Park, this is part of their campus, and it makes sense. It also does what you said, expands options beyond the Cultural District, so this is one a situation that works.

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from what I remember of the Palyhouse in Oakland, the theater itself was not verybig. The Honus Wagner was a theater to begin with so I would think it would be large enough. Perhaps they would annex part of their new buildings to accomadate what else would be needed.

The current Playhouse is actualy two theaters, that's why I raise the size concent. As to so much stuff already being in the cultural district, I don't think Liberty Ave. has been as included as Penn Ave has. Currently the only major attraction is the movie theater. Soon it will be joined by the African-American Cultural Center. That's not all that much given all the attractions on Penn. A third theater might help bring some of the energy on Penn over to Liberty.

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^^ great article there, I don't know if a music venue would do well there (after Benedum, Heinz, the new PPU playhouse, the jazz club on 9th, etc.). I long for a movie theater downtown to pay tribute to the world's first nickelodian (sp). Though I know with the new multiplex at Southside Works the market might be saturated on it already.

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I assume this music venue planned will serve a much different market from the Benedum, Heinz, etc. Those venues offer classical music for the suit-and-tie crowd, while this proposed venue would most likely be a popular music venue. Murphy tried to get a House of Blues downtown... so I would assume the venue would be similar to that type of market. Pittsburgh definately is in need of a quality mid-sized live music venue. Pittsburghers are tired of having to go to Cleveland to see their favorite popular music acts.

I think a movie theater downtown would be a waste of the precious little space we have in the Golden Triangle... especially with the SouthSide Works just minutes away. I wouldn't mind seeing a new movie theater in a periphery neighborhood... like perhaps the Lower Hill (if it gets redeveloped)... or transforming the Garden porno theater on the North Side.

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I think part of the music problem is Clear Channel. They decided to lump Pittsburgh and Cleveland in the same market, and guess where the guy in charge lives? I think we talked about this before, when it was first announced. Now that it's been a while I can say that I do think I have noticed a lot more country concerts in town and a lot less rock concerts. I hope it's only my imagination.

But to get back on point, I would love to see a new nid-sized music venue in the city, and Downtown is a good spot for it.

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^^Good point G, I wonder if that guy is still in charge, I know the subcontracting company was HQed in Cleveland so I would imagine until they really screw up Pittsburgh is at the whims of brownie fans when it comes to music :(.

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