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mjcatl2

discussion on downtown and "charm"

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Interesting piece. I certainly agree that charm cannot be manufactured. But I think there is room for a little of everything, and I take some offense at this sentence:

Seems like Pittsburgh would rather have the Cheesecake Factory and places like it.

I don't think the city would "rather" have these things. It's just that there is room for those AND the charming local businesses. We will still have plenty of charming areas, like Carson Street, the Strip, Shadyside. And you know, Walnut Street is about 50% chains, but I do think it is charming. Charm can be in the look and feel, not just in what businesses are there.

Do I think South Side Works is charming? No. But it is a good development, and there is charm pretty much right next door. I like having a mix of SSW type developments and organic local neighborhoods. I think having a healthy mix of the two is important. There is something for everybody. And hey, I love supporting local businesses, but I also like to go to the Cheesecake Factory now and then. I think most people are the same way.

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TheGerbil, I agree with you. I regularly eat out and only occasionally eat at chains. I much prefer the local places. However, they aren't going anywhere and there is room for these new developments and many people like them.

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there's no threat in "chains" taking over Pittsburgh... go to other cities like Indianapolis... where the downtown is almost 100 percent chains... and you'll see Pittsburgh has a very healthy mix of local and chain places

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I don't mind the Cheesecake factory, at least they pay taxes, something becoming rarer and rarer inside city limits.

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You have to have choice, plain and simple. Some out of towners prefer the chains, some like to explore. It's nice to have a Cheesecake Factory and a PF Changs. While on the other hand, Bona Terra and the Sharp Edge are great local establishments. Keep it at a healthy mix and everyone will be happy,(well, almost everyone)

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I really enjoyed that piece MJ. Great comments there. As I added to that, I believe charm comes from a mix of old and new, local and chainstore. It's the mix of people that frequent an area that creates charm. The mixing of people.

I think we will have to spread some manure to generate some "organic" growth

:thumbsup:

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Urbani, wondering about that wordchoice there, deep deepthoughts :lol:

I would like to see the local establishments possibly outgrow downtown and the shores to the 'burbs and maybe even the region. You do have the double edged sword that once you go bigger you lose the one thing that made you NOT a chain but I think the Primanti's model would work with many "local" mainstays, they even have a few in Florida.

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