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ks2006

If Oakland was next to downtown...

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I wonder how much bigger the CBD would look and feel, if Oakland was situated roughly were the lower hill area is? Any photoshop experts want to take a shot at this?

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I wonder how much bigger the CBD would look and feel, if Oakland was situated roughly were the lower hill area is? Any photoshop experts want to take a shot at this?

well here's my shot at it...

oakdx8.jpg

The Isle of Capri (sp?) has some decent size buildings in their casino /lower hill proposal. So, maybe in the not too distant future we'll see that area grow to a similar size of the Oakland high-rise area.

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I think the 2 will grow together eventually. maybe not continuous highrise development but definately dense urban development.

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I thought this picture taken by Flash would be great to show.

june_2006_pittsburghskyline_com_58.jpg

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I don't think its too bad of a thing that they aren't right next to each other. Think of the old mall concept. Two anchors on the ends and you drive traffic in between them for the smaller shops.

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I don't think its too bad of a thing that they aren't right next to each other. Think of the old mall concept. Two anchors on the ends and you drive traffic in between them for the smaller shops.

The Hill District should be prime real estate given that its right in between Downtown and Oakland. Unfortunately, it is not and it will be difficult to gentrify given the many concerns about present residents being forced out of thier homes, etc. Anyway, it does have plenty of potential. There is kind of a mini-Manhattan situation since Manhattan also has two centers (Downtown and Midtown). The area in between has developed into desirable real estate (Tribeca, SoHo, Greenwich Village, etc.). There's no reason why the Hill can't be the same given the right circumstances (improving Pgh economy, less resistance to gentrification, more willingness among locals to live in an urban environment, etc.)

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The Hill District should be prime real estate given that its right in between Downtown and Oakland. Unfortunately, it is not and it will be difficult to gentrify given the many concerns about present residents being forced out of thier homes, etc. Anyway, it does have plenty of potential. There is kind of a mini-Manhattan situation since Manhattan also has two centers (Downtown and Midtown). The area in between has developed into desirable real estate (Tribeca, SoHo, Greenwich Village, etc.). There's no reason why the Hill can't be the same given the right circumstances (improving Pgh economy, less resistance to gentrification, more willingness among locals to live in an urban environment, etc.)

While the Hill District is between Downtown and Oakland... there is no need to go through or past the Hill District to get from Downtown to Oakland. Fifth, Forbes, Blvd of the Allies and Parkway East all go through/past an area called SoHo (not to be confused with Manhattan's SoHo, also known as the Bluff or Uptown) between Downtown and Oakland. This neighborhood is home to rapidly-expanding Duquesne University (safest campus in the country) and Mercy Hospital. Unfortunately, most of the neighborhood is rather rundown and experiences similar problems (huge prostitution area due to proximity to Hill and major roadways running through it), though it is much more structurally in-tact than the Hill District. The neighborhood is filled out with a tight grid of historic (though often decayed) brick rowhomes. Interestingly, SoHo might be the most historic neighborhood in Pittsburgh whose history has been largely forgotten.

The most attractive aspect of this little-known neighborhood is its proximity... 5 minutes to downtown, 5 minutes to Oakland, 5 minutes to South Side. Duquesne University (student pop. 10k) has been actively trying to improve its neighborhood. It is currently developing a 70mil mixed-use project that will featuring a "mega" Barnes & Noble, pub style restaurant, student housing, offices and other amenities. Beyond Duquesne's projects, SoHo has been turning around in other ways. There has been structural renovation, residential loft development and business relocation to the neighborhood in recent years. Here's an article from last year on SoHo's transformation.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_328901.html

One potential project that will affect Uptown profoundly (positively or negatively) is Isle of Capri's proposed casino/arena/mixed-use development just a couple blocks north of Duquesne University. I think this development would only be good for nearby Uptown, but Duquesne has expressed misgivings about having a casino so close to its campus.

photo3.jpg

SoHo is at the top of this rendering. The proposed buildings are largely surface parking today.

photo2.jpg

I feel that SoHo has much greater potential... and is beginning to realize its potential as a key link between Downtown, Oakland and South Side.

The Hill District is a large area with a great location in the heart of Pittsburgh. However, it really is "off the beaten path" when it comes to the road network, which may deter any "Oakland/Downtown corridor" development. The Hill District has three distinct parts.

The Lower Hill District was largely obliterated in the 50s when the Civic Arena (and associated parking lots) replaced thousands of structures and displaced thousands of people... the critical move in destroying a vibrant working-class neighborhood. A recent housing development at Crawford-Roberts has been successful in attracting a diverse population of residents. This area will most likely see a new arena in the future, as well as additional mixed-use development (whether Isle of Capri wins or not).

61053969.100_6067.jpg

The Middle Hil District is by far the most decayed part of the Hill District. It has one of Pittsburgh's highest crime rates, features many of the region's examples of "urban prairie" and has seen nothing in the way of recent development or improvement. It will take a seismic shift in the region's fortunes for this area to ever see a turnaround.

56314147.100_4517.jpg

The Upper Hill (Herron Hill) is traditionally a middle-class black neighborhood perched upon the highest point in the city (offering a 360 view of Pittsburgh from Herron Hill Park). The neighborhood is quite in-tact and comparatively healthy. It is adjacent to Pitt's upper campus and is quite close to the exploding Baum corridor. I could see this area potentially improving as the East End renaissance spreads... perhaps becoming an attractive area for university/medical people.

61053454.100_6041.jpg

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Imo the Hill doesn't really need any real estate gentrification projects. All it needs are some basic infastructure improvements. I would do some road expansion/realignment and rebuild an incline or two in the area. It's situated ideally between every thriving neighborhood in Pittsburgh yet there's very little connectivity, which means that not only does it hurt the Hill but cuts off all the other neighborhoods from each other, and not just Oakland from Downtown, but South Side from Lawrenceville, SoHo from Bloomfield, etc.

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Imo the Hill doesn't really need any real estate gentrification projects. All it needs are some basic infastructure improvements. I would do some road expansion/realignment and rebuild an incline or two in the area. It's situated ideally between every thriving neighborhood in Pittsburgh yet there's very little connectivity, which means that not only does it hurt the Hill but cuts off all the other neighborhoods from each other, and not just Oakland from Downtown, but South Side from Lawrenceville, SoHo from Bloomfield, etc.

Have you been reading http://findtherivers.org/ ?

It's all about improving connectivity in the Hill District. They have even proposed rebuilding the Penn Incline.

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