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NewBurgh

Neighborhood divided by Eastside

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http://postgazette.com/pg/07345/840657-51.stm

This article is all about the Eastside development in East Liberty and how some community leaders feel as though it's a bad thing. I am well aware of the possible ill effects of gentrification, and the possibility that East Liberty could turn into a haven for big-boxes w/o the mom 'n pop charm, but mostly I'm really confused as to why anything that's happened so far could be considered a bad thing.

For years this area consisted of an abandoned taxi-cab service and an old car-wash. Why would community leaders get upset over these new shops. ELDI has made every effort to make sure that current residents aren't displaced, with 3 different nice housing developments geared toward low to moderate to mixed income families. Plus (with possibly the exception of Whole Foods and the organic baby store) the current group of stores aren't exactly Tiffany's and Saks. You have a bike shop, a Fed-Ex store, a new bank, a goodwill, a hip-hop club, an appliance store, etc. etc.... I'm not exactly sure what a lower income community would prefer? I'm kind of confused by this, and for some reason a little bit annoyed. I can't imagine many city neighborhoods around the country that would go so far out of their way to insure that the current residents are happy. I'd imagine most would take the money and investments and possibilities of expensive condos and completely ignore the residents

I don't even like Starbucks, but if ten years ago somebody would've told me that a Starbucks would be moving into that stretch of East Liberty that looked like Baghdad, I would've been pretty happy about it. I guess the expectations now are a bit higher, but all in all I think the development has been done well, and for the most part with the needs of the community in mind.

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some people will complain about anything... they sit by for decades and watch their neighborhood go to hell... and now a billion dollars of development is invested there and they still complain... even though just about everything that's been developed has the capacity of serving the neighborhood ... what the hell does this woman want? she doesn't offer any alternative... just complains... it's quite annoying

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I agree. This woman is complaining that nothing in Eastside is geared toward the residents of the neighborhood. So she never goes to Walgreens or the bank? Never wants to browse a book store? It confuses me too. I can only imagine that because the place looks fancy, some lower income people just assume it isn't for them. :dontknow:

It's a shame that some residents aren't satisfied. But it seems like the developers made every effort, and I am lead to believe that some people just won't ever be happy.

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People want to feel a part of the process. If you feel as if development is shoved down your throat, then you won't care too much about the resulting economic benefits.

Furthermore, the Whole Foods design stinks. It looks (and feels) like a gated community. It says to me: "If you can't afford to shop here, stay away!" IMO, that stench extends to the entire development project.

Don't underestimate the value of home and community. It may have looked like a war zone before, but you would be surprised how the people who lived there still cared about the place. In any development project, you should enfranchise the residents.

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People want to feel a part of the process. If you feel as if development is shoved down your throat, then you won't care too much about the resulting economic benefits.

Furthermore, the Whole Foods design stinks. It looks (and feels) like a gated community. It says to me: "If you can't afford to shop here, stay away!" IMO, that stench extends to the entire development project.

Don't underestimate the value of home and community. It may have looked like a war zone before, but you would be surprised how the people who lived there still cared about the place. In any development project, you should enfranchise the residents.

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They involved a neighborhood group; I'm not sure what more they could have done to include people.

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They involved a neighborhood group; I'm not sure what more they could have done to include people.

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Good question. If they asked for something specific and didn't get it, the PG should say so in the article. As it is, it sounds like general dissatisfaction for no specific reason. I would like to know what people want to see there that isn't currently there.

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I was a little upset when I read that article, too.

On the one hand I understand it - 50 years of heavy-handed, ill-advised projects has created these knee-jerk reactionaries.

On the other hand, it's irrational. There's probably enough East Liberty residents who shop at Monroeville Mall and even work there to support a couple more Eastsides. Are people against having some jobs and some shopping opportunities in their own neighborhood if it means having to share with outsiders? Or maybe they're just so used to paying taxes to another municipality and taking long commutes to the suburbs by bus, that they don't want to give that up?

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