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Pittsburgh's Northshore Plan

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UPDATE! The Northshore has opened its first hotel in April and now is opening its first office complex the 6 story Equitable Energy Tower! Del-Monte's Eastern HQ will follow and both towers will have retail/entertainment mix on the ground floor street levels. Add to this the Subway being extended from downtown and points south (slated for completion in 2008 or early 2009) with two stations (one by PNC Park and the other north and west of Heinz Field), Pittsburgh is finally getting a truly great sports/entertainment complex on its north shore with great views of downtown!

20050614North_Shore.gif

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05165/521188.stm

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http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06101/681134-53.stm

With some of the restaurants coming online just in time for the ASG near PNC, another development taking place next to Heinz Field! Seems that the Rooney's and Continental have partnered with the same group that made Baltimore's Inner Harbor such a landmark attraction, though some (like Cheesecake and Hard Rock) we already have near downtown, I am hoping this group could lure other national retailers and restaurants to downtown's northshore!

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I saw that GIANT parking garage for the first time yesterday while I was at the game. I can't belive how massive it is.

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The just announced plan with Cordish doesn't do much for me. With the existing places and ones opening up this summer.. really, how much more do we need. North Shore doesn't need to have that much entertainment, not with existing districts for it. I am concerned about how much the market can handle and I don't want to see this new shiny complex at the expense of other areas. Additionally, clones of similar districts with the same bars (and a Fridays???) is hardly exciting.

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^^Mj I can see where your coming from. The way I read this though is it might just be the "big name recognition" a Rainforest Cafe or House of Blues etc. etc. needs to finally commit to this market. I agree if it is just a glorified strip mall with a Fridays then we can do world's better.

I think some of the major entertainment/restaurant "it places" have been waiting for Pittsburgh to get a major league developer (ie Baltimore Inner Harbor) before they commit to setting up shop here. I hope that is what is in mind.

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Who needs House of Blues? We sure don't.

We need a house of blues, but not the House of Blues .

No city needs HOB, Rock Bottom, Hard Rock, whatever. They need these types of venues, but having a national chain is boring and usually inferior. Can a chain capture Pittsburgh's soul like Nick's Fat City did? Can a chain intrigue tourists like Nick's did? No way in hell.

If this is just a building to house these kinds of chains, and at the expense of great local opportunities, I see nothing great about it. I much rather it sit until a suitable developer comes around, as this is not progress.

There should be NO concern of whether a chain comes to Pittsburgh or not. Yeah some things are national and popular retail wise, and I accept that, but if somebody looks down upon Pittsburgh for not having a Cheesecake Factory (which yeah that tacky eyesore is on the the Southside I know) then frankly they are the cheesy kind or person that I would rather not have in this great city and they can stay in Branson.

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^^As a Pittsburgh purist I say bravo!

As someone looking at the numbers I would contend that be it cheesy, be it sleazy (we are courting a full fledged casino after all), any and all demos Pittsburgh could attract with a cheesy Rainforest Cafe or House of Blues (young people that deluge message boards with how Pittsburgh could no way host "The Real World" etc., Pittsburgh just isn't "cool") would be a welcomed boost to the economy and a pressure for the local politicos to LOWER taxes. Florida and Nevada are the cheeseist, most superficial places in the nation, but look at their tax rates, their business fees, etc. etc. On paper they are the best place to live, work, play and start or run a business, due in large part to their accepting and more importantly INCENTIVIZING cheesewiz to come and set up shop.

If I had one wish it would be to put Pittsburgh back to 1975, have the mills be giants of industry, Gulf Oil and Westinghouse being in the top 10 of industrial companies (when the Fortune 500 EXCLUDED service and entertainment companies from the list) and having expansive R&D and foundries blanketing the metro in a concert of superpower industrial might.

Those days are as dead as the horse and buggy era, mill sites and oil research facitilies have been replaced with Century III, The Waterfront, the Southside Works and UPMC Medical Services (in Harmar). Instead of Pittsburgh being a temple of freemarket industrialization and progress we build temples to retailing and the service economy, where smokestacks and industrial research once ruled.

Most ignorant tweens, teens, twenty and thirty somethings with oogles of cash(either theirs or daddys) could care less about the value of industry or the reason it's needed to keep America strong, unions, or being a world center in research and development. They care about what ultra cool, hip MTVed overexposed brand they can party out at tonight. If they are looking at coming to Pitt or looking at attending the ASG or (hopefully) the DNC they like to learn about the city, but they also like to go to that hangout they know well from home.

Besides Pittsburgh has surpassed the cheesy line long long ago, not only did Century III, Southside Works, the Tech Center, Waterworks, and UPMC Harmar all destroy the once mighty industrial giant identity of this region with service and retailing and waitress jobs. But the biggest money makers in this area today are two financial service companies, hip cheesy retailers like American Eagle and Rue 21, even cheesier soon-to-be-national brands like QuakerSteak and Lube, and a host of non-profit "service" industries that basically canabalize the economy when looked at in a macro way. (UPMC, Allegheny, Highmark, Pitt, CMU all make money by cycling it through an already flush economy, they don't produce much "magnet" industry or capital, and even worse they can be wildly successful as a clearinghouse for funds but yet pay NOTHING for infrastructure costs (otherwise known as taxes, schools, police, roads).

In short we are about as opposite from Nevada and Florida cheesiest PROSPERITY as we can get, and yet we still see the cheese all around, American Eagle global HQ for all those cheesy tweens where an industrial superpower (US Steel) once rocked the world from. Pittsburgh is just another Florida or Las Vegas in its cheese factor, we just aren't smart enough to make MONEY at it yet, but we are getting better.

As a sidebar, when I am in Florida and people ask me about "cold, industrial, scene out of Robocop, rustbelt Pittsburgh", I actually let them know that most of the mills that once fed the globe have been torn down--for shopping malls, call centers and geriatric units, not all that removed from the sunny glades of cheesy capital Florida. They are awestruck how one of the world's leading cheese merchants (AEO) has its HQ where once stood the mightest arsenal of freedom the world had ever known.

If we are going to go MTV lets do it right, and lets make tons of $ from it and give Florida, Nevada and the "valley" a run for their money!

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any and all demos Pittsburgh could attract with a cheesy Rainforest Cafe or House of Blues (young people that deluge message boards with how Pittsburgh could no way host "The Real World" etc., Pittsburgh just isn't "cool") would be a welcomed boost to the economy and a pressure for the local politicos to LOWER taxes

Well, folks that really travel and appreciate cities, appreciate the local things, not the Cheescake Factories etc. MTV choosing Pittsburgh would have absolutely nothing to do with these businesses being located here.

These places don't offer anymore boost than a successfully run local place.

And again, I say that the young (or older) people who feel that Pgh is less of a city because of a lack of restaurant ____ then they don't get it. Thriving "cool" cities have thriving "cool" local places. Yeah now days you can't avoid chains, but the lower number of these kinds of places, the better.

Florida and Nevada

Florida- retirees flock there and so do immigrants. Some inbetween, but this is the bulk of their growth. Nev. is Vegas and it's a non city. You simply can't compare any city to a city of ALL entertainment and the serice industries that support it. Additionally I wouldn't wish that city upon any other city in terms of "qualities."

Florida is awful too.

In short we are about as opposite from Nevada and Florida cheesiest PROSPERITY as we can get, and yet we still see the cheese all around, American Eagle global HQ for all those cheesy tweens where an industrial superpower (US Steel) once rocked the world from. Pittsburgh is just another Florida or Las Vegas in its cheese factor, we just aren't smart enough to make MONEY at it yet, but we are getting better.

Whoa, American Eagle is cheesy? Yeah industry is dead. Long live AE and companies like AE that export (take dollars from Atlanta, Springfields and all of America)

There is an inherent complex about Pittsburgh from some Pittsburghers. Most people I meet don't have a negative impression of the city. At worst they have little impression as with many places that they haven't been exposed to. But I haven't met one person who has visited the city and didn't say positive things.

Most people don't view Pittsburgh as hell with the lid off. Some may still think that there actually is industry here, but that's not a crime.

If we are going to go MTV lets do it right, and lets make tons of $ from it and give Florida, Nevada and the "valley" a run for their money!

Pittsburgh has nothing to prove to these places and it doesn't require a certain number of chains to get MTV. MTV has proven that the Real World is a joke. The "real world" part of it became questionable years ago in the 90s, but really died when the left real cities at least for non cities like Vegas and Key West.

Pittsburgh has the necessary things for filming, and playing host would be nice and good exposure, but not getting them is not a statement against Pittsburgh.

;)

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Good analysis Mj, but I was using MTV as a way to describe the service, entertainment and hospitality that seems to reign in America, not the network specifically but the MTVization of the world, totally superficial, totally fad oriented--with the exception of having to run through piles of "Pittsburgh isn't cool enough for TRW or like shows" on that one message board from those clueless tweenies.

My big question is shouldn't there be room enough for both local and national chains? I would love to have every possible establishment feel they can make a good profit in Pittsburgh, and that Pittsburgh is open for business. My knowledge of the local scene in Vegas is not that deep but I know Florida is chock full (even Orlando) of local places with flavor (RedLobster and Olive Garden were originally Florida classics before going national a generation ago).

In a Pittsburgh that we need to build there would be room enough for both, the Hong Kong of Appalachia (i'd say Paris but we're not that weird :P).

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I think some of the major entertainment/restaurant "it places" have been waiting for Pittsburgh to get a major league developer (ie Baltimore Inner Harbor) before they commit to setting up shop here. I hope that is what is in mind.

That's pretty much it. What had been holding Pgh back in terms of getting places like Hard Rock and stores like H&M has been that it didn't have the big name developers. Instead, Pgh was the fiefdom of the Oxfords and the DeBartolos which had massive pull in the local area but not so much nationally. Now that bigger name developers have enterred the market (South Side Words, new owners of Station Square, Pgh Mills), Pgh is seeing the big names.

As for HRC, Rainforest, etc., yes, they are totally cheesy. That said, I don't think it necessarily has to be one or the other. Everyone knows HRC isn't great for food or service and locals only go jsut for the experience. I don't think HRC has killed off any Pgh institutions. There's plenty of space for both the big cheesy chains and the locals. That said, when a big developer comes to town to develop the area by the stadiums, they are looking at a multi-million dollar project that's going to cost them tons. The only way they can recoup is by leasing spaces to the cheesy big chains and not to Nick's Fat City, or the O.

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The Cheese factor seems to be the American comfort zone. The take no-chances mind set. Well, it's going to be hitting the North Shore big time.

Now the big developers are here and here it comes. The kings of "CHEESE" are now in love with Pittsburgh

Dave Cordish and Frank Kass will swing the cheese across the county and line the rivers. well, someone had to do it. It is always the folk with imagination that search for the local hidden treasures, and Pittsburgh has tons. The South Side is now home to cheese and will still remain a center for small local business. There is room for all, I hope one feeds the other.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-re...h/s_442302.html

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06101/681134-53.stm

http://www.uli.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section...tentDisplay.cfm

mmmmmmmm

cheesy

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Hey, yinzers pissed & moaned for years about how nothing was developed around Three Rivers Stadium; predicted on how nothing of significance was to come to fruition in between PNC Park and Heinz Field, too.

Let the "'Plan B' beotching" soon be silenced for good - Viva la North Shore!

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I'm with Urbani, I think there is room for everything. Not all new developments can be filled with local businesses. There just aren't enough local businesses to fill them up. Chances are if they courted local businesses for the North Shore, they'd get a bunch relocating from elsewhere in the region.

I don't want the North Shore to be cheesy, but I don't want it to thrive at the expense of other neighborhoods either. And I think a development with lots of chains can still be nice. The Inner Harbor is nice, and it has Barnes & Noble, Hard Rock, ESPN Zone, Cheesecake Factory, etc. It still feels unique and nice. Besides, Pittsburgh does have areas where local businesses are abundant (whether there are some chains mixed in or not). So if the North Shore doesn't end up being one of them, it won't be that big a deal to me.

By the way... Lousville has a Hard Rock? LOL I had no idea.

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Station Square already has these types of places. Bars have opened on the N Shore, with more already coming. How many can be sustained before it is at the expense of established entertainment areas?

The Inner Harbor is nice, and it has Barnes & Noble, Hard Rock, ESPN Zone, Cheesecake Factory, etc. It still feels unique and nice

Nothing is unique about everything you stated and then you say its unique. Of course there is a reality with retail being mostly chains, but there are two issues here - how much can be sustained and then there is the quality issue. I;m not saying cheesy bars are necessarily bad - hell near the parks, some of it makes sense, but what goes in should be considered carefully.

That won't happen though, a national developer will do exactly what's been stated - get cookie cutter places so the N Shore can look exactlylike the Inner Harbor and Louisville, KC and most like similar to dozens of others.

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^^Isn't that what conventioneers and visitors need, a good mix of both universal cookie-cutter places they can feel welcomed by at the same time they are exploring something new?

Even though a lot of these places are cookie cutter, most of them make a grand effort to be UNIQUE to that city, especially HRC and HOB etc. no two should be that much alike.

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Just FYI, a bank would be very hesitant to agree to financing for a major development anchored by local mom and pop businesses. National tenants (cheesy of not) are essential to setting up the financing and moving a project forward.

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I guess my opinion lies somewhere between the pro and anti factions.

It is encouraging to see that outsiders now see Pittsburgh as a strong market for this type of development... but it also seems to be a duplication of nearby suburbanite-haven Station Square. This won't add anything to the authentic Pittsburgh experience, but if it adds a little vibrancy to a currently barren area... I suppose it's a net good. It sure beats a parking lot!

My wish list for the development include a quality mid-size live music venue and a Crazy Mocha.

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^^ I think we are all of that opinion . . . just to very differing degrees.

My only question is why can't Pittsburgh be every bit the NYC, Chicago or Hong Kong, we were once in that realm (not in the top 3 of course but close) and can be again. I say if what we are doing attracts tax paying cheese lets do it wisely and intelligently and with planning for the future in mind but all taxpaying cheese is welcomed in the metroplex, anything that can lower taxes and is done in a smart and efficent (with metro resources) way is a net good. I want the local companies to THRIVE but I want the choice of a NYC or Chicago as well.

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The chance of local business moving on to the North Shore was gone when they tore down the last remnant from the old North Side that was there.

Station Square will always be handicapped with the railroad trax separating it from the waterfront.

Dave Cordish specializes in mixed entertainment districts almost always with live music venues. Now it will be strictly "BIG BUSINESS!" One thing with getting in the heavy hitters they would not commit to something with out being sure it will work.

The wide open spaces of the North Shore

PNCRiverFront3clipped.jpg

waiting for a crowd

501559-R1-06-19.jpg

soon to be like;

"The Power Plant Live"

http://www.powerplantlive.com/

"Fourth Street Live"

http://www.4thstlive.com/

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Nothing is unique about everything you stated and then you say its unique.

What I meant was, it is unique despite those places. Despite having a lot of chains, it is still a very unique place. My hope is that the North Shore can be too, certainly the stadiums and the science center should help with that, not to mention the view. And having the nice riverfront park nearby should also help give it a local flavor.

As far as the question of how much we can sustain, I guess we won't know for a while.

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