A study by the Urban Land Institute gives Point Park University a bevy of wondrous, practical ideas for expansion and improvement (P-G, Mark Belko)...
.. BUT warns against the University getting too involved in retail (P-G, Mark Belko).
The reason is that the panel concluded there's just too much retail space Downtown right now. It found that the gross leasable area of retail space was oversupplied by 298,000 square feet.
"What we're looking at is too much retail space for what appears to be the current demand," he said.
This is discouraging news to those entities already excited about developing Downtown for retail. Then again, the ULI might have missed some indigenous nuance:
"We have a lot of retail but it's all junk," such as discount stores, convenience stores and nail salons, said Mr. Sullivan [a broker with Pennsylvania Commercial Real Estate Inc.]
Until the city is able to clean out the "bad" retail, he said, it is going to have trouble attracting high-quality retail.
Lucas Piatt, vice president of real estate for Washington County-based Millcraft Industries, is clear on why we need to keep cutting them checks for the development of big-box Downtown retail.
He said Millcraft is looking to add the kind of destination retail Mr. Ferguson [of the ULI] believes could be successful. Capital Grille steak house already has opened in the Lazarus building. A McCormick & Schmick's seafood restaurant will be opening later this fall.
The developer's own studies have shown that Downtown is a "good place for retail," Mr. Piatt said.
Fillet Mignon and crab legs are a "destination" that is presently impossible to experience elsewhere in the ten-country region -- it easily warrants a long drive, parking hassles, and taxpayer subsidies. We continue to be excited for the economic boom that is presently occurring.
UPDATE: AntiRust, the 4th pillar of the Burghosphere according to Daily Kos, does this post better and deeper than we just did.