Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday's Hot Information Injection

1. The Steelers and Continental Real Estate will take plans for a North Side Amphitheater before the City Planning Commission at 2:00 PM.

This was originally scheduled to take place a month ago -- the Comet's analysis at the time can be found HERE. As it happened, a day later the developers withdrew their application and requested an extension.

How have they spent the extra time? These are all likely:

A) Drawing the amphitheater at night -- with lights!

B) Adding "decorative screening" -- whatever that is.

C) Adding artwork depicting the history of the Hill District.

D) Watching election results get certified.

2. I'm having a really hard time envisioning this Crosstown Cap. What the deuce? Which two sidewalks will it connect? How wide will it be? Isn't there an artist's rendering somewhere? (P-G, Jon Schmitz)

3. I like this style of leadership. Not so much legislative, but saying what needs to be said and piling on the pressure for stricter enforcement. If one is fed by the masses, one should sweep up after the masses -- routinely and promptly. (WPXI, Gordon Loesch)

4. The P-G editorial board is resolved to cover Dan Onorato's back on this whole statewide reassessments posture/stall. (P-G, Edit Board)

5A. Let the record forever show that Frisbee players are encouraged to tear up the lawn. You all see it in print. (Trib, Mike Cronin)

5B. And this is the first time I've noticed they are erecting a War on Terror Statue. An ambitious undertaking, seeing as how by any metric we are still in that war. I can has looksee? (WPXI, Serious Anchorman)

6. Oh, Garden Theater. When will you be redeveloped?
"There's no way of using that space now. When they shut it down almost 2 1/2 years ago, it was in bad shape, and now it's worse," said Aaron Stubna, owner of Lincoln Barber Shop in Bellevue, who has floated one idea for redeveloping the building. "When you don't use a building like that for a long time, it deteriorates."

Holes in the roof allowed rain water to soak into the theater's ceilings and walls, until the URA agreed to pay up to $60,000 to install a temporary roof this month. An architect familiar with the building said it's likely no longer safe to use for performances.
(Trib, Jeremy Boren)

Oh, URA.

Fatla said rushing to reopen the Garden as a theater pub, cinema, restaurant, brew house or some combination of all four would be a mistake, particularly given the difficult economy. He said there's consensus the Garden and neighboring buildings must become businesses that draw customers from the region, not just the North Side.

"You can't just operate on wishes. You have to put it in the context of what the market will support," he said. (ibid)

Hmmmmmm. If there is a "rush" to open a theater pub, restaurant or brew house, that probably indicates there is a "market". I realize there has been some political skin laid out to guarantee "not another bar" and I know there is a dictate that the premises be made "cultural", but we've got to be approaching compromise time.

And why once again the prejudice against building something new on the North Side that caters to actual North Side of Pittsburgh residents?

7. In regards to the Act 47 recommendations, the Busman appears to be hung up on some political issues but also to be worrying that we are all missing the actual story. Could be. Could very well be.


  1. The Garden Theatre is on this list:


    So maybe that's good?

  2. With regard to point 7, and not disagreeing, what did you think of the Mayor's performance on the KD/PG edition?

  3. That landscape cap is crap, if you ask me. It is another boondogle.

    Better to take the Civic Arena and move it slightly, so as to cover the road and allow for the pedestrians to walk its ribs.

  4. Ed - I thought he was fine. I was a little dispirited that he reiterated his request for an apology from Councilman Dowd, but that's not a policy issue (yet).

    With respect to point 7, I really haven't sunk my teeth yet.

    I'm at the planning commission meeting. There's got to be 50 northsiders here already, and the amphitheater agenda item is an hour away.

  5. If there is a "rush" to open a theater pub, restaurant or brew house, that probably indicates there is a "market".Not necessarily true. There is currently a rush to build condos and hotels in Pittsburgh, but that doesn't mean there's a market for them. Developers often get a bunch of public money to speculate.

    I don't know who is saying what about the ex-Garden, but if they are being offered a public subsidy to build or redevelop, we should be very wary about what they tell us.

  6. Surprise - 30+ persons are marching around 200 Ross St. during previous business chanting loudly for a CBA. Another 30+ remain inside watching a Garfield Heights hearing that is getting difficult to hear.