Monday, May 23, 2011


... with a $5 million opening offer for the Civic Arena, embargoed for now in its specifics.

"If the area needs major economic development, that's what should go there," [Steve] Apostolopoulos said. (Trib, Bill Vidonic)

Still searching for a website for Triple Properties, Inc. Here is an entry for company patriarch Andreas. Here is the source of the photo from the Tornoto Star. Here is the current site for the Pontiac Silverdome, which sold for $583,000. Hard to Google anything comprehensive about the tale of Detroit's Tiger Stadium after Mike Illich moved the team from Corktown to Downtown, the city sat on it for 7 years at a cost of $4 million, and what now sits there since they demolished it in '09. However this guy seems to want to pay for our thing and not demolish it right away.

Steve Apostolopoulos of Toronto, president of the developer's sports division, said the company is interested only in the arena, not the land around it. (ibid)

And hmm, to do what with it? Tractor pulls and lacrosse? Same thing eventually as the Penguins? No regal public thoroughfare, no colossal mural depicting the history of urban redevelopment? Guess we'll have to wait and see.

SPECIAL TO THE APOSTOLOPOULOSES: Thanks for engaging with Pittsburgh 'n'at, eh!


  1. That land is worth a lot more than $5 mill.

  2. BrianTH - There's an issue I don't near-to understand yet over what might happen to debt the public still owes on the arena should it be sold instead of demolished. I should add though, the next highest bid we have received is $0 and assurance that the Penguins won't pull up stakes and leave town in a shrieking curse-filled fit of wounded rage.

  3. Its not necessarily about sale...that is just what we think it is worth for land based on market for Southside Works and other sites. 250k to 350k per acre. The truth is the deal could be a long term lease with the SEA or Pens as equity partner. The tenant is what makes this work and the value of the land around them.

  4. Dont forget about 5 million PLUS for demo that is saved...and could be used to sweeten the pot for tenant or developer.

  5. Who actually ends up with what money at the end of the day is a different issue. My concern is that if they are only willing to offer $5 million for the property, they aren't planning to put that land to a sufficiently high-value use.

    Now I understand the point that the structure may have negative value for most users--but these people are planning to use the structure. Presumably another user would be planning on investing a bunch more money on a different structure, which further underscores the fact that apparently these folks really aren't planning to get much value out of the whole package.

    Incidentally, PNC recently paid $18 million for what I believe is about an acre (and that deal also included structures which they deem as having negative value). They are going to invest a further $400 million in developing that acre.

    Of course it is unlikely anyone would want to build 40-story towers on the arena site (although maybe we should ask just to make sure). But they could well build something like 10-12 story towers, which was the Penguins' plan last I knew.

    Even assuming some discount in rental values between the PNC site and this one, with 10-12 story towers on about four acres you still end up with a predicted value of WAY more than $5 million (land plus structure). So why are these people offering to invest so much less?

    Again, I think the only explanation is that they implicitly understand that their proposed use would be a lot less valuable.

  6. world team tennis at the arena, again??

  7. Right now, the Pontiac Silverdome is promoting the Great Lakes Agricultural Fair, the Xtreme Musik tour, the Halloween Monster [vehicle] Mash, 98.7 AMP Live (seems to be an African-American youth music station) and something called the Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill. Also an invitation to join them at the "Drive In" starting May 20; could that possibly be drive-in movies like a real drive-in omg please. Also something involving a huge skull and no text which they should really take down or fix.

    I got to admit, all things being equal I like competition. It could help to keep B- & C-level event ticket prices down, and bring more desperate variety and innovation into our midst. Then again, I've never been in the habit of being enthused about circus tents.

    Basically I wonder if this guy would hire renovators, electricians etc. from the adjoining neighborhoods when possible.

  8. Just what we need.. an ugly 50-yo (?) building with massive parking lots around it that is used (what?) a few times a year when there's a better and newer building across the street?

    But, but, but, it's an engineering marvel that has a retractable roof! Pfft.. The roof hasn't been opened in eons and no one knows if it will even open now.

    Blow it up. Yesterday.

  9. If the people who want to blow it up don't have any money in it and these guys have cash....

  10. Oh, where to start? Urban development is complicated tough and full of developer/entrepreneurs that march to the beat of different drummers. Andreas must have done something right...He is the Buncher Co. of Toronto and worth a reported $800 million (not quite Burkle territory I hear). Both are rags to riches stories that want to buy sports teams and are reclusive, don’t have websites and are known to be tough negotiators.
    1. The Consol is designed for 5,000 seats and above (Jay Roberts) manager of Igloo and now Consol.
    2. The value of the land is not as high as you think. Do the numbers on Southside works, Northside...Downtown is not relevant or comparable. Zoning limits heights (GT-E)
    3.The value of the land is already determined: take $15 million credit account GIVEN to the Pens for land acquisition and divide by 28 acres = $535k per acre. Arena has about 4.1 acres including walkways/ramps. This gives 4.1x535=$2.19 million for the land the arena sits on. Now, credit the $5 million demo cost or set it aside in interest bearing escrow case it doesn’t work, also covering reasonable holding (carrying costs: (cost of holding until full lease up) which typically are part of any real estate proforma.
    4. The Pontiac Silverdome is not the comparable of the igloo, in design, market and operating costs. But does demonstrate that it is possible. See also Montreal, Memphis, Portland, and soon Toronto. All works in progress, yes..NONE with the possibilities of the Igloo and its STILL WORKING ROOF!
    5. The real test is not developers (there are more where they come from)..The question is who will be the anchor TENANT?
    The right tenant anchor/mix determines the viability of the Igloo, not as a competitor but complementary facility (see Portland Oregon approach).
    6.No Federal funds are likely to be found until after the 2012 Elections. Add about a year for the Transportation Bill to be implemented, add engineering and construction and you are looking at 2014 at the earliest and more likely 2015.
    7. If the Pens "loan" or otherwise pay for the $35million costs of demo and infrastructure, they still invoke the Section 106 and anticipatory demolition clause of the NHPA 110k. Demo causes loss of ALL future funding.
    8. Oh and by the way, who is paying for the proposed structure parking on 6-8 super blocks in the Pens plan? We the taxpayers do (this is normal as a combination of TIF, financing and grants as was done for Southside and Bakery Square. ADD $60-75 million or about $12-15 million per garage.
    9. Now ask where are the Pens tenants to date?

    RESTAURANTS: A TGIF Fridays.... What are they proposing? Read the AECOM report and 4ward Planning analysis on reuse the Igloo (under economics). * Destination restaurants (8,000sf eachx8!) Hence the Cheesecake Factory model for plain vanilla lifestyle warmed over new urbanism.

    RESIDENTIAL: is the area where this is agreement. They can start a Crawford Square II model tomorrow on the existing upper parking areas (Melody Tent Site).

    CINEMA: They also propose a multiplex Cinema that would be direct competitor with Southside Works. There is a high likely hood this will die quickly.

    OFFICE: That leaves Office/Mixed use combos with ground floor retail like the Northside (Equitable/DelMonte/Alcoa BSC etc). These three buildings took nearly 15 years from master plan to completion.

    The SPEC office market is very weak. Build to suit is similar except in the energy sectors (north and south of the City). If it were easy and fast we would see build-outs completed at SS works, Northside and Tech Ctr.

    800k will be built for new PNC tower ALONE! The AECOM plan had pegged 600k for the lower Hill. New Spec (not HQ trophy building-PNC) needs 70% lease up to get financing! Good news but who will be first in the pool with a new building in the middle of acreage next to the Crosstown Ditch??

    SOoooo. WHATS THE RUSH TO DEMO? Take 12-18 months and see what is out there. THEN you can have your juvenile demolition derbies.

    learn more at

  11. Yes, but Lemieux's wrath would be righteous and I've seen him do amazing things with that wingspan.