(This is a fantasy, though not satire, of what frank and open communication from the Penguins to Hill District stakeholders might look like after last night's meeting.)
In the interest of moving forward while retaining institutional and personal credibility, we accept responsibility for our role in encouraging what has become a significant misunderstanding.
We regret having informed you that we cannot pursue the Inclusionary Zoning practices used in the Almono development in Hazelwood only because the City will not allow it.
We regret using the term "affordable" housing to describe rental units accessible only to the upper middle class.
We regret having encouraged something called the Greater Hill District Master Plan, a fine and solid planning document with the legal weight of cotton candy to which we do not intend to adhere, least of all in the Lower Hill.
We regret having so often touted our willingness to "identify funding" for public art, infrastructure and residential affordability gaps -- in an attempt to obscure that we already possess more than sufficient funding, or that via this business venture we shall soon possess it. We regret that in all past agreements, documents and contracts regarding jobs and business development opportunities, weak language such as "best faith efforts" and "minimum goals" is all we could muster -- and there have never been enforcement mechanisms.
We regret having asked you to participate in the Curtain Call public art project in order to diminish your opposition in 2008 to our plans for the Consol Energy Center -- and that we did not see the project through.
We regret that we always brand our development for you positively by putting overwhelming emphasis on the "green cap" over the Crosstown Expressway -- while the costs, funding sources, and timetable for such a feature is literally the last thing on our agenda.
We regret having invited you to scores of community meetings over months and years at which our position on your specific concerns does not change, only so we can later demonstrate the quantity (not quality) of our community engagement.
We regret having hired enough consultants to give you inspirational speeches about our intentions, we might otherwise have funded several community projects.
The truth of the matter is we have no interest in addressing your demands. We are trying to find commonalities across two very different worlds. Our only concern is to parlay these 28 acres of the Lower Hill of the City of Pittsburgh into the greatest possible long-term profit for ourselves, because life is short and we want to live as grandly as we might.
But our efforts to get you to like us have become counter-productive and silly. In the interest of not generating further ill-faith relations, we suggest that you redirect all your concerns about affordable housing, place-making, shared prosperity and community building to your civic government.
Best of luck at the City Planning Commission on December 9th and thereafter. However, in this new spirit of honesty and collegial frankness, our impression is that you are not destined to make out very well there either -- especially since we gave ourselves every advantage by submitting our plan at the end of the year during the waning moments of the Ravenstahl administration.
But in government at least you will encounter decision-makers whose capacity to feign a cooperative spirit has not been utterly exhausted.
Sincerely (at last),
The Pittsburgh Penguins
PS. By the way, thanks for your support in demolishing the Igloo, without our having to give up anything of substance.