big hole on the "northeast passage"

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Pseudacris
Participant
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US/Mexico border.


steevo
Participant
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“the village of shadyside” has been there and

has been a gated community for well over

a decade. nothing new.


ejwme
Participant
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hunh. parking issues are solved by permit parking only. They have those signs all over the city (2hours max unless permit K displayed or whatever). Make it 24hrs, let tow trucks operate there, solved.

Or, have private garage only parking, no on street parking. No door zone for bikes. No pesky issues. This would only work if people could manage to have an equal or smaller number of cars as they have garages.

But perhaps if they want to only have themselves and their neighbors park on their street and walk through their neighborhood, they should move out to the suburbs where nobody wants to go unless they live there.


HiddenVariable
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i think it makes sense to want to keep automobile through traffic to penn or fifth. but it would be a damned shame if they do what village of shadyside has done. you can’t even walk through there. it’s a disgrace.


brian j
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I wonder if the Village will attempt to reconfigure the “gated community” in the near future, given all the development the residents can’t really access that’s just across the street?


Lou M.
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Depends on how many points for LEED you are going for. Bike racks are worth points as are showering facilities.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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From the google machine:

“Across from the Bakery Square development, Walnut Capital Partners says they are prepared to spend up to $130 million on their latest project, known as Bakery Square 2.0. A redevelopment of the former Reizenstein Middle School site, the plan calls for constructing several new office buildings, creating 400,000 square-feet of office space, 90 rental townhomes, and 20 single family houses. Details of the plan were released last week at a public meeting in Bakery Square.

The developer is seeking a zoning change for the site in order to execute the proposed plan, which Gregg Perelman, of Walnut Capital, says is a work in progress. According to Perelman, his company is meeting with neighborhood organizations, such as the Shadyside Action Coalition, to find solutions to the zoning issues.

The plan does not call for any new roads to connect the former school site to Shadyside, however a bicycle and pedestrian connection would be built. Office tenants would utilize the parking structure located in Bakery Square, across Penn Avenue.

Perelman says the streetscape along Penn Avenue would include sidewalks, and the possibility of added bike lanes. Within the development, Walnut Capital plans extensive green space and courtyards to be used by future residents and office workers, similar to the developer’s Forbes Terrace property in Squirrel Hill.

The townhome rentals are projected to range in price from $2,500 to $3,000, and will be two- to three-bedroom units.

Walnut Capital expects to purchase the property from Pittsburgh Public Schools by the year’s end, when it will then begin demolition. Building materials from the former school will be recycled on site, used for infill and road improvements. “

(from an article dated 23 May 2012: http://www.popcitymedia.com/devnews/bakerysquare052312.aspx)


Pseudacris
Participant
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The townhome rentals are projected to range in price from $2,500 to $3,000, and will be two- to three-bedroom units.. Wow! I have a full time University gig, and I could definitely not afford to live there.

Still, thanks for posting this text. I feel encouraged about the promised green space & bike/ped friendliness & re-use of building materials.

[edit] I hope the school district fetches a good price for this: they need the money and even the union salaries of the teachers would not let them afford a place like this unless it were a double income family whose kids were in public school.


ejwme
Participant
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wow, it really is called “Bakery Square 2.0” I guess it’s gone from geek speak to mainstream. Am I that old?

And I’m super sad that they’re demo-ing Reizenstein. The pool alone was AWESOME. It really was an insanely cool building.

Sigh. 2.5k is WAY outside my price range. Is that steep, or am I just that cheap?


Anonymous #

I work in Bakery Square. If anyone is interested, there is a usually computer rendering of 2.0 in the lobby. Come on it and see it. In a bit, I’ll try and grab a picture of it.


stefb
Participant
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We rented a third floor loft in lawrenceville several years ago. I don’t think we will ever live in a place as nice, but $1000/mo was too steep. $2500 is just ludicrous. Imagine all of the bikes you couldn’t buy if you were paying that much…


HiddenVariable
Participant
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I wonder if the Village will attempt to reconfigure the “gated community” in the near future, given all the development the residents can’t really access that’s just across the street?

there’s a locked gate that leads into the reizenstein parking lot. it would surprise me if residents didn’t have a key to this.


Kordite
Participant
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Way back when I was going to school, my college roomies and I rented a Semple St. apartment for $350 a month plus utilities.

I’m old.


Mick
Participant
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@ brian j I wonder if the Village will attempt to reconfigure the “gated community” in the near future, given all the development the residents can’t really access that’s just across the street?

Doubtful.

1) It’s isn’t that much harder to driver an SUV around a few blocks that it is to drive an SUV across the street.

2) There are “all kinds of people” over there.


brian j
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Dude. $2500 a month? For rent? What?

I realize the location is ideal, it’s truly a spot where you could very much ditch owning a car, given all the amenities within walking distance, but…$2500? What?

And to think, way back when I rented a loft in the old Park Place school, I thought $800 a month was the lap of luxury.


Ahlir
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This discussion reminds of a “gated” community I lived in when I worked in Austin (out by the Arboretum). It had an impressive wall with gates out front and along the highway side, and somewhat less imposing fencing along the other side. The back however had no fence and just spilled into some nice woods with trails that you could bike. I never did get it at the time, but…

It does make sense for the “village” to have a wall along Penn; it’s a busy, loud street (even if it does now have nicer stuff on the other side). Won’t office buildings along Penn serve the same function and make walls less necessary?


Pseudacris
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Found mention of this meeting on the Shadyside Action Coalition web site. (also a broken link to a UPMC Shadyside 10 year master plan):

Bakery Square 2.0 Community Meeting

Monday, August 20, 2012, 6:30 PM

Location: Ellis School Auditorium, 6425 Fifth Avenue. Walnut Capital will be in attendance to discuss the new plan for zoning changes and development of the site and to take questions from the community.


rsprake
Participant
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Well, I asked Peduto’s office about running a sweeper through there and it looks like they decided to do that this morning and due to the rain last night and the lack of drainage it tracked mud all over the road.

Attempt at sweeping

Attempt at sweeping

Attempt at sweeping


brian j
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The road to hell is paved with good intentions, eh?


RoadKillen
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I really hope they keep the connection between Reynolds St. & Social Way. I don’t think having cyclists dumping out on the Penn Ave sidewalk infront of Villages at East Side is viable. That sidewalk doesn’t really connect to anything. Especially if you’re trying to safely get to Shadyside or East Liberty.


Pseudacris
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So I went to the Bakery Square 2.0 public meeting tonight. Stayed for the first 2 hours. Definitely look for more public meetings coming up and attend if you want a voice or have questions!

Walnut Capital is planning public Bike & Ped access that will keep a good connection between the Bakery Square “campus” on both sides of Penn Ave though to Mellon Park Rec area. They didn’t seem to know where Social Way is and the housing on that side of the development would probably be subdivided and built by someone else, so it will be good to speak up about your needs at the public hearings. It is a big deal (in a good way) that a high percentage of Bakery Square employees do not drive to work. The development, as planned, will have impact on the bike/ped path in front of the current school property. Putnam and an East Liberty Blvd extension will be “like ‘real’ city streets” with a new street connecting them that would run parallel with Penn for the length of the development.

Separate from this development, there are upgrades coming to the East Liberty busway stop & a better crosswalk on [edit] Fifth Ave for people using the Mellon Park Rec area (not sure where on 5th).

In the current development plan, the existing garage would service the new commercial spaces. Not much non-residential parking would be added to the site. The townhouses will have off-street parking.

edit: I think it will be important to speak up if you want to get to Shadyside (eg Social Way etc) or points West on Penn Ave without it being a P.I.T.A. It did seem like good connections would be kept between Mellon Park and Bakery Square.


rsprake
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Thanks for the update.


salty
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Crap, I completely spaced on this and I rode right by as the meeting (and the rain) were starting. I heard there were a lot of NIMBY types from “Village of Shadyside” there.

I’ve still never seen a really clear picture of the proposed street grid, did they present one at the meeting? I was hoping for bike/ped connections both at Festival and on the Denniston side. It’s actually something like 1/3mi extra to go around – not a huge amount but it’s probably 5 minutes if I’m walking to work.


Pseudacris
Participant
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The street grid was a bit unclear [eg the minor streets & alleys were not labeled] – partly because they are focused on changing zoning right now. I asked about Social Way and the developer did not know where that was (not a good sign!).

I think if enough people demand bike/ped access between the Mellon Park recreation area and the neighborhood west of the Ellis School (approx where Howe St. starts: http://goo.gl/maps/MYeXh), then is can happen. No one seemed opposed to bike/ped access & the developers seem to want it, but there are a lot of opportunities for this to fall through the cracks.

Among other reasons, new housing NE of Rennig St & Social Way will be subdivided and built by a different developer. By the time that happens, WHO KNOWS what the relationships will be. I am guessing it will be necessary to build and maintain good relationships between now and 2014 to help see this through in the way many of us would like.

There were Village of Shadyside people at the meeting — I was there for the first 2 hours so may have missed some comments. They seemed concerned about keeping vehicular traffic out, having adequate parking, and the overall impact on their property values. I did not hear anyone wanting to keep bikes or peds out. The high % of people in your complex who walk/bike/bus to work is a major selling point, asset & justification for not having big lots in the new development. Keep it up :-) !

[edit] they said some grant money will go towards repaving the nameless back alleys and making them more ped friendly


Pseudacris
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BikePGH is going to meet with the developer, so hopefully they’ll share their insights soon. Fingers crossed for the best: it could be a great connector.


rsprake
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I would think that their property values would rise, not decline. Unless the open street grid would devalue the gated community. I will have to make it a priority to make it to one of these meetings.


brian j
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I suspect that anyone who lives in that little nook of Shadyside might be concerned if there was a auto-connector from the new development to Shadyside proper. I see one of the perks of that sector (not the Village, but the surrounding streets) being there is little through traffic on those streets, and thus it’s very quiet.

I would suspect, however, that residents would appreciate a proper ped/bike bike connector.


salty
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Our facilities manager (who is also a cyclist) meets with the Walnut Capital people regularly, and I know them a little myself – they’re here a lot. Obviously my employer has some pull, as well as accounting for a fair amount of the BkSq employees that don’t drive. I know a lot of coworkers either go through the passage or the gate by the school when it’s open, which seems to be never now that the school is closed? I have never gone through there because of the “no dogs on school property” signs, and when I walk it’s almost always because I have my dog with me. Anyways, I’ll step up my efforts to talk to them about it.

I don’t think anyone really wants an auto connector through there – it would be a nightmare.


Anonymous #

Salty – can you give me a ring? 412-315-0262. I saw that you reported the sinkhole this area about a year ago to 311, and hoped we can chat. PM doesn’t seem to go through to your account. -Emily DeMarco, PublicSource.org


salty
Participant
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I’ve only skimmed through this but it has some better diagrams than I’d seen before.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4eIrqvktmelbzFMaUVKWFhJZGM/view#

There’s a sentence about an “open, welcoming, and universally accessible” pedestrian connection between Penn and Marchand/Denniston but I didn’t see anything about the Social/Festival side. I did have a talk with our facilities manager about this yesterday.


salty
Participant
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Ah, it’s confusing though because the diagram on p.4 shows the bike/ped connection roughly where the NE passage is now, and nothing near Denniston.


Pseudacris
Participant
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THE GIANT HOLE IS NOW FULL OF DIRT!

Is it weird to kind of miss it?


Ahlir
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Well, the sinkhole has been filled (since at least a few weeks ago).

But there’s no evidence that the underlying problem (so to speak) has been addressed.

There’s a water main / sewer line breach under that spot that needs to be dealt with.

If it isn’t, the hole will reappear in due time.

Maybe the BS 2.0 development will cause a fix to happen…

In the meanwhile it would be prudent to avoid using that stretch if you sense the ground getting soft…

Besides, isn’t this a job for Bob? He did discover the NE passage. Right?


JustRay
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Rsprake,

I’m guessing ‘concern over property values’ covers a lot of concerns in ‘The Village’. Long time Shadysiders bring that up for every change (it was a major roadblock for the pedestrian bridge).

I’m sure that somehow it’s possible that their home values could go down, but nothing that’s happened in the last 15 or so years has managed to do that.

BS 2.0 is much more likely to boost their home values and thus their tax assessment. Right now, a 3 bedroom in The Village is listed at nearly 420K — I’m guessing it’s assessed at considerably less. More development is likely to change that. And paying taxes on what a property is really worth vs. what it was perceived to be worth in the grungy 90s could really crimp the style of the residents. And that makes em grumpy.


JustRay
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That was way off topic. Sorry about that.

Closer to the matter at hand, Like Ahlir I’m hoping that a full-time population increase in that corner might just spur the sewer improvement needed.


Pseudacris
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@justray — I’m not sure how old the Village is, but to be fair, the first big Urban Redevelopment of East Liberty (resulting in Penn Circle and the now-gone high rises) was a disaster not forgotten by people of many income levels impacted by it.

[edit] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Liberty_(Pittsburgh)#Decline


JustRay
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Pseudacris, no one will argue that Penn Circle was a disaster. It was hatched out of a love of non-human scale planning (and car-centric assumptions) that, with luck, will be swept away. Every tiny move that’s been made since then to de-circle Penn Ave has been a huge improvement.

(and (purely for trivial curiosity) looking at some of properties for sale in the Village, construction dates range from 1984 to 1995.)


rsprake
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There were a lot of lessons learned from that era of design and I think they are taken into account with the new development.


Pseudacris
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Hopefully that will remain the case, at least regarding public access to multi-modal transportation options.


edmonds59
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re: “There were a lot of lessons learned from that era of design and I think they are taken into account…” I think the vast majority of Penn Dot is still working from the old book. To be fair there are individuals working from within, but it is painstaking slow.

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