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Comment Archives: stories: Arts: Last 30 Days

Re: “Why can't Pittsburgh's building boom produce better buildings?

I think we need to stop and realize how budget-constrained developers are in this region. Pittsburgh is filled with old, beautiful architecture that could never be built in today's world by a private developer expecting a reasonable profit without considerable subsidies.

Furthermore, Pittsburgh suffers from a 30+ year development glut that has directly led to an affordable housing problem. Class A product has not been rolled out and depreciated into more affordable Class B/C product and developing affordable housing is, again, incredibly difficult without significant public subsidy.

Look at what the going rate for a unit at Baumhaus (Vitmore) is. Sticker shock? Is that what we want more or in this city? We already have so many areas complaining about gentrification and affordability and now we are going to pressure developers to either only deliver extremely expensive products or rely on outrageous amounts of tax money? What we need is to grease the wheels of development and get the city back to a state of growth. We have finally stopped bleeding population. Not is not the time for a tantrum. Now is the time to buckle down and turn the wheels of progress to bring Pittsburgh into the modern world and benefit EVERY citizen. Developers are not inherently evil. They act inside of the economic and regulatory constraints put upon them. Pittsburgh NEEDS developers. Without them, we will never achieve affordability, in-migrant desirability, and the kind of sustained economic renaissance this city as a whole has been pursuing for at least two decades.

Before you complain and condemn, I would advise you to look for the why's and how's and, if you can, walk a mile in a developer's shoes. They are not as cushy as you might think. If it was easy, everyone would do it. If creating designs that flew through the EXTREMELY painful approval process was a simple matter, why would an experienced developer do anything but that? Because it is extremely difficult in today's market. Your arguments sound great, but I assure you that they don't hold water unless you want all new development to fetch rents in the stratosphere because anything less and the developer would be bankrupt. Good luck with that. For my money, I say keep it rolling and let's make Pittsburgh great again ... together.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by pgherforcommonsense on 05/18/2017 at 12:25 PM

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