Roughly two dozen members of Northside United stormed Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office July 7, hoping to persuade the city's leader to force developer Continental Real Estate to negotiate a Community Benefits Agreement with the community. The march to the mayor’s office started two blocks away at the City Planning commission, where a vote to approve or disapprove Continental's plans for an amphitheatre was postponed until later this month. (See video of the demonstration here.)
In addition to building an amphitheatre, the developer wants to build a hotel between Heinz Field and PNC Park. But for more than a year, residents have been voicing concerns that Continental paid too little for the North Shore land, while offering to give even less back to the community in which its development will reside.
"We absolutely want a CBA," said Northside United co-chair Michael Glass, standing outside the planning commission just before leading the march to the mayor's office. "This is an opportunity for the mayor to step up and prove he cares about the residents of the North Side."