Stephen Gross | Pittsburgh City Paper

Stephen Gross 
Member since Mar 22, 2013



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Re: “Pittsburgh is poised for growth for the first time in 60 years. Will the city’s African-American community grow with it?

>I don't understand why when there are 300 affordable units being demolished to make way for new development, developers aren't required to provide At Least 300 equally affordable units to replace them?

The real estate market is--for the most part--a free market. For instance, a commercial landlord is free to not renew the lease of an existing tenant if he (the landlord, that is) thinks he can get a higher rent from a new tenant. Or, for a non-real-estate comparison: If I want, I can study to become an electrician, enter the marketplace and compete with my services, and possibly put other electricians out of business if I'm better at the job. Property owners are under no obligation to keep using their land for the same purpose over time.

>The developers stand to make a great deal of profit from their new ventures. In exchange for the opportunity to do so in our city, they should ensure that they don't displace residents, whose status as eligible low income residents should be respected. This seems like a simple and straightforward approach.

I agree that housing overall is a public concern; given the city's constitutional authority to manage zoning, I'd like to see an incentive-based system that works with the zoning board to encourage an equitable balance of housing options.

>But maybe I'm naïve about how these kinds of deals are made. I'm guessing there's some kind of financial arrangement wherein our local government is persuaded to act in the best interests of the wealthy developers rather than the people of the city.

When cheaper housing is replaced by higher end housing, the city benefits by way of increased property taxes. The downside is often displacing poor people.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Stephen Gross on 12/09/2015 at 10:53 PM

Re: “Pittsburgh is poised for growth for the first time in 60 years. Will the city’s African-American community grow with it?

1. Thanks for a well-researched article. Gentrification is always a touchy subject; I'm glad to see it's treated objectively in this piece.

2. Pittsburgh's demographics as a whole confirm that housing affordability is driving out low-income residents. It's unclear from the article whether that outmigration is *disproprotionately* black. Does anyone have statistics on that?

3. Pittsburgh is lucky in that it has surplus housing supply (albeit dilapidated). Unlike low vacancy cities beset by gentrification woes (e.g.: Seattle, NYC, SF), Pittsburgh can accommodate relocated residents with intra-city migration.

4. I encourage our political leadership to approve a city-wide plan to meet affordable housing needs, and work with individual neighborhoods to achieve those goals.

5. FWIW, in Minneapolis they often required X percentage of new housing to be designated affordable. This was usually a winning proposition for neighborhoods and developers. It's more difficult in Pittsburgh, because there is very little new construction. Any suggestions on that front?

22 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Stephen Gross on 12/09/2015 at 10:34 AM

Re: “Two new breweries open, blocks apart, on Butler Street

Where can we get these beers? Only from the brewer, or are local restaurants carrying them as well?

Posted by Stephen Gross on 10/09/2013 at 10:59 AM

Re: “Proper Brick Oven becomes a beer-drinker's paradise

Are they open for business yet?

Posted by Stephen Gross on 08/28/2013 at 10:49 AM

Re: “New East Liberty bar offers respite from the grind

So, is it any good?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Stephen Gross on 08/21/2013 at 12:37 PM

Re: “New North Side bar allows you to order off someone else's menu

This is actually common practice in most Chicago bars. Very practical, overall.

Posted by Stephen Gross on 06/12/2013 at 10:54 AM

Re: “Nakama out in Garden Theatre block project

Great to hear about the latest ideas here... But WHEN WILL THEY BE BUILT!? How do we know that next year those tenants will abandon the effort? Can the URA ensure that proposed tenants make good on their commitments?

Posted by Stephen Gross on 03/22/2013 at 11:01 AM

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