Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pierre's Policy Paper 1: Fifth to Forbes Area Has Hope

(As you may know, my goal is that I wish to sit on a Board of Vision such as an Authority or the Allegheny Conference. I wish to telecommute since I live in Paris and receive a salary, but I believe my insight will be invaluable and equal or exceeding the Visions that are currently being presented. I hope for a large pension for my time and much praise. When I eventually get to Pittsburgh, I hope to soar with the eagles of your city and experience the cream of your culture. Plus, I wish to walk among the mere mortals and experience the muck of everyday existence. I want to experience it all!!!
To that end, I wish to show beyond my regular superior insight that I have super insight therefore I wish to distill my ideas like a fine brandy which I will pour into your glass in the form of A POLICY PAPER! This is my first one!)

It appears that the Fifth to Forbes Area is a problem and has been a problem for a time. It looks like there is hope according to an article in your paper. A steak house restaurant is opening!!!

The Capital Grille will be opening soon and everyone is drooling with hope. Even the Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is quoted as saying that the steak house "allows Pittsburghers to see that what previously had been a dream is now becoming a reality."

Even Herky Pollock the executive vice president of real estate firm CB Richard Ellis/Pittsburgh praises the Steak House and shows it as economic engine by pointing out "Once they see the potential of a quality establishment (my emphasis has been added) and the rents they're able to garner, these developers most definitely will realize the opportunity before them."

Even a business owner, David Kashi who owns Kashi Jewelers says "Pittsburgh needs something like that. It gives an upscale look to the city, don't you think?" I would agree.

It has been proven since man built cities that buildings have been important for a city to be a city. I can not think of one single city that lacks buildings so I see that as one great step for having a successful city - buildings.

If you wish to call an area a "business district" you need to have businesses or else you would just call it a "district" I guess. It seems the Fifth to Forbes Area has been plagued by poor businesses for some time. As Mr. Tom Sullivan, a commercial broker with Pennsylvania Commercial Real Estate, insightfully says about those businesses, "They simply don't have the money or the credit, I suppose." So it seems the right thing to do is tear them down to bring in good businesses with good credit! That is what makes a good business district better than just a business district which is better than just having a district.

It can be poorly argued that The Lazarus building failed, but there were two fatal flaws with that plan. It lacked people living within the store and it lacked a steak house.

It appears to me that an important part of urban development is the need for Hope and Belief. Mr. Ravenstahl says, "I believe (my emphasis) that once that happens with G.C. Murphy's, once that happens with PNC, once that happens with Piatt Place, then all of the sudden that property becomes more valuable and I think you're just going to see, slowly but surely, the gradual growth around those areas happen."

Then Mr Piatt says "We have some great prospects. Hopefully(hope!!!) we'll be getting something soon. I still feel optimistic (hope!!!) about it. The office market is better (hope!!!) than it has been the last several years. I'm pretty confident (hope!!!) that we will land a big one shortly."

Clearly like a religion, development should be done on faith. Studies and research are the things of science which can be flawed, but when you have faith and if the God of development shines down, then things that are meant to be are meant to be, and the rest fail (like Lazarus store). There are many smart people who are spending large amounts of tax money to make their businesses successful so the public must have faith too. They need to be optimistic too.

In conclusion, I have pointed out some things about the development of the Fifth to Forbes Area that are hopeful. There are buildings which is good. It is a business district that is getting better businesses. And there are many people praying for success. The Steak House approach to development is great and unique I believe to Pittsburgh. Hopefully other cities will see the brilliants and pray for a Steak House for themselves, but in the meantime may they travel to Pittsburgh as their destination!!!

(I hope my first Policy Paper astonishes you with my grasp of the issues. My dream is that you walk away from with Policy Paper realizing that I think just as large as the people who are making the large decisions in your city and then you will raise me to their level and allow me to soar with them in shaping your world.

I must thank Mark Belko for his hard hitting, written-well, insightful article that gave me the most fruits for my first Policy Paper!)