There have been two recent KDKA stories that have absolutely reflected some of my worries about my beloved Pittsburgh.
Will the luxury apartment boom go bust was published on April 20th, 2016. Andy Sheehan makes the same points a lot of downtown residents have been making for years…and takes it one step further. I think the most important statements in Mr. Sheehan’s story are:
“[Hoddy] Hanna, of Howard Hanna Real Estate, says much of the luxury apartment boom here in Pittsburgh and in cities nationwide is being fueled by easy financing and unrealistic expectations.
Hanna says much of the job growth in the city has leveled off, and another burst of employment will be needed to sustain the boom.
“There’s going to be a bubble somewhere in the rental housing market in the next year and half,” he says.
So, will it be a boom or a bust? Right now, this luxury apartment boom shows no signs of abating, but only time will tell if this will be the first wave or the last one.”
I know many people that live in – or near – downtown and they all say the same thing. It’s part of the call for regulation from some corners of the city. How can the luxury apartment boom continue when most of the jobs being created are service oriented for the restaurant scene?
The next article that caught my attention was about improved transportation between downtown and Oakland:
Planners seek to reduce traffic congestion between downtown and Oakland was published on April 23, 2016 by KDKA’s Ed Blazina.
It starts with a pretty interesting statement on the local transportation infrastructure:
“What started as separate transit and development projects in Downtown Pittsburgh, Uptown and Oakland are coming together as a sort of master plan for the future of transit in those areas.”
So…let me get this straight. Money is pouring into the city thanks to developers – from all over the country – with little to no improvement in the civic infrastructure to support it. The article goes on to say:
“City of Pittsburgh Senior Planner Jusin] Miller said in an interview Friday that among the ideas under discussion are:
• Rerouting buses Downtown to make it easier for riders to go from a bus to the T or to a bus that uses one of the three current dedicated busways. There would be common stations or stops all would use, and current difficult turns would be eliminated to decrease congestion.
• Turning one lane of Sixth Avenue, Downtown, into an outbound bus lane to move buses through Downtown quicker.
• Changing the Boulevard of the Allies in Uptown from essentially a limited-access highway with no connection to the neighborhood into a boulevard with sidewalks overlooking the Monongahela River.
• Creating an inbound bus lane on Fifth Avenue between Oakland and Downtown.
• Rebuilding Fifth Avenue in West Oakland.”
My wife and I just moved into the uptown section of the city and can see two major developments going on within a half mile of our apartment…both in uptown. It’s great that companies that can do return on investment reports and measure demographics for residential projects think uptown is a great investment…but what is going to happen next? One of the things that made Lawrenceville so attractive when it started was the mix of residential and retail investment that could be made at low cost. There just isn’t enough small business investment going on in uptown…which hopefully changes soon.
Jess and I have also been looking at some potential real estate opportunities in the area that could be had at very little cost. A few that could be converted into large residences. There is so much opportunity that could be had in uptown.
Things have taken a weird turn recently. This post sat as a draft for about a month…because:
- decided to not have a baby. That was a gut-wrenching decision.
- Jess unfortunately got laid off from the company where we met.
- We had to put our recently adopted cat, Cali to sleep.
- we got a new family dog. here is a picture.