September 14, 2007

Downtown Dan

A little-recognized article flew through the PG yesterday about the conversion of the Century Building into new prix fix condos.

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato said Downtown will be "the place for the next decade or two where activity" will be growing. He said the county is committed to making sure the Golden Triangle, as the hub of the region, continues to move forward.

"We're on a roll. You can easily fall off that roll if you don't pay attention to what we have here and the assets that we have. So Downtown Pittsburgh's going to remain a focus for the next several years for all of us involved here," he said.

I'm interested in what's between the lines for Donorato here. Part of the reason why the city is in such peril is because of the lack of county focus on development within the city limits - could this be a shift towards redeveloping Pittsburgh?

Don't get me wrong - I understand downtown by no means equals the city, but that doesn't mean the city couldn't use a little tlc from big buddy Dan. Understandably, his sights are set elsewhere, but the City and the Mayor could benefit from some county attention.

Focusing on redeveloping the parts of this city which are barely held together by boarded up windows and crumbling roads seems a better investment than promoting suburban development. Growth in the "greater Pittsburgh area" is ultimately dependent upon the health 0f the city - a strong Pittsburgh will do more for Allegheny County than growth corridors isolating the urban core.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

When Mark DeSantis proposed combining the URA and the City's development office, a few people countered that the city and county development offices should merge. Apparently Yaronne Zober had suggested something would be in the upcoming city budget, although Yaronne seemed focused on what DeSantis had said. Still, if the city and county pooled resources, surely the Act 47/ intergovernmental whois would smile favorably on the city. What your seeing might be a first shift in that direction. Don't forget, the Nordenberg report on city/county cooperation is due out soon.