Monthly Archives: August 2014

Interim Land Bank Board Choosing its Battles

Bits of Wisdom

Bits of Wisdom

Policies and procedures discussed at today’s meeting of the Interim Board of the PGH Land Bank had to do with PRIORITIES FOR THE USE OF REAL PROPERTY.

“Fears regularly expressed are that the land bank would speed up the process of gentrification in their neighborhoods,” explained Board member Dan Woods.

“So the thought is this should stabilize and revitalize these communities, and also ensure that these residents are not displaced as a result of land banking from those communities.”

Woods’ report centered around a strong recommendation that the Pittsburgh Land Bank model its policies and procedures after those used in Genesee County, MI.

After discussing its own six principles “in order of importance,” the Interim board Continue reading

Land Bank: The Past. It’s Prologue.

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Here are minutes from the first seven Pittsburgh Interim Land Bank Board meetings, spanning June and July.

In case you missed it, here is my own story from mid-July.

Below is a tale of the Interim Land Bank Board meeting of August 14.  It began with a fiery little civics lesson, and ended productively.

Another more recent board meeting just ended and a post about it is here.

ON the 14th, Board Chair Jerome Jackson announced that as part of ongoing discussions with foundations Continue reading


The season of “Wait for it, Wait for it…”: A critique sandwich!

Bill Peduto’s techniques for recruiting talent have put a bunch of really able and well-qualified people into important City positions. That is no longer in dispute.

The Mayor is good at sticking to his guns. Some thought his internal and external processes too tardy, slow, cumbersome, silly or prejudicial, but there was never any question of his hastening or curtailing them. Even when perhaps three or four out of his scores and scores of designees for Directorships, Deputy Directorships, staff, as well as Authority or Commission seats caused the slightest commotion, he fought tenaciously in defense of them.

The strategies are paying off. We have seen the cavalry arrive
at the Continue reading

The Strip’s Produce Terminal: Now, isn’t that special!

Strip District, Heinz History Center.

5th Floor, French and Indian War.

A life-size, painted, period-costumed Native American tribal chief greets you upon exiting the elevator, which would be ludicrous in any other context.

Turn left towards an enormous unadorned gathering hall, with a small stage and a massive wall-mounted projection screen bearing the agenda for a meeting to consider who will redevelop a 5-block long, hundred-year old “Produce Terminal”.


The URA was hosting this rodeo, Continue reading

August Work: On the AWC, the Produce Terminal, and a deal with UPMC.

It may be August, but it sure does not feel like recess!

To differentiate the Julian month from the august dramatist, we will herein adopt the voguish lingo:

The “Augie Willy Center” has of late become a tale of deed covenants and a 25% monetary differential between dueling proposals. Yawn. It is almost enough to make one mutter: might this venture not do better if it were rooted in the historic Hill? Where dude grew up and found so much inspiration? Besides, it seems some passengers are jumping ship.

A few months ago, the Augie Willy story was a heady ferment Continue reading