Hill District Grocery: Moving Backwards, Not Getting Done [*-IMPROVED]

Seriously, can anyone make heads or tails of this new C-P article?

Subcontractor quotes come in high after hitting the streets of reality (or whatever the diddly) all the time, but miracle of miracles, somehow things get built. There have been multiple huge gaudy press events with mayors, county executives and URA officials. So even if the problem truly has been inexperience, incompetence or non-criminal corruption among the development team, could not said public officials have gently redirected the responsibility into more reliable hands by now? In-charge people are the best at being in-charge.

DIMLY RELATED: The Penguins are looking to the creators of Philadelphia’s “Xfinity Live!” for ideas on how to develop the arena footprint. A local architect / planning bloggers’ review has surfaced terming that development “a Downtown Simulator” for “suburbanites too scared to walk around Center City.”

*-IMPROVEMENT: It has been brought to my attention that this blog post evinces “lazy writing” and “evasive circumlocution”. So indulge me in a mulligan as I highlight two pull-quotes from AmyJo Brown’s City Paper article:

“There’s a core feeling in this community that this project is being made to be more complicated than it needs to be,” says Cheryl Hall-Russell…

“There’s no one person they’re blaming for it, but there seems to be this thought process that they — ‘they’ — don’t want us to have a store,” she says. “They tell me that ‘you’re going to discover that ‘they’re’ going to put barriers in your way. We believe in you, but don’t underestimate ‘their’ power to stop this from happening.'”

Yeah, mark me down as one of those.

23 thoughts on “Hill District Grocery: Moving Backwards, Not Getting Done [*-IMPROVED]

  1. Anonymous

    Boy, everyone was so quick to say the money was spent wisely and “it's all good” without any proof. Geez!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous

    At the same time, the old car dealership at Baum and Negley is getting an Aldi–that's across from Rite Aid, a block from GE Market District, and just down the road from Whole Foods, Target, another Giant Eagle and Trader Joe's.

    Message to the Hill: If you want food, get on the damn bus (if any are running after the next round of PAT cuts).

  3. Anonymous

    How dare “them” to ask for a set known budget, transparency, accountability and time line! “They” must be against us! “They” need to shut-up and keep the $money$ coming! Damn “them”! “We” want the money coming, good after bad! It costs a lot to prime this pump. May the force be with you. Many forces come at a high cost, referring to all of the pronouns.

  4. Bram Reichbaum

    So we don't like handing out public money for private developments which bring public benefits such as retail amenities and employment? I thought that was the game plan: laizze fare on steroids and HGH.

    My point with writing “In-charge people are the best at being in charge” is, I would have thought the City and the URA could have brought its own analysts to bear in as much as figuring out the real budget, the time line, and identifying appropriate partners. In terms of accountability, after all the press conferences and credit taking it would seem the buck stops up there.

  5. Anonymous

    The City and URA agreed to “shut up and keep the money coming” They are the “they”. Don't you get it?

  6. Bram Reichbaum

    I get that they are “they” but I don't think I get what you are sugesting. Are you saying they intentionally turned a blind eye to public money being “mismanaged” in order to sabotage the project but then be able to credibly sigh, “It's not our fault, it's the darn community and it's neighborhood-specific unfeasibility?”

  7. Anonymous

    It is being made more complicated than it needs to be, but not by the URA/City – by incompetents that run the Hill and want everything to through an absurd process. Want to get a hard development project (or any project for that matter), give the developer the tools and money needed to fill the gap and get out of the way.

  8. Helen Gerhardt

    P.S. As the “attention bringer” who may have prompted the “improvement,” I would like to point out a couple of misquotes: “stays safe” does not equal “evasive circumlocution” – really, I've read few articles less circumlocutory than this post, and I can't remember a time when you've been guilty of gratuitous verbal foilage, oral or textual. “Cursory” was my own, and I still think currently accurate, C-word.

    The elisions that I, as a newbie not-yet-a-homegirl Pittsburgher who still has lots of homework to do (HA! now see there's a circumlocutory noun phrase!) especially found to be teases in need of further explanation were “gentle redirection,” “in-charge people,” and “reliable hands,” which you have now at least partially fleshed out in your comments above.

  9. Anonymous

    Can we ID everyone in the photo? I'll start from right to left: mayor, Zober(?), Wheatley, Onorato, Lavalle(?). Who are the other adults?

  10. Bram Reichbaum

    Anon: I'll track it down. I crop[ed some of them out. It was featured on a website called “Progressive Grocery” or something.

    CM: If my back-of-the-brain calculations are correct, Ravenstahl has at this point been mayor for just a teensy bit longer than Sophie Masloff.

  11. Anonymous

    just another example of inadequate leadership lacking in the requisite financial and administeatives skills and too much of a sense of entitlement ! The bookkeeping irregularities speak to the personal use of project monies.
    You can't just turn over large projects to people who have never managed anything other that a church run day care!

  12. Anonymous

    as for a blind eye being turned to money disappearing, it's. even going on since LBJ and Joe Barr. it's expected and accepted!

  13. Anonymous

    So now The Hill wants more money from the SEA for pet projects. Do they just want to be there own city? We have playgrounds and needs city wide. What makes the Hill able to double dip? Stop this SEA!

  14. Bram Reichbaum

    CDBG merely supplants regular tax dollars, doesn't it?

    I realize that we're trying to pit neighborhoods against each other, but I had heard we're going to “tear down an arena and build a neighborhood.” What have we built?


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