Monday, February 22, 1999

SS Planning Forum

The LTV Steering Committee issued a report at a meeting I attended.

The LTV Steering Committee had met twice since the Feb 9 Planning Forum Meeting. On Feb 17 the committee met with Dr. Mulu Birru, Exec. Director of URA to review the planning process being used for the LTV site and discuss current projects and challenges. Dr. Birru reaffirmed the URA's commitment to working on the South Side Planning Forum and the LTV Steering Committee and expressed his confidence in the process.

The committee met again on Feb 22 with representatives from UPMC and IBEW to review the status of their proposals.

UPMC Sports Medicine Complex

It appears that the peices are in place to insure that UPMC will be making payments to the URA at the same rate as commcercial property taxes for as long as the property is owned by them. Further, the URA is committed to adding a covenant to the deed of the property to insure that the future non-profit owners would be under the same arrangement. A letter to this effect has been received and was distributed at the last Forum meeting. The Steering Committee has indicated to the URA and UPMC that it would like to insure tht the final PILOT (payment in leu of taxes) documents reflect these considerations.

UPMC has indicated that it would be open to considering community access for structured uses of the site. That is, the fields could be made available to specific community programs, though a lease or reservation system. The proposed 4 outdoor football fields will be limited to use by the University of Pittsburgh Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers football teams, however, there are possibilities for uses of the indoor field -- which is full size. UPMC will consider a request from the Forum or another designated community group to run a specific number of programs each year. A group and individual point person would need to be identified to handle this planning. As evidence of the above commitment, UPMC will bring a list of current community programs that use UPMC facilities.

In addition to above, the Steering Committee discussed options for a proposed investment to South Side recreational facilities by UPMC. Ideas will be discussed at the Forum meeting on February 23. The Steering Committee agreed to have a formal response to the offer ready prior to the April 8th URA board meeting, when the project will be presented for final approval.

Also, the URA agreeded to provide an analysis of the job projections for the UPMC use of the portion of the site versus the flex office space use outlined in the master plan.

With regard to the approval process, after the presentation to the Forum on teh 23rd, the URA board would like to vote on accepting a proposal from UPMC at a special board meeting, to be held as early as February 26. The SSLDC's Design Committee will review the project at their March meeting. The project will go before Council for a motion to sell the property in March. On April 8 the URA board would like to vote on the final projet and the financing.

IBEW Complex

The committe also met with the IBEW and their architects to review changes to the design as suggested by the LTV Steering Committee and SSLDC Design Committee. Although the group has elected not to move the parking from the frst level of the building, they have implemented several design enhancements to improve the appearance of the first floor of the building. These include changes to reduce the scale of the front elevation cornice and consideration fo the use of offset brick to break up the surface at street level. IBEW has also agreed to investigate using non-reflective glass on the building and would like to avoid using reflective glass. An East Carson Street entrance to the building has been added, with more development being don t the landscaping of this entrance. The curb cut into the site has been moved to be consistent with the contunuation of Sidney Street.

Other

The Life Sciences building plans and the Final Land Development Plan for sub-district B will be presented to the Forum on March 9.