Saturday, October 22, 2005
Radio recap with AE's Ron Morris and Mr. Soffer
High rise and mass transit too! Imagine that. Urban density is craved.
As a caller to a favorite radio show, Ron Morris, American Entrepreneur, I was able to ask a few questions to Mr. Soffer, a big-time developer who has been building out the South Side Works on the South Side.
Ron makes his shows available on tape. This is one I'll need to obtain as the conversation is a perfect illustration of what is good but still not good enough for my tastes. And, its not good enough for the long-term future of Pittsburgh. Our opportunities to floursh in the decades to come are being minimalized.
My first question went to the South Side Works' massive new parking lot. It is a surface lot that was created at the insistance of REI. And, Mr. Soffer said it is a temporary solution.
The long-term solution includes a parking garage.
The parking garage funding is going to include some type of cash outlay from the governement. Save Our Transit advocates worry that we're spending a lot of money on new parking structures and NOTHING on mass transit nor in park-and-ride.
More to come.... but for now....
Bottom line from the conversation: This is a lifestyle development and it isn't about keeping people here in the city. The condos and apartments are fine for youngsters. But the best solution the developer could offer is move to the suburbs once you have children.
So, we'll subsidize buildings and surface parking lots that will one day be parking structures -- taking away from the kids that are in the city now -- (that's what a TIF does) -- only to get outward migration.
The sustainability in terms of life's cycles isn't a factor here.
The plans are flawed in my opinion. The plans need to grow up. Think again. Think it through. We must do better.