Wednesday, September 05, 2007

West End police station to reopen - victory looks like this

I'm jumping for joy.
West End police station to reopen - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Pittsburgh's old Zone 4 police station in the West End, which closed more than four years ago to save money, will reopen Jan. 1, officials said Tuesday. 'We're thrilled about it,' said Elmer Clark, president of the West End/Elliott Citizen's Council, which pressed city officials to reopen the station on South Main Street. 'People here are just jumping for joy.'
This is what victory feels like.

I was a protester when the city closed the police station in Zone 4.

Meanwhile, Bruce Kraus was a part of the protest to keep Zone 3 open. Zone 3 was never going to close. Meanwhile, it would be good to move the Zone 3 police station out of its tiny space without parking.

In the past I advocated a move of the Zone 3 police station to the now vacant, public owned, huge, South Vo Tech High School.

After the police move out, the EMS crew can move back into the Zone 3 station. EMS is now NOT on the South Side. That's what is needed more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

City-council plan reserves cash for Penguins
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

City and Allegheny County redevelopment authorities are working to ensure that cash will be available to the Penguins for any portion of $15 million in credits the team doesn't use in redeveloping the Mellon Arena site.

Under the agreement reached in March to keep the team in Pittsburgh, the Penguins get $15 million in credits that can be used to buy Mellon Arena property for redevelopment. If they do not use all $15 million after 10 years, they are entitled to cash for whatever amount remains.

To ensure that the cash is available, the city Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County are agreeing to buy enough unused Mellon Arena property to raise the money. Each agency would be on the hook for half of whatever amount is owed to the Penguins.

For example, if the team is owed $5 million, the URA and the county redevelopment authority each would have to buy enough property to cover half that amount. The property is owned by the city-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority, which would use the sale proceeds to pay the Penguins.

The URA board is expected to discuss and vote on the proposed agreement at its meeting tomorrow.

SEA Executive Director Mary Conturo said the agreement is a backup in case it is unable to get a private lender to provide a loan for any money owed to the Penguins.

She said it was needed as part of the ongoing effort to finalize details of a new 30-year lease with the team. The lease was made possible by the agreement in March between state, local leaders and the Penguins to build a new arena, to be ready in 2010.

Ms. Conturo said it is unlikely that the Penguins will have any credits left after 10 years of redeveloping the Mellon Arena property. Once the new arena is built, Mellon Arena will be demolished and the site prepared for redevelopment.

She said the 19.5-acre site has been appraised at $55 million, based on use as a surface parking lot. Under the March agreement, the Penguins must draw down at least 2.8 acres a year for redevelopment or risk losing their rights to the land. They must pay the appraised value for the land.

Based on the most recent appraisal, 2.8 acres would cost roughly $8 million.

"I would expect that they could earn their whole $15 million in credits through the redevelopment," Ms. Conturo said.

Whatever land the URA or county redevelopment authority purchases to provide cash to the Penguins for unused credits would be theirs to develop.

URA Acting Executive Director Don Kortlandt said the agency would be very interested in developing Mellon Arena property if the Penguins are unable to do so.

"We certainly think it would be a good opportunity for the URA, he said.

Also tomorrow, the URA board is expected to vote on a proposal to apply for a $750,000 state Industrial Site Reuse Program grant to pay for removing asbestos in the old G.C. Murphy store, Downtown.

Mr. Kortlandt said the URA has received an environmental assessment indicating that asbestos removal from the building could cost nearly $1 million.

Washington County developer Millcraft Industries is seeking to redevelop the building into apartments and shops. It also will be the new home of the Downtown YMCA.

Millcraft has agreed to purchase the building for $2.5 million based on no cleanup costs, Mr. Kortlandt said. If the developer assumes responsibility for asbestos removal, the purchase price probably will drop by almost $1 million, he said.

First published on September 5, 2007 at 12:00 am
Mark Belko can be reached at or 412-263-1262.