Monday, April 01, 2013

Fwd: URA Newsletter: Relocation, Sequestration, Litigation...and a Speedo

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gigi Saladna
Date: Monday, April 1, 2013
Subject: URA Newsletter: Relocation, Sequestration, Litigation...and a Speedo

You've subscribed to Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh communications. For best delivery, please add to your address book or safe sender list. This message is best viewed in HTML.

URA Newsletter: Relocation, Sequestration, Litigation...and a Speedo
URA Announces Relocation
After months of specu- lation, the URA has finally found a new home and will begin moving its offices out of the John P. Robin Civic Building.

What finally got the ball rolling was the announcement on March 21 by naming Pittsburgh as one of the Top Ten Cities for Young Entrepreneurs (population 250,000 - 500,000).  The URA, quite literally, ran out of space in its 200 Ross Street offices.

"This was the 133rd accolade bestowed upon the City since 2007, and frankly, we have no where else to put these," stated Acting Executive Director Robert Rubinstein.  "Every office, hallway, stairwell and closet is filled with these accolades."

Initially, the Authority considered a move to the recently-acquired "Skinny Building," but not all URA employees are participating in the health plan-sponsored City-Fit initiative. The 5 ft. 2 in. building's width proved too skinny to overcome.  The decision was ultimately made to co-locate with URA client "The Goodie Truck" and other mobile food truck vendors.

"It's a great fit," said Rubinstein. "Hey, I watch the Food Network, and I know that food trucks are all the rage.  Now, along with your ice cream, candy or smoothie, you can get a loan or a second deferred mortgage!"

Look for URA parked at a neighborhood location near you.

Read more
Former Almono Site Home of 2024 Summer Olympics
The URA announced today that it has been contacted by the International Olympic Committee to build the infrastructure for the 2024 Summer Olympics which will be held in Pittsburgh at the former Almono site in Hazelwood.  Pending approval from its board, the URA will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a developer(s) to construct the stadiums and all other facilities.  The URA will be responsible for all streets, curbs, bike and pedestrian trails and all that other infrastructure stuff, including a 250,000 space parking garage.

In exchange for undertaking this massive effort, the URA has been granted the opportunity to compete in one of the Olympic events. The URA Synchronized Swimming Team will be headed up by Acting Executive Director, Robert Rubinstein.  When asked about Rubinstein's prowess as a swimmer, URA spokeswoman Gigi Saladna said "Beats me.  I don't even know if he can swim, but he's got a lot of rhythm.  He's in a band, you know."

The Mosites Company has amended their contract for the East Liberty Transit Center to now include a roof-top pool and practice facility for the team. "We're thrilled to be able to accommodate the URA Synchronized Swimming Team," said Steve Mosites, president.  "In fact, we'll build the pool for free if they allow Mark Minnerly and me to join the team!"

Wall-to-Wall Studios is in the process of designing the official swimwear for the team. "We worked with former URA Executive Director Rob Stephany as the model for the swimsuit," said James Nesbitt, Wall-to-Wall's founder and creative director. "As a result, we've decided to incorporate the asterisk from our award-winning branding/prospectus campaign into the swimwear design. We feel consistency is key.  And they should be shiny.  Really shiny." 

The URA Board of Directors meets Thursday, April 11 at 2 p.m. in the URA offices at 200 Ross Street, Downtown.  Read more.

URA Team Practice
This Just In....

Several TIF Districts Considering Leaving City

Following the dissolution of the second of Pittsburgh's 21 Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts, independent sources have confirmed that several other TIF districts are considering the same. "We have increased the tax base and created hundreds of jobs.  Our work here is done," stated one TIF District, choosing to remain unnamed.

URA Acting Executive Director Robert Rubinstein could not be reached for comment.  Read more.

Gettin' Real Techy with It

The Urban Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors voted yesterday to upgrade the technology and computer systems used by Authority employees. 

Gina Salandra, the URA's PR lady, said, "In recent years, we at the URA have seen a boom in the technology industry moving into Pittsburgh.  We have made several efforts to keep up with the changing times and improve technological developments by creating the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE).  This is the latest effort to upgrade the systems at the URA.

Ms. Salandra is referring to the recent upgrade to Windows 98 for all Authority computers and devices.  Terry Willis, Information Systems manager for the URA believes that "this will vastly improve the efficiency of the URA staff and their ability to provide better service to the public. It's about time - I've been asking for this for years!"

When asked to validate the enormous cost for such an upgrade, CIE Director Tom Link replied, "Just because we're a government agency doesn't mean that we shouldn't have the same amenities as the private sector.  I'm tired of always being behind the times.  How the heck am I supposed to help Startups and small business owners if I don't have the right equipment?"  Read more.

URA Contemplating Lawsuit

Sources confirm that the URA is considering a lawsuit against the folks that keep stealing their ideas from the April Fools newsletters. "First the zip line, now the summer olympics," said Acting ED Rubinstein.  "Let me remind you that we came up with the 'Mount Shore Connector,' the Zip Line from Mount Washington to the North Shore idea back in April 2011, and last year we proposed 'McArdle Olympic Winter Park' in Pittsburgh.  "I'm not paying good money to have my staff stay late and make stuff up just so someone else can take credit for and make money off of our made-up ideas."

George Specter, URA general counsel, commented, "We don't comment on pending litigation."  Read more.


Get to Know: Dave Howe
Job Title:  Manager, Pittsburgh Housing Development Corporation

What you actually do:  I coordinate the activities of the the Authority's housing development non-profit.

Years at URA:  I have worked for the authority for the last 11 years... 12 if you count the internship. 

Best thing about working at the URA:  I don't have to answer any more of your questions Le Chiffre.

Favorite project/Most satisfying moment in career:  I know who you're working for.

Education:  I think you'll find that I have been highly trained. 

Where you were before the URA:  You know perfectly well where I was, Le Chiffre.  I saw your goons tailing me in Instanbul.

If you were boss for the day:  Do you think your bosses at SMERSH will be happy when they find out you've lost their money?

The Boss says:  "Dave has great...wait, what? - Tom Cummings, URA housing director.

If you weren't at the URA you'd be...Is that part of your plan?  Trying to figure out where I hid the diamond.  It won't work. 

First job:  My partner is already miles away from here. With any luck she's already crossed the border into Switzerland.

Favorite athlete:  You'll never find her.

Favorite restaurant:  What... what are you doing with those jumper cables?

Favorite thing to do when not at work:  Do you expect me to talk Le Chiffre? 

Secret vice:  You're going to be sadly disappointed. 

What three words describe you best:  ****ZAP*****

Favorite TV show when you were young:  <Heavy breathing>

Three things always in your refrigerator:  Is that all you've got?

Three people (living or dead) you'd like to have dinner with:  ****ZAP******

Actor who would play you in a movie:  [Expletive Deleted]

People would be surprised to know that I...You're going to [Expletive deleted] regret this, Le Chiffre.

Family:  <Heavy Breathing>

Pets:  Four cats (Luna, Maia, Mimas, and Terra)

Meet the real Dave Howe here

Send Us a Tweet!
And we're not talking Twitter!  April 8 is Draw a Picture of a Bird Day so for this year's Coloring Contest you can either color the little guy below or draw your own favorite feathered friend.

Winner will receive a year's worth of bird seed and $1 million in New Markets Tax Credits!  Good Luck!


click to download

URA Announces Relocation
Redevelopment of 25.816 Acres to Begin
Former Almono Site Home of 2024 Summer Olympics
2024 Olympic Village Coming to Market Square
This Just In....
Mayor Brings Renaissance to Dairy District
Get to Know: Dave Howe
Send Us a Tweet!
This and That







With the recent announcement of $15 million in RACP funding awarded by Governor Corbett, infrastructure work is set to begin on the 25.816 acres site in the Lower Hill District.  The former site of the Civic Arena was commonly referred to as "the 28 acres" until the automatic Federal sequestration cuts of 7.8% reduced the size to its current 25.816 acres.

The first "vertical" development is anticipated by early 2015. Plans include new residential units, office space, possibly a hotel and parking for 2,600 cars.

Unfortunately, due to the budget cuts, expansion plans for the URA-owned Melody Tent have been scrapped.  "It's really too bad," said URA Special Projects Manager Paul Svoboda.  "We had a bunch of awesome Polka bands lined up to play live before and after hockey games. We even had URA employees volunteering to serve homemade Kolbassi sandwiches to fans."

When asked to comment on the pending infrastructure work and the now defunct polka party plans, an Allegheny Institute analyst from the conservative think-tank replied, "What the hell is the Melody Tent anyway?" 
The Pitts- burgh Down- town Partner- ship (PDP) announced today that Market Square will be the home of the 2024 Summer Olympic Village.  Jeremy Waldrup, PDP president and CEO shared his excitement. 

"When we heard the URA was bringing the Summer Olympics to the former Almono site, we jumped at the chance to house the athletes," he said.  "We're already working to create an Urban Village atmosphere so using Market Square was a no-brainer.  It's surrounded by world class restaurants serving food from all over the world. We've got chips and salsa from Mexico, the Southwest and California; meatballs from Naples and Tuscany; champagne and crepes from France; gyros from Greece; noodles from Asia, the Mediterranean and America so that covers a whole bunch of places; and gumbo from New Orleans.  Plus we have all those little outdoor cafĂ© tables those Europeans love."

Site plans are already in the works for the athletes' living quarters. The PDP has contracted with Walnut Capital to create "Olympic Square Village" and renovate the chalets used at this past year's extremely successful European Holiday Market.  "We're planning on painting the Olympic rings on the front of each one and are working on innovative designs for the interiors of each.  Oh, yeah, they're going to be real nice," said Todd Reidbord, president, Walnut Capital. 

When asked if he was concerned about the chalets being a little cramped, Reidbord replied.  "Are you kidding me? Those athletes will thank us.  From the rumors I heard about the hanky panky that went on at the last Olympics, the more cramped, the better!"

Waldrup chimed in, "Plus, there's free WiFi.  What else do they need?" 


Mayor Luke Raven- stahl and Pittsburgh economic develop- ment officials recently announced that the family-owned Colteryahn Dairy will serve as the cornerstone of a revitalization effort in Carrick.

City officials are using $50,000 grant to create a "dairy district" - a planning and design initiative - from the Pittsburgh Neighborhood Renaissance Fund (NRF).  NRF is a program that provides community groups with resources to create a development vision plan, and was created by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, the URA and the Design Center.

The goal of the dairy district effort is to transform the corridor into a destination with quality retail, dining and office space.

"We'd like to really focus on the renaissance part of this revitalization," said Yarone Zober, URA Board chair and chief of staff to Mayor Ravenstahl.  "I love renaissances.  I love saying the word renaissance.  So we've decided to bring the renaissance to the dairy district, literally."

When the new ice cream shops, restaurants and other complementary businesses open this summer, all will be staffed by professional Renaissance Faire actors.  No jobs will be lost - current employees will be costumed and trained in the tricks of the ancient trades with the help of current renaissance actors and the CMU drama department.

Customers will get a hands-on experience when they shop or visit the district.  "You'll be able to milk your own cow, churn your own butter, all that good stuff they did back in the day," said Zober. "They'll be 'ssancing it up in Carrick."

In addition to buying milk, ice cream, candy and other staples, customers will also be able to nosh on giant turkey legs while they sit back and enjoy jousting and archery events.

Said Zober, "When we say we're taking Pittsburgh's Third Renaissance into the neighborhoods, we mean it."





It's about momentum.  About seizing the moment, because the world is watching.  Harnessing the excitement, the energy, the opportunity, that is all around us.

It's not a journey.  Every journey ends but we go on.  The world turns and we turn with it.  Plans disappear.  Dreams take over.

But wherever we go.  There you are. 

Our luck.  Our fate.  Our fortune. 

And there's no better time to be a part of Pittsburgh than right now.

Right here.  Right now.

April Dates

April 2      National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

April 3     Don't Go to Work Unless it's Fun Day

April 7      International Beaver Day

April 12    Big Wind Day

April 14    Look up at the Sky Day

April 15   Rubber Eraser Day

April 15    Tax Day

April 22     Earth Day

April 24   Pigs in a Blanket Day

April 24   Administrative Professionals Day

April 25    Full Moon

April 26    Arbor Day

April 29   National Shrimp Scampi Day

Monthly Inspiration: I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it. ~ Jack Handey

Trouble viewing this email? Go to:
Did your friend or co-worker pass this email along to you? Would you like to receive our monthly newsletters in your inbox? Send us your email here.



200 Ross Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, United States
Review our Privacy Policy and Acceptable Use Policy.
One-Click Unsubscribe or manage your Subscription Preferences

Crafted and delivered by Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh's Mail Dog!

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

No comments: