Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Darning the region

Just in passing THE headline of the day: Dow 10,000: It could happen today


Another topic, but in local wonk world the Trib has big, if not entirely unexpected, news.  When Alcoa itself moved out of the now "old" Alcoa building it was news enough to make the NYT.  I always thought Paul O'Neill was something of a genius for getting the building off his books so quickly and with scads of earned media to boot.  1996 was not the worst, but far from the greatest of years for the Downtown real estate market and I wonder what the market would have paid for it back then.   I'll let others comment on the symbolism of this past headline from soon after it was rechristened:  A Skyscraper Symbolizes New Regional Coherence.  Big wonk (capital W)/Columnist/Urbanist Neil Pierce once wrote about the building: Knitting Pittsburgh Together.  With aluminum thread no less I am sure.


and incidental to all that...  a $10mil building put onto the property tax rolls is a palpable bump to city and school district property tax collection.  Would it also be hit by the huge transfer tax as well?  Could be enough for more than a few miles of asphalt.


Anonymous MH said...

I hope somebody buys it and renames it. I've always wanted to call it "the old Regional Enterprise Tower." That would leave Alcoa free to build a new headquarters and have their current place called “the old Alcoa building” instead of “the new old Alcoa building.”

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:22:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

Also, why isn't Schenley Plaza called "the old Cathedral parking lot" or "the old Bellefield Bridge."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:32:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I did actually use this phrase to describe where the building is just recently: "You know, the RET. It's the old Alcoa building. Just up from where Gimbels used to be".

At least we don't have to refer to the "Old Duquesne Club" just down the street. It is still there.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:35:00 AM  
Anonymous SPC ACCD Arena said...

Bring back the Nixon Theater! Or at least, while we're tearing down architecturally unique silver buildings, replace it with one of those popular, flimsy, buff-colored brick and concrete sports/concert venues.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

The problem with architectural uniqueness is that it can be achieved by making an ugly structure whose one impressive sounding feature doesn't really work.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the building was never taken off the tax rolls.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

You know.. that looks right.  I guess I should have known. Probably some holding company to obviate the transfer tax as well I suppose.

So is it potentially the opposite problem?   That it becomes exempt in the transition and that $$ is lost from the tax rolls?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:46:00 AM  

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