Arena Issues Discussion Series - Urban Renewal

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Postby Sam's Drunk Dog on Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:13 pm

I agree with you about the need of a grocery store in downtown Pittsburgh. I think it would be a great opportunity for Giant Eagle, Shop N Save, or Foodland to get involved with Nationwide in the develop process for the hill.
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Look to DC

Postby RW on Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:39 pm

I invite everyone who is interested in the Arena Situation to research the revitalization of Downtown DC. While it is likely that Pgh will never approach the level of success that a Top 10 market like DC has, there is a lesson here.

http://www.downtowndc.org/

The role of the MCI Center in the re-development of the area is striking. Go ahead and read the "State of Downtown Report." Or, if you don't want to read the report, at least read the following:

In 2004, the state of the Downtown's economy was very good.
It was a year of major accomplishments in job creation, in
development projects completed and started, and in achieving
a "living" Downtown.
When the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID)
opened for business in the fall of 1997, the MCI Center (a $300
million public/partnership between the District government and
Abe Pollin) was the first large-scale Downtown project that did
not involve significant federal government participation. During
the next seven years, the area saw $2.8 billion dollars of investment
within 10 blocks of the MCI Center and $1.4 billion more
is planned. By 2009, the Downtown BID will be completely built
out, except for the old Convention Center site, which will be
completed in 2011. Then, future development will come in the
form of renovations and replacements, but most large-scale
new development will occur outside of the BID area.
More than 4,200 new apartments and condominiums have been
built in and around the Downtown BID since 2002. Finally, DC has
the “livingâ€￾ Downtown that it has sought since the early 1980’s.
Another 7,500 residential units are on the drawing board for
groundbreaking in the next four years, which will make ours one
of the premier residential downtowns in the nation.
Downtown’s red-hot restaurant scene continues to expand consistently.
We now have more than 60 Zagat-rated restaurants — 29
of which have opened just in the last three years. Another seven
new restaurants are scheduled to open in 2005.
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Re: Look to DC

Postby Draftnik on Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:33 pm

RW wrote:Downtown’s red-hot restaurant scene continues to expand consistently. We now have more than 60 Zagat-rated restaurants — 29
of which have opened just in the last three years. Another seven
new restaurants are scheduled to open in 2005.


Inde Bleu rocks.
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Postby Marshall Dylan on Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:28 pm

Sam's Drunk Dog wrote:I agree with you about the need of a grocery store in downtown Pittsburgh. I think it would be a great opportunity for Giant Eagle, Shop N Save, or Foodland to get involved with Nationwide in the develop process for the hill.


If there was a market for a downtown grocery store, there would be one. Retailers constantly research these things.
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Postby Marshall Dylan on Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:30 pm

Tikkanen wrote:
Marshall Dylan wrote:
Sam's Drunk Dog wrote:I agree with you about the need of a grocery store in downtown Pittsburgh. I think it would be a great opportunity for Giant Eagle, Shop N Save, or Foodland to get involved with Nationwide in the develop process for the hill.


If there was a market for a downtown grocery store, there would be one. Retailers constantly research these things.


Then you obviously don't know what you're talking about.


So much for your promise of "intelligent discussion."
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Postby Draftnik on Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:53 pm

Tikkanen wrote:
Marshall Dylan wrote:
Tikkanen wrote:
Marshall Dylan wrote:
Sam's Drunk Dog wrote:I agree with you about the need of a grocery store in downtown Pittsburgh. I think it would be a great opportunity for Giant Eagle, Shop N Save, or Foodland to get involved with Nationwide in the develop process for the hill.


If there was a market for a downtown grocery store, there would be one. Retailers constantly research these things.


Then you obviously don't know what you're talking about.


So much for your promise of "intelligent discussion."


Let's see...in my initial post I laid out the fact that I spent the past 4 years working downtown and spending quite a bit of time down there, and expressed the need for such an establishment in the area, which has been, not on this board, but elsewhere, echoed repeatedly. Your post had exactly what to do with that? If you'd have actually read the article, it explains why the retailers who "constantly research these things" do not pursue urban development and would just as soon go and build a store in the middle of a cornfield than repurpose a building. You want to talk about intelligent discussion, when you make an uninformed statement, that obviously points to the fact that you didn't read the article highlighted in the original post? Ha.

To the point - the NEED and MARKET is there...but the WILLINGNESS of the retailers is not. Welcome to Civic Design 101- Think about, say, the Lazarus/Macy's vacant building downtown. How would a, say, Giant Eagle fit in there? Every GE is laid out the same. They do not want to go through the time and expense to redesign their layout to figure a way to put a store in there. This is where a venture like the one laid out in the Grocery HQ article comes in. Perhaps you should read the article.


Don't pay attention to this guy. There was no market study indicating there was a burning demand for a Whole Foods in East Liberty. The city wanted to clean up some blighted areas so they offered some tax incentives for developers to come into some downtrodden communities. The Whole Foods is swamped. They have several employees directing traffic on Saturdays and Sundays because the store and parking lot are too small to meet the incredible demand.

This is the same savvy retail expert that said Forest City could convert retail space, the most expensive commercial real estate of all, to storage space, the least expensive commercial space of all.
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Postby ExPatriatePen on Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:55 pm

Marshall Dylan wrote:If there was a market for a downtown grocery store, there would be one. Retailers constantly research these things.


There is a market for a downtown grocery store.

(Quick, if you live in the Penn Station apartments on Liberty, where is your nearest grocery store? - Answer: The strip district, and the discount store on Penn Ave - which sucks BtW).

It's not that there isn;t a market, it's just that it wouldn't be profitable. Between Tik's comments of store layout and design, to the cost of insurance for operating in the intercity, to the numerous theft and robbery issues, to the problems of hiring a capable and reliable workforce. Why as an owner of a chain of grocery stores would I open a high-maintenance store there when I have dozens of other opportunities?
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Postby Marshall Dylan on Wed Feb 22, 2006 6:09 pm

Tikkanen wrote:
Marshall Dylan wrote:
Tikkanen wrote:
Marshall Dylan wrote:
Sam's Drunk Dog wrote:I agree with you about the need of a grocery store in downtown Pittsburgh. I think it would be a great opportunity for Giant Eagle, Shop N Save, or Foodland to get involved with Nationwide in the develop process for the hill.


If there was a market for a downtown grocery store, there would be one. Retailers constantly research these things.


Then you obviously don't know what you're talking about.


So much for your promise of "intelligent discussion."


Let's see...in my initial post I laid out the fact that I spent the past 4 years working downtown and spending quite a bit of time down there, and expressed the need for such an establishment in the area, which has been, not on this board, but elsewhere, echoed repeatedly. Your post had exactly what to do with that? If you'd have actually read the article, it explains why the retailers who "constantly research these things" do not pursue urban development and would just as soon go and build a store in the middle of a cornfield than repurpose a building. You want to talk about intelligent discussion, when you make an uninformed statement, that obviously points to the fact that you didn't read the article highlighted in the original post? Ha.

To the point - the NEED and MARKET is there...but the WILLINGNESS of the retailers is not. Welcome to Civic Design 101- Think about, say, the Lazarus/Macy's vacant building downtown. How would a, say, Giant Eagle fit in there? Every GE is laid out the same. They do not want to go through the time and expense to redesign their layout to figure a way to put a store in there. This is where a venture like the one laid out in the Grocery HQ article comes in. Perhaps you should read the article.



The grocery business is one of the most competitive. Local retailers are using all manner of perks (double coupons, gas discounts, etc) to draw customers. In that environment, don't you find it curious that EVERY supermarket operator leaves this supposedly fertile downtown market vacant? If it would be profitable to open a store downtown, don't you suppose someone would have done it by now and gotten the jump on their competitors? Don't you think Giant Eagle and all the others constantly study possible locations for stores?

There is no market at this time because there is no significant downtown residential population. People who work downtown are not going to buy groceries downtown and then lug them home. If you're talking about the walk-in trade that might stop by at lunchtime, that isn't enough business to sustain a grocery store.

You don't build a store and hope that a market develops, you build one to serve a market that exists. The few people who live downtown now are obviously finding places to get groceries, aren't they?

You're following the Tom Murphy philosophy -- if we build it, the customers will follow. He has two giant empty buildings on Fifth Avenue to prove the foolishness of that plan.
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Postby Bowser on Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:37 pm

Guys Marshall Dylan appears to be our favorite Post-Gazette hack.
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Postby Marshall Dylan on Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:37 pm

Tikkanen wrote:
Marshall Dylan wrote:The grocery business is one of the most competitive. Local retailers are using all manner of perks (double coupons, gas discounts, etc) to draw customers. In that environment, don't you find it curious that EVERY supermarket operator leaves this supposedly fertile downtown market vacant? If it would be profitable to open a store downtown, don't you suppose someone would have done it by now and gotten the jump on their competitors? Don't you think Giant Eagle and all the others constantly study possible locations for stores?

There is no market at this time because there is no significant downtown residential population. People who work downtown are not going to buy groceries downtown and then lug them home. If you're talking about the walk-in trade that might stop by at lunchtime, that isn't enough business to sustain a grocery store.

You don't build a store and hope that a market develops, you build one to serve a market that exists. The few people who live downtown now are obviously finding places to get groceries, aren't they?

You're following the Tom Murphy philosophy -- if we build it, the customers will follow. He has two giant empty buildings on Fifth Avenue to prove the foolishness of that plan.


Oh BS. READ THE ARTICLE. THEN READ IT AGAIN. EVERY MAJOR SUPERMARKET OPERATOR TURNED DOWN THE OPPORTUNITY IN DALLAS. IT WAS AN INDEPENDENT VENTURE. THEY CLAIM THAT MOST OF THEIR BUSINESS IS TRANSACTIONS OF $15 AND UNDER FROM THE DOWNTOWN WORK CROWDS. Really, this isn't about buying stuff to lug home. Also...I don't follow ANYTHING that Tom Murphy has ever done, so you can toss that theory right out. Lazarus and Lord&Taylor were competitors in a market that already had Saks and Kaufmanns. I don't see 2 other grocery stores that a new one would compete against - you're comparing apples to oranges with that uninformed, foolish comment.


If YOU had read the article and paid attention, you would have noticed this:

"The residential surge started here in about 1999, and ever since, a supermarket is something the residents have been crying out for and crying out for..."

The store opened last July. That would be SIX YEARS AFTER the "residential surge" started. It was well AFTER there was a viable demand in the marketplace. Retail serves an existing market. It does not open and then HOPE that a market develops.
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Postby Marshall Dylan on Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:39 pm

Bowser wrote:Guys Marshall Dylan appears to be our favorite Post-Gazette hack.


Sorry, I don't work for the Post Gazette, never have and don't anticipate I ever will. I don't work in the newspaper industry.

If you want more information, feel free to send a PM. Otherwise, I don't appreciate you making baseless speculation about me on the board.
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Postby Sam's Drunk Dog on Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:56 pm

Looks like THERE IS a market for a grocery store in downtown afterall. Hmmm.

http://www.pittsburghpost-gazette.com/p ... 664405.stm
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Postby Sam's Drunk Dog on Wed Apr 12, 2006 4:39 pm

Gourmet market chosen for old Lazarus building

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06102/681646-100.stm

Just closing up this little arguement we had earlier. That is all.
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Postby jimjom on Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:50 pm

Sam's Drunk Dog wrote:Gourmet market chosen for old Lazarus building

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06102/681646-100.stm

Just closing up this little arguement we had earlier. That is all.


There's a need for a grocery store, not a high end food retailer. Specializing in steaks. This idea makes no sense. The rich get richer!
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I like it

Postby Zenpen on Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:32 pm

Personally, I am thrilled. I used to live in NYC and would (sorry, Marshall Dillon) buy groceries next door to where I worked and take them home on the subway.

I also help run a business downtown and it would be good to be able to buy groceries close. We usually are looking for high-end stuff for events and such anyway. We also deal with a lot of out-of-towners, a lot of whom are staying a week to a month. Many of them ask where they can buy groceries. Most do not have a car with them and have to cab someplace. This would definitely make a difference to visitors to Pittsburgh as well as the downtown residents, the number of which should only be increasing with the apartment and condo construction that is going on.

A regular Giant Eagle or whatever would still have been my preference, though.
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Postby netwolf on Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:55 pm

Omaha Steaks is good eatin'. I got some kind of 50% off deal via Citibank so we tried them out. Everything has been really good. :D
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