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odd bldg on bike trail

This topic contains 37 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  buffalo buffalo 1 yr, 6 mos.

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engelr412

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Mar 7 2013 at 11:14am #

looks like a small ’70s office building, sits between the trail and the ohio river, along the riverside trail that goes past the stadiums and the casino. it’s not far past the casino. anyone know about it?

sorry i didn’t get a photo. apologies if this was already asked and answered in an earlier thread


Marko82

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Mar 7 2013 at 11:25am #

Do you mean this gem?

View Larger Map


Vannevar

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Mar 7 2013 at 11:40am #

In a most perfect world, that would be a perfect place for a bike shop slash coffee bar with really fast wifi, with lockers, showers and a hot tub and possibly a massage table for when the barista that’s also a masseur is working, a little outdoor seating area to watch the river pass by. Yeah. that.

and a 3-d printer for unusual bike bits.


Marko82

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Mar 7 2013 at 11:46am #

It looks like the URA owns it.

http://www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Images.aspx?ParcelID=0007F00025000000%20%20%20%20&SearchType=2&CurrRow=0&SearchName=&SearchStreet=kroll&SearchNum=&SearchMuni=1&SearchParcel=&pin=0007F00025000000


engelr412

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Mar 7 2013 at 1:35pm #

yes exactly – thanks! didn’t know how to find it without the address. sweet spot. $500k is a lotta dough. i wonder what the URA’s plans for it are. my connection at URA left for heinz endowments. anyone know someone on the inside? thanks thanks again!


jonawebb

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Mar 7 2013 at 1:41pm #

I think the $500K includes the big warehouse in the back.
Edit: no, I guess not. It sure is an odd-shaped wedge of land, though.

http://www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Map.aspx?ParcelID=0007F00010000000%20%20%20%20&SearchType=2&CurrRow=2&SearchName=&SearchStreet=kroll&SearchNum=&SearchMuni=1&SearchParcel=&pin=0007F00010000000


Mikhail

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Mar 7 2013 at 4:51pm #

Hm,

Owner_________________________Date_Sale_Recorded___Sale_Price
URA__________________________4/11/2011____________$500,000
ELES_BROS_INC______________2/9/2000______________$430,000
PGH_ANNEALING_BOX_CO___5/5/1950

2013 Full Market Value 2013 County Assessed Value
Land Value $1,800 Land Value $1,800
Building Value $0 Building Value $0
Total Value $1,800 Total Value $1,800

2012 Full Market Value 2012 County Assessed Value
Land Value $800 Land Value $800
Building Value $0 Building Value $0
Total Value $800 Total Value $800


bicycle heaven

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Mar 8 2013 at 2:18am #

Bicycle heaven is thinking of useing it for a bike trail repair shop,,the museum is running out of room


bear250220

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Mar 8 2013 at 8:19am #

that would be great i ride by there everyday


edmonds59

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Mar 8 2013 at 8:48am #

I have daydreamed about buying it and living there. I would love to live right down on the river (above the flood plain, of course). And I would certainly allow Bike Pghers to hang out on my patio ;)


engelr412

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Mar 8 2013 at 9:10am #

so if bicycle heaven decides it would like to use it, then it can? does the URA have no plan for it?


Brent

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Mar 8 2013 at 10:08am #

URA owns the vacant land on both sides of the bike trail from the river to Kroll Drive/Beaver Avenue. Combined this makes a very good development site, floodplain issues notwithstanding.


Marko82

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Mar 8 2013 at 10:15am #

This is one of the issues I have with the URA. They often let a piece of their property, or several in whole neighborhoods, just sit and rot while they accumulate enough land for some grandiose development give-away to an out of town developer. Why not let someone place a temporary business in a storefront (at a subsidized price) and see if the neighborhood develops from the ground up around it? No, the URA only thinks top down.


Mikhail

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Mar 8 2013 at 10:16am #

bicycle heaven wrote:Bicycle heaven is thinking of useing it for a bike trail repair shop,,the museum is running out of room

“And while we are repairing your bike would you like to visit Bicycle Heaven Museum?” :)


StuInMcCandless

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Mar 8 2013 at 10:38am #

One of the TED talks at CMU last weekend was about top-down vs bottom-up economic development.

The top-down example they gave was Consol Energy Center. The cost to the taxpayer *per use* (for each seat, for each event) over its projected 30-year life is over $15. That has nothing to do with the cost of a ticket; that’s just the public subisdy.

They gave several bottom-up examples — Waffle House in East Lib, Conflict Kitchen, a couple others — and pointed out that the per-use taxpayer subsidy to make these go was more like $1 to $3, and over a far shorter period of time.

The point is, it only takes a spark to light a fire. Put a couple bucks out there and see what happens. The URA does not do that, and should. This would be a perfect example.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Mar 8 2013 at 1:21pm #

I don’t understand why the Bicycle Heaven guy gets beat-up here so much. I’ve never met him, nor have I had a chance to check it out yet, but I thought I read it doesn’t cost anything to walk in and look around.

So what is he promotes his museum here. This is where the cyclists are. If someone wants to call it spam and ask him to knock it off, then do it. But otherwise, why take cheap shots at him for promoting his museum?


Steven

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Mar 8 2013 at 2:51pm #

What cheap shots? I didn’t take Mikhail’s post as a criticism really, more like pointing out something BH could do to benefit from having a shop there.

Why not let someone place a temporary business in a storefront (at a subsidized price) and see if the neighborhood develops from the ground up around it? No, the URA only thinks top down.

The pop-up shops and art downtown seem to be working out well, and the URA is one of the agencies behind that. Perhaps they’ll start doing that in more places.


Marko82

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Mar 8 2013 at 4:55pm #

steven, thanks for the correction, I didn’t realize the pop-ups were URA. But I still think they are focused on top-down development instead of “seeding” grass roots development. Think stadiums, bakery square, southside works – not coffee shops, mom & pop grocer, or bike station along a trail.


Mick

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Mar 8 2013 at 5:01pm #

I think they should let me live in that building.

I’ve wave at bicyclists as they pass me by. I’d go to the roof when the spring floods come.


Mikhail

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Mar 8 2013 at 5:05pm #

AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe wrote:But otherwise, why take cheap shots at him for promoting his museum?

Well, I know him personally and I’ve visited the Museum. I really think that it would benefit their business and it’s a good way to show museum to people.

Bicycle heaven Museum is a little bit off bike path and hard to find for some people. And they have a very decent amount of bikes (and other stuff BTW) to show. And you can buy bicycles, parts, service from them.

In short, if they connect this small building their current location it would be mutually beneficial for both Bicycle Heaven and bicyclists.


Andrew

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Mar 9 2013 at 1:38am #

Thought this thread was going to be about this building on the southside trail:

http://goo.gl/maps/d4lrV

Looks like it was used by the rail road. Anyone have and idea what it was used for?


fultonco

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Mar 9 2013 at 7:47am #

Craig Morrow is the owner of Bicycle Heaven and a really good guy. He would give you the shirt off his back if you were out for a ride and needed an extra layer! Stop in and talk to him some time.

Regarding that building, it was the offices for Pittsburgh Annealing Box Company. There were long two mill-type buildings also, one just north of the office and one across the trail. Both were torn down within the past 1-3 years. The one across the trail 1st and the second, just north of the office, within the past year. They leveled off the property and planted some grass. This opened up the area. Before, you had to ride between those two mills, which were real eyesores and homeless people used to hang out there. Coming through early in the morning or at dusk sometimes made the hairs on your neck stand up.

I too thought it would be a great place to live or a nice place for a bicycle-related business. At 500K, that is pretty steep, but I would guess that there is probably a good bit of riverfront property that comes with that deal. You’d be paying for the land more than anything else.


Marko82

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Mar 9 2013 at 8:47am #

@andrew, I don’t know what that specific building was used for, but when the steel mills were humming there were guys who “worked in the mill” who actually worked for the rail roads. They would move a lot of trains around down there 24/7 both outside and inside the mills.

On a gruesome note, my neighbor’s best friend hung himself in that building back in 2005.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/coroner-idenfities-man-found-dead-on-south-side-565836/


bicycle heaven

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Mar 9 2013 at 11:03pm #

Yes i do post bicycle heaven on this forum a bit,i get so many people from pittsburgh who come by that say they cant belive they never knew about the Museum but we are known world wide.I get many who visit from out of state and as far as S.Afica just to chek out the place,,its a funny thing .Bicycle heaven is a bike shop museum we do repairs and rent bikes and as movie props and such,,,spam again but did get out name out,,please forgive me lol,


Pierce

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Mar 10 2013 at 3:27am #

I thought this thread was about the house down in Panther Hollow that has been recently torn down; was red with chairs on the roof with an open door


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Mar 10 2013 at 10:56am #

@Mikhail – sorry! I misunderstood your post. Carry on…


edward m

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Mar 11 2013 at 10:20pm #

That building was owned by the conrete company Eles brothers? They used to park the tanker 18 wheeler next to the trail and wash there cement trucks out on the trail. I truly hated them for mudding the trail with cement, glad they went out of business. Vandals or copper thieves damaged that building. Its been vacant for years.


bicycle heaven

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Mar 12 2013 at 10:43pm #

Bicycle heaven was thinking of the big building not the small one used for a bmx track and repair off of the trail,,kids have been useing it for years when they can sneek in,but for high INS and zone proublems it may not work out.Bicycle Heaven has been thinking of the paddle bikes for river rides across the river but the coast guard doesent want it.The bitc lady at Pegs boat dock isent for it the same let alone ride on the trail by her shack / dock,,o well stop by to chek out some kool junk we have,,open 7 days a week for all your bike needs,,


edmonds59

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Mar 13 2013 at 5:45am #

That’s too bad about the paddle boat thing. I can see how a marina operator would be against it, they want to serve the drunk 50 yr old divorced filthy oil spewing power boat operators so they can pick up bimbos by the North Shore walkway. The waterborne equivalent of Escalade drivers.
Sorry, letting out my latent loathing for power boat operators, ha!


engelr412

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Mar 13 2013 at 8:52am #

So I reached out to someone at URA, she put me in touch with the right person: Rebecca Schenck, Project Development Specialist. According to her the 5.94 acre property was publicly offered through an RFP in the fall of 2011. It’s currently under option by Peter Smurd and Greg Stein aka Smurd Group (my spelling may be off, this was gathered via a phone call with Rebecca). Smurd Grp owns adjacent property, which together would make an approx 13ac site. They have a mixed-use plan for the site with possible hotel, residential, office uses. The bike path has its easement and will be unchanged if their plan goes forward. Their plan is currently on hold pending the City or URA’s ability to fund the changing of some section of Beaver Avenue to become two-way to accommodate the Smurd plan.


edward m

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Mar 13 2013 at 10:30am #

How can that lot be assessed at only $1800. I smell a rat. Including the J Allen Steel lot it is huge and flat. It would make a great parking lot, only a mile walk to downtown.


Mick

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Mar 13 2013 at 10:40am #

@edmonds59 … drunk 50 yr old divorced filthy oil spewing power boat operators so they can pick up bimbos by the North Shore walkway.

Sometimes I think I might have made the wrong life-style choices.

You forgot to mention the cigars.


fultonco

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Mar 13 2013 at 8:45pm #

@Mick… You’re killing me, man…


bicycle heaven

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Mar 13 2013 at 9:53pm #

Not paddle boats,,bikes with paddles,,clip on right onto the pedals,,YOU can ride righr across the river with good ballance,,


StuInMcCandless

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Mar 15 2013 at 10:33am #

^Now there’s a cool idea. Just like a trainer, only stick a couple pontoons on the sides for balance, and go biking on the river. The ideal multi-modal afternoon!


pinky

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Mar 15 2013 at 12:11pm #

Raccoon Creek State Park rents those bike boats – they’re pretty nifty. I always wondered how stable they are. Probably pretty stable with giant pontoons, right?


bicycle heaven

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Mar 15 2013 at 9:43pm #

the ones bicycle heaven have can use 8 hp motors on them,,


buffalo buffalo

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Apr 14 2013 at 9:49pm #

engelr412 wrote:The bike path has its easement and will be unchanged if their plan goes forward.

‘Unchanged’ like the path past the casino was unchanged when/while their plan went forward…?

edward m wrote:Including the J Allen Steel lot it is huge and flat. It would make a great parking lot, only a mile walk to downtown.

I’m surprised they haven’t done this at least temporarily until they figure out what they’re really doing with it. You’d think it’d be a way for URA to get some quick cash while they’re sitting on the vacant land…

Andrew wrote:Thought this thread was going to be about this building on the southside trail: http://goo.gl/maps/d4lrV … Looks like it was used by the rail road. Anyone have an idea what it was used for?

I asked a railfan friend the last time we happened to be riding out there, and if I remember correctly, it was used as an office for signal operators, before the advent of electronic signalling on the rail lines.

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