The Faces of 90.5 WESA
Tue March 19, 2013
PDP Says Downtown Pittsburgh Is On the Rise
Local leaders in business and politics highlighted the recent successes of downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday as the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) released its annual report for 2012.
For one, Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl said he's happy with several new developments in the Golden Triangle, including a new skyscraper currently being built by PNC Bank and the revamped Market Square. He said some people were skeptical of the Market Square renovation at first.
"Now, they're (angry) that they can't get in for lunch or dinner," Ravenstahl said.
Several speakers noted the aversion of most service cuts to the Port Authority of Allegheny County. PDP Chairman Tom Harrington said his organization campaigned against the mass transit cuts in 2012 and will do so again because the economy of downtown Pittsburgh relies on public transportation.
"When I'm talking to investors, we talk about, 'Why do companies like Mellon and PNC have operation centers in Downtown? That's unheard of in any other city,'" Harrington said. "It's because all transportation comes to downtown. We don't have a beltway. I look at it as a good thing; it prevents sprawl. But it's critical that we keep that transportation running."
Leaders of BNY Mellon were thankful that transit cuts were avoided, according to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, who met with the bank's top brass on Wall Street last fall.
"I'm thinking, 'In 1 Wall Street, they're worried about transit cuts in downtown Pittsburgh?' But they were, because they're telling us that over 50 percent of the people who work in their two centers here use transit to get there," Fitzgerald said.
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership uses business membership dues, grant funding, sponsorships and other revenue to carry out its work. In 2012, the PDP spent most of its $3.5 million budget on efforts to clean up the business district and market downtown Pittsburgh.