Penn Plaza Public Hearing: Say NO to LG’s luxury development

Penn Plaza Matters

On May 15, the Planning Commission will hear public comment on LG’s new development plan for the Penn Plaza site. Tell them to vote NO on this plan, which will create HIGHER RENTS, MORE BLIGHT, MORE SEGREGATION, & MORE DISPLACEMENT.

PLEASE NOTE: This is also election day, so make sure you vote that day!

After demolishing the homes of over 500 long-time East Liberty residents, LG Realty’s proposed redevelopment includes nearly 1,000,000 sq ft of luxury retail and office space, and ZERO affordable housing. On top of that, they are trying to shuffle a rubber-stamped “community process” through as neighborhood consent, when hundreds of residents have showed up to meetings to voice opposition.

The City has refused to reschedule the hearing so it wouldn’t fall on election day. This is another example of the “public process” being broken. Come out and MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD!

WHERE: 200 Ross Street, 1st floor
WHEN: Tuesday, May 15 at 2 p.m.

CAN’T MAKE IT? Write a quick letter to the Planning Commission asking them to VOTE NO on LG’s luxury plan, and to create a legacy of housing justice. You can use our form letter here OR write your own letter. Correspondence can be emailed to dolores.hanna@pittsburghpa.gov or dropped off or mailed to 200 Ross Street, Suite 309, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. (Talking points for letters can be found here.)

From the City Planning Commission’s website: Public testimony is welcome during Planning Commission hearings and is limited to 3 minutes. No advance registration is required, but interpreters for the hearing impaired will be provided with 4 days’ notice by contacting Richard Meritzer at 412-255-2102. Written testimony may also be sent in advance of any Commission hearing.

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Tell the Planning Commission to vote NO on LG’s Development Plan

We’ve made it easy for you to ask the City of Pittsburgh Planning Commission to vote “NO” on LG’s development plan for luxury office and retail at the Penn Plaza site. Simply scroll down and click the button to input your name & send your letter. (Don’t worry, you can edit the letter before sending if you wish.)

To make an even greater impact, you can write your own letter to the Planning Commission and email it to dolores.hanna@pittsburghpa.gov with “Pennley Park South Development Plan” in the subject line. THANK YOU!

Dear City of Pittsburgh Planning Commission,

I am writing to ask you to vote “NO” on LG Realty’s redevelopment plan for the former Penn Plaza site (Pennley Park South). This plan fails to meet many of your criteria, namely 922.11.B.3 c), d), & i).

In preparation for this development, LG displaced hundreds of low-income residents out of their walkable, high-amenity, high public-transit- access neighborhood — many to locations with poor amenities and transit, & with much higher concentrations of poverty. A retail & office project with no identified anchor tenant in a neighborhood with high retail & office vacancy does nothing to demonstrate positive “social and economic impact” (criterion c). LG should demonstrate that their project would create an actual, measurable, and non-speculative positive social impact that more than offsets the social harm they have caused.

Furthermore, LG’s mass eviction of residents of color and low-income tenants and demolition of affordable housing has damaged the city’s “public health, safety, morals, comfort or general welfare” (criterion d). Without addressing this damage, LG’s new plan — part of a deal made behind closed doors without the input of displaced residents — contributes to Pittsburgh’s history of housing policies and planning decisions that have strengthened patterns of racial inequity.

Finally, LG claims to benefit the community by contributing less than half of their tax subsidy to fund “replacement” “affordable” housing units, but their definition of affordability is far beyond the means of displaced Penn Plaza residents, & many who have lived in the neighborhood for decades. Some of these units would be far from East Liberty and its amenities. The plan does not identify the other sources that would contribute to this “replacement” housing, how likely these sources would materialize, & how much LG would contribute to each unit. Without concrete evidence, the plans for “affordable” housing are entirely speculative. Please remember what happened with the plans for affordable units recently on the Penguins’ Lower Hill site.

Also, since it does not address the city’s affordable housing gap of nearly 20,000 units, this plan squarely contradicts many of Pittsburgh’s “plans and policy documents” (criterion i), including OnePGH, P4, and many recommendations of the Affordable Housing Task Force.

It is time for the city to live up to the pronouncement of the Mayor’s office that “if it’s not for all, it’s not for us.”

Send your letter now

Mayor Peduto: Stand up for housing justice now [ACTION]

Penn Plaza letter to Mayor Peduto

Penn Plaza Support and Action just launched a letter writing campaign to encourage the mayor to stand up for housing justice at Penn Plaza and in neighborhoods throughout the city.

PPSA is calling on him to take three actions:

  1. Purchase Penn Plaza through eminent domain (as the city is currently doing on Banksville Rd)
  2. Revamp the city’s “Public Process” to include our most vulnerable residents
  3. Enact the affordable housing policy solutions that have been suggested by his experts

The group is asking all folks to send these letters so we can further fair housing in Pittsburgh, stabilize our gentrifying neighborhoods, and directly benefit the quality of life for existing residents. We have a form letter that you can easily send. You can also customize the letter before sending it.

Send a letter

Looking for more actions you can take to help Penn Plaza residents? Find out how you can get involved.

Stand Against Luxury Development at Public Meeting #2 [ACTION]

April16FINALFLYER

The first public meeting on LG’s new plan had great turnout despite the snow and a lack of publicity from the city. But we need to make sure LG Realty and the City Planning Commission can’t ignore East Liberty residents who have been pushed out of their homes.

We were pushed out of the Hill District, the High-Rises, East Liberty Gardens, and Penn Plaza.

Displaced residents, neighbors, friends, and supporters: It’s time for us to PUSH BACK. Have your say at the second public meeting to demand a plan that will allow displaced residents to return to East Liberty.

Find our talking points on this plan here.

WHEN: Monday, April 16 from 6-8 p.m. Pre-meeting rally at 5:45.
WHERE: Eastminster Church (250 N. Highland Avenue; across from Home Depot)

For more details, visit our Facebook event page.

Penn Plaza Luxury Development Public Meeting: We Deserve Better

 

After months of closed door negotiations, LG Realty and the City of Pittsburgh Planning Department announced a “robust community process” on the new plan for Penn Plaza: a mere 7 days before the meeting. With no attempt or plans to promote it publicly and allow for true neighborhood involvement.

This is a pathetic attempt to provide “community consent” for a development that displaced over 500 mostly low-income residents from East Liberty, in exchange for luxury retail and office space. This all while East Liberty is experiencing levels of gentrification and displacement that are unparalleled anywhere in the city.

We need you to attend these public meetings and speak out against LG Realty’s greedy plan for luxury office space, and the extreme lack of open public process around this development. We need to you speak up and say that this does not fulfill community need, or fair community process. Pittsburgh deserves more.

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