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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.”