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Friday, July 14, 2006

Quote of the Week

Pittsburgh will be to artificial intelligence what Silicon Valley is to chips.
- Ira Gorman, New York Real Estate Investor and new owner of The Clark Building

Check out today's Pittsburgh Business Times to read about the sale of Downtown's Historic Clark Building to New York real estate investor Ira Gorman.

The 23 story office building has sold for $22.5 million.

I will post a link to the article next week when the internet edition is published, but I wanted to draw your attention to the above quote by Mr. Gorman who is apparently very positive about Pittsburgh, and it's high tech future.

Although many people believe that a downtown office building is not well suited for Robotics and AI company offices, Mr. Gorman is optimistic.

He believes that Pittsburgh is going to be the center for artificial intelligence and robotics, and is putting his money where his mouth is, paying a record $77.00 per square foot. He plans to convert the building, which was once a regional headquarters for Warner Brothers, into a high tech office building.

We hope that Mr. Gorman is successful in his new venture.
Thursday, July 13, 2006

America discovers what we've always known - "It's Great to be in Pittsburgh!"

"Look at the city.
Look at this ballpark.
It's great to be in Pittsburgh." - Bill Mazerowski, 7/12/2006

On Tuesday night, American baseball fans were let in on "our little secret" -
Pittsburgh is spectacular.

Pittsburgh sparkled in all of it's "redd-up" glory, and it became clear to everyone watching that Pittsburgh is no longer "hell with the lid off". To the contrary, Pittsburgh has transformed itself into America's secret gem.

Now comes the hard part - We must leverage the national attention and praise into something more substantial, namely an accelerated economic revitalization boosted by an improved national reputation.
( For example, Toshiba - owner of Westinghouse - was in town for the game, and is deciding where to locate 2,000 engineers for it's nuclear division. Their experience in Pittsburgh will certainly play a role in Toshiba's site selection. )

In the late 1980's and early 1990's, I watched first hand as Cleveland leveraged Jacob's Field and the Rock and Roll Hall of fame into a much improved image. I was in college at Kent State, and Cleveland was the butt of every "dirty city" joke in the country. Cleveland was "The Mistake by the Lake". Although many events contributed to an improved city, a handful of prominent events changed how the Nation saw Cleveland. ( Jacobs Field/The Indians, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and The Drew Carey Show )

Baltimore has a similar story. The Inner Harbor and Camden Yards have helped to spur substantial revitalization in that city's core.

Certainly, neither of these cities is perfect. ( In my opinion, neither of these cities can hold a candle to Pittsburgh ). However, they are examples of places that have taken advantage of an occasional national spotlight.

The convention and visitor's bureau could and should explore avenues for extending the great buzz Pittsburgh is currently experiencing.

A few ideas:

1. Run some advertisements on ESPN and primetime tv thanking the nation for visiting Pittsburgh for the All-Star game and reminding them that Pittsburgh is remarkable. Show highlights from the homerun derby and game, mixed with some stunning views from PNC park and throughout the city.
Enlist financial support from the city's well known corporations - US Steel, Alcoa, PPG, Bayer, Westinghouse, and Heinz - and show their names as sponsors at the end of the ad.

2. Place ads in newspapers around the country in a similar vein, encouraging people from these cities to experience what everyone is talking about. Highlight things that are worth traveling from neighboring regions to see. ( Boating, PNC park, the South Side nightlife, photography, museums, etc. )

3. Barrage potential convention planners immediately! Conventions are a great way to introduced people to our city.

Now is not the time to relax our marketing efforts, it is time to intensify them.
The region must strike while the iron(city) is hot!
Monday, July 10, 2006

Downtown Riverfront Developer Chosen

The Pittsburgh Business Times is reporting that a Washington D.. firm has been selected by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust to develop two square blocks in Downtown's Cultural District.

The Plan includes 700 residential units consisting of condos, a street of townhouses and a four-star hotel. In addition, 159,000 square feet of new retail and restaurant space will be added to the area the area bounded by Seventh Street, Penn Avenue, Ninth Street and Fort Duquesne Boulevard.

Pittsburgh's Cultural District is considered a template for successful cultural districts around the country, and the addition of this development will solidify it's success.

The addition of new residential, retail and entertainment uses in the district is just what downtown needs.

Read more about the new development at The Pittsburgh Business Times.
Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy Independance Day

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Read the entire Declaration of Independence here.

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