Downtown home to younger, wealthier residents, study finds
Eve Picker says she still gets strange looks when she tells people she lives Downtown.
“I say Downtown, and some people look at me like I live on the moon. I don't think it's fully accepted as a neighborhood yet, but gradually that's changing,” said Picker, 58, a nonprofit CEO who has developed six properties with almost 70 residential units since the late 1990s.
A study released Wednesday by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership shows Downtown's growing population is getting younger, wealthier and increasingly satisfied with the neighborhood. About 39 percent of those surveyed rated Market Square as their favorite public space, far ahead of Point State Park and the riverfront trails and parks.
On the flip side, residents' biggest gripes center on the area's lack of a grocery store (34 percent cited it as a negative factor), parking (19 percent) and safety concerns (13 percent), the study found.
E. Gerry Dudley, executive vice president of the commercial real estate firm CBRE Inc., said the study provides “information that is valuable to developers and investors and tenants and occupiers alike” from key demographic data to the expectations of those who live, work and shop Downtown.
Residential development has taken off.
Downtown is home to an estimated 8,200 people today, up from 6,425 two years ago, said partnership spokeswoman Leigh Ann White. The advocacy group's definition of Downtown includes parts of the Strip District, Bluff, Lower Hill District and North Shore in Downtown, along with the Golden Triangle.
White said officials expect 1,200 new housing units to be developed in the next two years and 2,200 new ones in the next four.
“Downtown Pittsburgh is a place that had very little residential housing before 2000, but clearly there has been growth. A large part of that growth has been in the number of college students,” said Chris Briem, a regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh, citing development at Point Part University and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
Picker laments that average incomes have risen along with the population.
“At the moment, it's not a very diverse neighborhood,” Picker said, noting the higher cost of building Downtown necessitates higher rents and mortgages that many cannot afford. Almost half of Downtown households earn at least $100,000 a year, up from 34 percent in 2000.
Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fans flock to what they hope will continue ‘magical season’
- PennDOT to install art murals along Route 28
- First overnight closure of the Parkway West begins Thursday
- Advocacy groups call for closer scrutiny of charter schools
- Point State Park honored as top-notch public space
- Spokesman for India’s PM tells Pitt audience of pro-business agenda
- Peduto hails proposal for federal money to boost education for preschoolers
- $5M Penn Avenue reconstruction project is ‘killing everything’
- Hotel still a possibility for August Wilson Center
- Newsmaker: David Spigelmyer
- Controller recommends hiring to reduce 911 center overtime