Advisory Panel – Point Park University

2007PittsburghCover

Date: September 30 – October 5, 2007
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sponsor: Point Park University
Chair: Leigh M. Ferguson
Subject Area: University Development, Downtown Revitalization

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Assignment:

  • How should the city capitalize on its assets and
    make the most of its community and economic
    development efforts?
  • How should the city prioritize its planning and
    development efforts?

Summary of Recommendations:

Point Park University wanted the ULI to help identify opportunities for creating a “strong, vibrant campus experience that complemented the academic experience while remaining a respectful member of the surrounding community that was part of the downtown Pittsburgh area.” The panel recognized significant opportunities for revitalization of the Point Park University urban campus, and recommended that the University work closely with the city to pursue a comprehensive revitalization strategy.

Strong market potential existed for new on-campus housing and student-oriented retail. The development of street-level spaces with retail, cultural, and academic uses would give the campus a neighborhood feel and a unique identity within downtown. Movement of the theater to the Point Park main campus would help in developing a university commons along First Avenue, and enliven Wood Street as a community corridor. Architectural lighting, façade restoration, and enhanced streetscapes would drastically improve the appearance and safety of the campus neighborhood. The implementation of all of these changes would be done by internal staff that the University had hired to manage the entire development process. Looking towards the future, the University could also initiate a community outreach program that targeted the revitalization of the entire neighborhood, not just Point Park. This collaborative community effort would make Point Park University a great place to learn, live, play and work.

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