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Fifth & Forbes battle recalled


Downtown planners from across the United States and Canada got an overview Monday of the four-year battle in Pittsburgh known as Market Place at Fifth & Forbes.

“We learned that there is something even further beyond polarization. I don’t think you would have seen the four of us in the same room together two years ago,” said Cathy McCollum of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.

McCollum was joined on the panel by Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership Executive Director Harry Finnigan, Downtown retailer Patty Maloney and City Planning Director Susan Golomb.

The panel members spoke about the Fifth and Forbes plan to 60 attendees of the International Downtown Association’s annual conference at the Pittsburgh Hilton and Towers. The association’s 47th annual conference addresses strategies and issues for making Downtown areas better and stronger.

Fifth and Forbes, and the subsequent Plan C Task Force, were presented as a case study in massive downtown revitalization projects.

The task force was formed in November to look at new strategies for redeveloping Pittsburgh’s retail core after the collapse of Mayor Tom Murphy’s hotly debated, $480.5 million Market Place at Fifth & Forbes proposal. The proposal raised hackles over government subsidies, eminent domain and the demolition of historic buildings.

The task force plans to name a private developer later this year as managing partner of a new redevelopment strategy.

This article appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. © Tribune Review

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