Forum

East Liberty renovations do not account for residents

Since Steve Mosites founded The Mosites Company in 1992, the company has attempted to rejuvenate East Liberty. Now, the company that pulled Target and Whole Foods into East Liberty (and built Rivers Casino and Heinz Field) in order to generate commerce in Pittsburgh seeks to continue its job. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mosites is promising to add a 366-unit apartment complex, a great deal of retail stores, and a new transit center across from the Target in East Liberty by mid-2014.

The previous and current renovations to East Liberty are beneficial to the city’s growth; however, The Tartan is unable to endorse Mosites’ plan because it does not take into account the cost of living for the area’s current population.

The company’s plan for new retail stores may interfere with the lives of the area’s residents. These plans include renovating the territory on Centre Avenue and Penn Circle South to add residential-type shops. Although it is admirable that Mosites is attempting to renovate the area, it has not taken into account the local shops and venues already there.

More importantly, renovations and the inclusion of retail stores will most likely increase housing costs. Currently, 20 percent of the people who live in the ZIP code 15206, which includes East Liberty, live below the national poverty level, according to the 2010 census.

The area’s median household income is $35,205 while the median household income across the country is $46,326.
According to city-data.com, the median rent in East Liberty was $421, a full $151 less than the average rent in Pittsburgh, as of 2009. In an area with a population largely below the poverty line, increased costs are unacceptable.

Rising housing costs may leave many residents, as well as the students from Carnegie Mellon living in the area, scrambling to find either money or a new place to live.

We hope that these supposedly speedy renovations will keep in mind the lives of the current residents in the district.