Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Real estate tax incentives and a potential new skyscraper in Pittsburgh

The City of Pittsburgh has provided tax breaks for real estate development in recent years, but that program is now in jeopardy because City Council has delayed the extension of those tax incentives. In response, residents and the Mayor have publicly attributed much of Pittsburgh's recent development to this abatement program:
Delilah and Randy Rains gave up their Mt. Lebanon home to move downtown to a once vacant but now rehabilitated condo along Penn Avenue in the Cultural District — with a special 10-year reduction in property taxes.
“The basic attraction for us down here was to live in the Cultural District and to be downtown, but the incentive or the benefits of having the tax abatement just made the decision that much easier,” said Randy Rains.
The Otto Milk Building in the Strip, now 60 condo units, is another example of why [Mayor] Ravenstahl hopes council will extend these tax breaks.
“They’ve been critically important. The tax abatement program, for example, has allowed 13 developments to happen,” added [Mayor] Ravenstahl.
Maybe other municipalities should learn the relation between tax reductions and economic activity.

In related news, Oxford Development will make a major announcement on Thursday. Observers have speculated that the announcement will involve a new skyscraper in downtown Pittsburgh, according to KDKA TV. Another possibility is that an existing large building will be renovated.

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