Monday, December 19, 2011

Panello Boutique in Lawrenceville

Panello Boutique has opened on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, just in time for the holiday shopping season.  Located at 3703 Butler Street, the shop features women’s clothing from small and independent designers, including jackets, blazers, jeans, accessories, and handbags.

Boutique items are offered at a lower, more affordable price point than many other boutiques. Most clothing items are under $100, and jewelry, both new and vintage, ranges between $14 and $75.  In addition to clothing and jewelry, Panello is currently carrying screen-printed iPad cases, and Pittsburgh-themed t-shirts designed by Julie Dinardo.

Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Solar Company Opens Office In Green Tree

Sunetric, an Hawaiian solar company, has opened an office at Foster Plaza 5, Suite 300, 651 Holiday Dr., Green Tree. It also has offices offices in Washington and Denver on the mainland.

Founded in 2004, Sunetric is one of the country's largest renewable energy firms.  With approximately 100 employees, it manages every stage of the design, development and installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems nationwide.  It has designed and installed 40% of net-metered PV systems in Hawaii, is responsible for over 100,000 solar panels and 30 megawatts of solar across the United States, and is currently developing solar farms totalling more than 30 MW.

Green Tree
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Robot Repair Shop In Downtown Pittsburgh???

"Fraley's Robot Repair Shop" at 210 6th Ave

If you do a double-take (or triple-, quadruple-take) while passing by 210 6th Ave in Downtown's Cultural District ..... You're not alone.  Right there in the window of Fraley's Robot Repair Shop is an anxious-looking robot apparently looking for a way out.  But who in the world is repairing robots?  Who even has any robots to repair?

The truth is that robots are not actually being meticulously restored to mint condition in our tech-savy city.   And Fraley's is not a repair shop of any kind, either.  Rather, it is part of "Project Pop-Up: Downtown", a public art installation created by Toby Atticus Fraley, artist from Washington, Pa.  The installation, which was launched publicly during November’s 51st Annual Light Up Night, gives downtown passers-by a chance to glimpse into a future wherein robot ownership – and  the bothersome repairs that accompany it – may be quite commonplace.

"Project Pop-Up: Downtown" is a partnership between the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Department of City Planning and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) which aims to inject new life into abandoned downtown Pittsburgh storefronts, playing off of the many other positive downtown developments already underway. More than 90 entrepreneurs from throughout the nation submitted grant proposals in hopes of making their “pop-up” dreams a reality in Pittsburgh. These applicants were whittled down to 12 recipients – seven of which launched their projects in November.

Learn more about "Project Pop-Up: Downtown" and the other six “pop-ups” by clicking on the link below.

Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate
Project Pop-up: Downtown

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Summer 2012 Groundbreaking For Gardens At Market Square

Artist's rendition of Gardens At Market Square
Washington County developer, Millcraft Industries, plans to break ground on a $76.6 million office and hotel project by midsummer, marking its fourth major redevelopment Downtown.  Millcraft's chief operating officer says the company hopes to have the Gardens at Market Square completed in the first quarter of 2014. The project, located on the south end of Forbes Avenue between Wood Street and Market Square, will feature 95,000 square feet of office space, a 175-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel, 23,000 square feet of retail space, and a 325-space parking garage.

Office and retail portions will hopefully open by December 2013 and the hotel by March 2014.  Two unnamed tenants have already signed up to take half the office space.  Millcraft also will be looking for "destination" type retail, as well as entertainment and restaurants, to fill the retail space.

Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

DrinkyPal At Your Service In The Strip District

Clique Vodka has QR Code iPhone app on back label.

Strip District-based Premier Innovations Group believes every responsible drinker deserves a DrinkyPal, an appropriately named iPhone app that appears as a prominently displayed QR.  The importer says it's the first liquor bottle in the state to have an iPhone app right on the label, a promotional text code that uses geotagging to  pull up a list of the nearest taxi companies and hotels, should the need arise. The app is available through the iTunes store for free as well.
Founded in 2007, Premier develops private label liquor brands--Clique Vodka and Don Panteleon tequila to start--and markets them through viral, event-driven entertainment and social media outlets. Faded Industry, a subsidiary of Premier that coordinates events and promotions, is also based in Pittsburgh. The firm employees 15 full-time and 50 part-timers who assist with promotions. 
The company recently opened an office in Philadelphia, is renovating their 6000 square-foot corporate headquarters, located across from the Altar Bar, and is planning for more growth and hiring. The interactive bottle is available in three states; the company plans to expand across the U.S.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Historic Designation for Historic McKeesport Hotel

Penn-McKee Hotel has stood vacant for many years

In April 1947, at what was then McKeesport's premier hotel, the Penn-McKee, a 90-minute debate on labor law took place between future U.S. presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon.  The freshmen congressmen took opposing positions on the proposed Taft-Hartley Act, which, when it became law, eventually curtailed much of the labor activism of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal.  Thirteen years after that debate, the two politicians faced off again as candidates for the presidency on national television. While the audience and stakes were greater in that debate, local groups have ensured that McKeesport's role in the early history of two giants of American politics is not forgotten.  At its October board meeting, the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission approved a historical marker for the site of the 1947 debate.

The designation caps a campaign by the McKeesport Preservation Society and the Battle of Homestead Foundation to obtain the coveted blue-and-gold state historic marker to be erected outside the hotel, which now stands vacant.  The unveiling of the marker and a symposium on the debate and the Taft-Hartley legislation are planned for April 21, 2012, the 65th anniversary of the debate.   Society director Maryann Huk said her group is forming partnerships to start restoration to reopen the Penn-McKee Hotel on Fifth Avenue, which had hosted numerous civic and private events since it opened in 1926.

McKeesport Preservation Society
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ross Park Mall Gets Mini Face-Lift

Five Ross Park Mall stores were completely remodeled in recent months.  The stores are Gymboree, which had the most recent reopening on Nov. 22, along with Swarovski Crystal, Bath & Body Works, New York & Company and Pottery Barn.

Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate
Ross Park Mall

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pittsburgh Still A Bright Spot On Real Estate Horizon

Pittsburgh's strong housing market continued in November when residential homes placed under sales agreements increased 17.9 percent over the same month last year.  Sales agreements were placed on 2,591 homes, compared with 2,197 a year ago, according to the West Penn Multi-List, which covers 13 counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania.  Washington County had the highest increase, 56.7 percent -- 235 homes compared with 150 a year ago -- while Butler County, with 215 sales versus 178, was up 21.4 percent.  Allegheny County, with 1,304 homes compared with 1,181, was up 10.4 percent while Westmoreland County, with 341 homes versus 300, was up 13.7 percent.  From January through November, the average price is up 4.1 percent at $157,022 compared with $150,840.

Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tiramisu Now A Treat For PAT Buses

In July, Carnegie Mellon University announced a public transit iPhone app that has grown steadily since that time.  The university has now expanded on the platform with their current release of the Android version.  These apps track the location of public transit vehicles using riders' smartphones. Riders can tell other riders where and how full buses are.

Tiramisu, Italian for "pick me up," uses the GPS feature in smartphones to identify the rider's location and display a list of nearby bus stops, and when the next vehicle is expected to arrive.  When the rider boards, he or she hits a button that allows the Tiramisu server to track the vehicle and issue information to riders farther along the route. The rider also tells the system how full the bus is. If no one is using the Tiramisu application on a particular bus, the system uses accumulated historical data to predict arrival times. And if that is not available, it will deliver arrival times based on the Port Authority schedules -- which is usually the case for now, until more riders are participating.

Another Tiramisu feature is the ability of riders to instantly report any problems or make suggestions to the Port Authority. If a seat is broken, for example, the rider can take a photo, add text and notify the authority, and the message will automatically convey the time, bus and location from which it was sent. So far, CMU officials report that nearly 4,800 iPhone users and 930 Android users have tried the app.

Project leaders are hoping that over time it will blossom into a full-fledged real-time tracking system that will enable riders with smartphones to know when the next bus is coming, and whether they'll get a seat. The app can be downloaded from the iTunes Store, Android Market or the project's website, , which also has a tutorial and frequently asked questions page.

Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate
PAT Transit