A couple of months ago, I wrote a review of PNC Park for another site. As much as I enjoy having easily accessible MLB available to me, I had to pick a little bit at the neighborhood.
While there are restaurants and bars, it’s a fairly compact neighborhood, so there aren’t many, and even then, the restaurants cater more towards drinkers than eaters. ... It’s a fun place to hang out both before and after games, but it could use a little more restaurant variety if you have your heart set on something other than ballpark fare.
That state of affairs may be changing if a Columbus-based commercial real estate developer has its way. Michael Machosky of NEXTpittsburgh reports that Continental Real Estate Companies has plans to build an “entertainment plaza” alongside a six-story building that will contain apartments and retailers on what’s currently parking lots next to PNC Park. The company is presenting its plans to Pittsburgh’s city planning commission next Tuesday (November 9).
From the article:
In the preliminary renderings for the new site, the wall of the parking garage facing the plaza is emblazoned with the retired numbers of Pirates legends (and Jackie Robinson’s ubiquitous 42). A sign beneath it reads “Pirates Plaza Cinema Series,” which indicates at least one idea for how to use the space.
The plaza will feature a performance stage, a wooden pergola with tables and a central grass public gathering space, with a giant golden “P”-shaped seating structure in the middle. The grass is framed by tree-lined pathways with three different brushed concrete finishes.
These aren’t the first plans that Continental’s put forward to develop the area around PNC. A couple of years ago, it proposed a mixed-use complex and plaza that the city essentially nixed due to zoning concerns.
It’s not that PNC doesn’t have an outdoor scene or places to get something more than a hot dog or beer. Saturday games this summer have been celebrated with block parties on Sixth Street off the Clemente Bridge, and there are good bars and restaurants. When contrasted with, say, Cleveland, though, it could use a little bit more.
Since a lot of Pittsburgh visitors come to the North Shore, whether it’s for a Bucs game, a concert at Stage AE, or whatever’s going on at Heinz Field, it makes sense that there should be more stuff to do than look at a parking lot left over from Three Rivers Stadium.