This story has been sitting in my news feeds for the last few days, so I figure I should be getting around to it. From the Business Times:
Pittsburgh officials Friday completed the foreclosure of four properties in the Beechview neighborhood acquired by developer Bernardo Katz in 2004 and 2005.Now, we've covered the Bernardo Katz saga elsewhere, and, let's be fair here, the whole thing is a big old clusterfuck.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and other officials are planning to unlock the buildings in the 1600 block of Broadway Avenue in a noon ceremony as part of an ongoing effort to generate interest from developers in the properties.
The city's Urban Redevelopment Authority initiated foreclosure proceedings on the properties earlier this year after the agency said Katz failed to make timely payments on them.
That is a technical term, by the way, for an economic development initiative where a mortgagor defaults on his/her mortgage and then flees the country.
So, it's good news that the property is now in the control of an organization that's supposed to have the best interests of the City at heart.
However, I don't think that it's necessarily a great idea to draw attention to a (as we stated above) a giant clusterfuck. It's like taking a giant shit in the living room and proudly asking for a cookie when you cleaned it up. Now, in the current administration's defense, Katz was not their fault... but they could have, I don't know, hastened the end of this mess a little bit more instead of dicking around for the last umpteen months.*
In any case, it's not something that you want to celebrate, but rather something you want to quietly deal with.
* So why, you may ask, did this all come about now instead of months ago? What was the impetus here?