Residents say fight will continue over Penn Plaza




ONGOING FIGHT—Residents rally at the Oliver Building, Downtown to protest LG Realty’s plans for the Penn Plaza property. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

After a long fight with residents, community activists, and the city of Pittsburgh, LG Realty Advisors, Inc. and its parent company Pennley Park South have demolished one Penn Plaza apartment building, and removed all the residents out of the other.
But there’s no ten count, no referee to stop this bout. According to residents, community activists and Mayor Bill Peduto, the fight continues.
The Penn Plaza Support and Action Coalition held a rally in front of the Oliver Building, Downtown, to admonish LG Realty’s plans to demolish the remaining apartment building to make way for luxury apartments at a market rate in which nearly all former Penn Plaza residents cannot afford.

“My message to not only LG Realty but all developers who are considering doing anything in Pittsburgh, make sure there’s enough housing for people with low to moderate incomes,” said Alethea Sims, of East Liberty and a former Penn Plaza resident. “We were there in the bad times, we should be there to enjoy the good times, and we cannot enjoy the good times when they make those apartments so very expensive.
“Low-income residents are good to get the subsidies to redevelop,” Sims said.
Crystal Jennings, a member of the coalition and outspoken opponent of LG Realty, told the crowd at the April 19 rally that the property should be sold to the City. “We just want the Gumbergs (property owners) to do the right thing and sell the property to the city so that the residents of the East Liberty Gardens area and East Liberty as a whole can learn from it and build it up to what we know what it could be.”

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