... Or, I guess the better question is, which kind doesn't?
While housing has helped to boost the fortunes of the Downtown district, it has been out of the reach of many people because of the price.
At the same time, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership research has found a "tremendous demand" for a middle range that includes young professional housing and work-force housing, said Patty Burk, vice president of housing and economic development.
... Part of the problem in providing more affordable housing in downtowns, here and elsewhere, is the high cost of construction, which leads developers to focus on the high end to turn a profit. Lower pricing typically requires some form of subsidy.
So. When the Piatts and PNC promise to build high-end condos, we need to open our wallets because the market just can't support those kinds of projects yet.
Unless someone proposes different projects like apartments for middle-class people. In which case apartments for middle-class people are the kinds of projects the markets can't support. And what downtown really needs is middle-class people, so those tax credits and other subsidies make sense.
Unless, of course, someone is proposing high-end condos. In which case what downtown needs is rich people.
In the meantime, for a blast from the central-planning past, here's a glimpse at where we were seven years ago:
Can Downtown housing happen without help from the city?
"No, it is not possible," Keane said. "It can't be done."
Some developers have asked the city to be more aggressive in helping loft conversions.
Pittsburgh, though, has been slow to react.
"I share their frustration," Tom Cox, Mayor Tom Murphy's chief aide, said two years ago. "We wish we were further along, but we have been focusing on retail, and we probably have not been able to focus on housing in the way we should because we're trying to get other things done."
That Lazarus store ought to be paying dividends any day now. I take SkyBus there, personally.
I kid. I kid.