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37 FIGURE 30 Proposed Pittsburgh Air and Space Museum. DEVELOPMENT OF THE AIRSIDE BUSINESS PARK In addition to these five buildings, Atlantic Aviation oper- ates an FBO on 11 acres and Aviation Facilities Company In 19951996, the Airside Business Park was planned. The owns and leases one cargo building in the Airside Business goal was to provide an effective reuse of the former terminal Park (Figure 31). There is also one new corporate hangar. building area to increase operations at the airport, to stimu- late commerce within the region, and to provide employ- ment and business opportunities for Allegheny County. The Airside Business Park was designed to incorporate the fol- lowing types of development: · Flex-offices/warehouses, · Office and commercial buildings, · Business aviation center, and · Air cargo ramp. In 1997, the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority and the Departments of Economic Development and Avia- tion completed a design standards and controls handbook for the business park that described the development strat- egy, design standards, review procedures, and construction FIGURE 31 Atlantic Aviation FBO, Pittsburgh International requirements. In 1998, a salvage company came in to demol- Airport. ish the structure. However, the FAA halted the demolition because the presence of asbestos, lead paint, and hydrocar- bon contaminants required an environmental assessment. LESSONS LEARNED The project was halted for a year to complete the environ- mental assessment. The former terminal building was finally Reuse of Pittsburgh's former passenger terminal demon- torn down in 1999 and 2000 (8 years after it was vacated). strates many of the challenges inherent in the renovation and cleanup required to reuse a specialized airport facility. The Elmhurst Group, a Pittsburgh development company, signed a master lease to construct five buildings. The first First ideas do not always prevail. Reuse of the former two were built on speculation in 2003. Michael Baker Cor- terminal building stimulated many good proposals for reuse. poration leased one of these buildings for its headquarters. However, the first ideas did not prevail. In this instance, A third single-story building was also completed that year. attention to the new Midfield Terminal Complex eclipsed For the fourth building, Elmhurst received a 1-year exten- serious consideration of reuse options for the former termi- sion to construct because of a weak real estate market, but it nal building until it was vacant and no longer maintained. was constructed in 2005 and is now occupied. In late 2008, That US Airways had agreed to pay for demolition raised Elmhurst built a fifth multistory building. the possibility for redevelopment of the site for a new use
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38 without the additional costs of environmental cleanup and In this instance, US Airways was already on tap to pay for mitigation of the building itself. Ultimately, the Airside demolition of the former terminal building, but environ- Business Park was carefully developed to achieve a high- mental cleanup of the property, estimated at $15 million, quality, cohesive development. would have been a cost borne by the group redeveloping the property. In the end, demolition was the least costly It is important to plan for reuse and understand both option and contributed to the decision to redevelop rather the environmental and regulatory requirements for rede- than reuse. velopment of an airport property. In many respects, reuse of airport facilities is a lot like urban renewal: messy and Stakeholder agreement is critical. The former terminal complicated. The former terminal building had both archi- building was located in Moon Township. When terminal tectural and historic importance, but it also had environ- operations relocated, the airport's "front door" was in Find- mental hazards such as asbestos and lead paint. There were lay Township. Moon Township lost jobs and tax dollars with also instances of fuel contamination outside the building. the vacancy. Community buy-in on the reuse possibilities was Stormwater sewers, fuel lines, and power lines were buried critical to advancing the Airside Business Park and offset the under the concrete, which complicated demolition and con- adverse impacts of relocating the terminal in another county. struction activity. As it turned out, salvage operations began prior to an environmental assessment of the property. As a Keeping a building alive extends the options for reuse, consequence, demolition of the facility was halted for a year but at a cost. To keep reuse of a building as an option, a mini- to complete an environmental assessment that should have mum level of HVAC is required. Once the former terminal been done previously. building was closed and not maintained at all, reuse became a more complicated and expensive option. It is also true that The economics of reuse are impacted by cleanup costs. to reduce overall airport operating costs, airlines can favor The costs associated with cleanup of the former terminal abandonment of older structures to remove the cost of main- site made the economics of reusing the property infeasible. tenance as a shared airport expense.