The Strip District produce terminal should be a place for us all

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The redevelopment of the Strip District is every bit as heartfelt to Pittsburghers as the changes at the Civic Arena, Three Rivers Stadium or PNC Park.

The Strip is a rare gem. We are lucky to have Penn Mac, Wholey’s, La Prima and the rest of the zany gang. We should approach the impending redevelopment with great respect, foresight and public discourse. The best thing about the Strip is that it is ours. Each of us has a notion of what the Strip means to us. Each of us has our own story of a great deal, an unexpected flavor or a wacky character.

The city government is currently evaluating essentially two visions to repurpose the produce terminal (“Trio of Plans Outlined for Strip Terminal Building,” Aug. 7).

Option A (the Rubino Plan) is to convert this space into a naturally-lit marketplace centered around local produce, vendors we already love and the next generation of our city’s and our country’s “makers.” Rubino employs cutting-edge principles of environmental design and would be a grand concourse for the 21st century. This unique space would remain owned, literally, by all of us.

Option B is to sell our space to a private company (Ferchill or McCaffery), who intend to wall it off to the public, affording access to only a select few in high-end, single-unit apartments.

Why deny the public access to our grand concourse?

Let’s keep it public, keep it ours. Let’s be visionary. Let’s build the cleanest, greenest, meanest public market in the United States.


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