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Making Misfortune Into an Opportunity

January 6, 2013

Once a hub of international business deals, the old Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel headquarters building now is vacant....

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Jan-08-13 12:02 AM

why not give it to an interested party,if one can be found?

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Jan-06-13 8:01 PM

Ditto OSM.

Manufacturing jobs have been lost to outsourcing but most white collar jobs such as filled this building have been lost to technology making workers MORE PRODUCTIVE, hence fewer are needed.

This building probably housed lots of secretarial and clerical people: Personal Computers and word processing/spreadsheet software eliminated them.

Lots of Draftsmen? CAD software replaced armies of them.

Hordes of accountants? Excel makes one accountant capable of doing the work of 10.

etc. etc.

Times changed, Wheeling did not.


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Jan-06-13 7:58 PM

If the local government wants to use taxpayer money on real estate projects, this would be a good opportunity.

Modernize the structure. Create office space.

Announce to the world that tenants can receive 1 free year of rent with a 5-year lease.

Also: reduce or eliminate B&O taxes for tenants of the building.

If there are any Fortune 500 companies that want to move operations to Wheeling, give them the free rent for 1-year/tax break proposal.

I submit that, even if the rents allowed the taxpayers to break even, the publicity and credibility from attracting world class corporations to the city would help to turn the area around.

You can boast "Hey, Company X and Company Y each have 100 employees in back offices in Wheeling."

Once other businesses hear about this, Wheeling might be on their radar.

Of course, I am not in support of ANY tax dollars being used for wasteful projects but.....if you are going to waste it, anyway...

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Jan-06-13 3:28 AM

Bugs the heck out of me that the company failed. That said, despite what Hollywood says, if you build it, doesn't mean anyone will come. Getting that building current would cost a bundle. And once you did it, who would need that much office space?

Remember, that building was built to house hundreds of clerks, who were needed to keep track of a major business in pre-computer days. Even in the Eighties, a significant part of the building was empty.

Unless you already have a tenant lined up, fixing that white elephant would just be another opportunity for politically connected contractors to pick up work at the taxpayers' expense

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