Design changes delay Giant Eagle Express/GetGo project in Peters

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By Rick Shrum

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After an auspicious beginning, the Giant Eagle Express/GetGo project is on hold in Peters Township.


Construction at the site, at the intersection of Route 19 and Circle Drive, halted a few weeks ago. Dick Roberts, spokesman for Giant Eagle, said that design changes by the company led to the stoppage.


“Due to modifications that are being made to our building design, construction timing has been delayed,” Roberts said in a statement last week. “We continue to work closely with local officials to deliver an exciting new shopping experience that best meets the needs of area shoppers.”


Roberts did not have a timetable for resumption of construction.


The project began swiftly, with the clearing of the former South Hills Ford site, followed by earth-moving and grading. Metal framework was erected for the 16 gasoline pumps that will be installed at the Get Go.


That framework, an earth-mover, a few trailers and a massive mound of earth at the front center are the only things on the site.


A car wash will accompany the GetGo gas area, both of which will be adjacent to the 14,000-square foot Express.


The store will be a smaller version of the full Giant Eagle supermarket in the township, near McMurray Road. Commonly shopped grocery items, including produce and prepared foods, will be available. The Express also will feature a pharmacy and a cafe at which beer will be served.


This will be Giant Eagle’s third Express, following the original in Harmar, Allegheny County, and one in Indiana, Pa.


Pep Boys coming

Manny, Moe and Jack are heading to South Strabane.


Pep Boys, an all-things auto chain, will be locating on Murtland Avenue in the township. The company is renovating the former Eagle I Trucking structure on the northbound side, up from the AAA office and a Starling Marte throw down from the Washington line.


Township Manager John Stickle said he had no time frame on when the chain plans to open here. The phone number for the company’s media relations office was not in service and the office did not return an emailed request for information.


Stickle said the township approved a building permit for Pep Boys for interior renovation, and that the company is not expanding the building, which in another previous incarnation was an Amoco service station.


Pep Boys, headquartered in Philadelphia, repairs and maintains autos and sells parts, primarily tires. It was founded there in 1921 by four guys not named Pep: Manny Rosenfeld, Moe Strauss, Jack Jackson and Moe Radavitz. Three, not four, form the corporate logo (there is a Moe redundancy).


The company has 767 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including 56 in Pennsylvania.


Old Mill update

Speaking of South Strabane . . .


It’s never quiet, literally, when tons of earth are being moved. But metaphorically, the Old Mill project is generating only sounds of silence at the moment.


“There’s nothing really newsworthy happening,” said Andy Boyd, senior asset manager for The Staenberg Group, a shopping center developer working on the shopping complex that, until early May, had been known as The Foundry.


Boyd said that site work and the processing of permits are the only things shaking at the 104-acre site, although he and his group are “getting very close” to securing tenants – retail outlets and restaurants. After applying for a building permit for the first set of shops, Boyd expects construction to begin in August.


Phase I of this revived project will feature construction of three buildings behind the Olive Garden restaurant, one of two businesses operating on the site off the southbound lanes of Route 19. Max & Erma’s restaurant is the other.


Stickle said plans call for the buildings to offer “roughly” 28,000, 23,000 and 1,000 square feet of retail space, to be constructed on 7 acres.


Land subsidence behind the massive retaining wall at The Foundry caused cracks in the floors and walls of three stores that opened there, forcing their closure by mid-2008. Bed Bath & Beyond and Ross Dress-for-Less departed the area and J.C. Penney relocated back to Washington Mall.


Max & Erma’s, unaffected by subsidence, endured as the lone Foundry tenant for more than four years, until Olive Garden opened in December.


Marshalls store prep

“Jingle Bells” may ring in the new store at Washington Crown Center – Marshalls.


Michael Joyce, mall general manager, said there isn’t a target date for the big-box retailer to open, but he estimated a time frame of “before Christmas.”


It could be well before that. The large retail impact of Black Friday could press Marshalls to push for a pre-Thanksgiving opening.


Renovations have begun on the 25,000-square-foot store, which will be on the site of the former Black Rose Antiques and Collectibles, which left in February. It will be adjacent to Sears.


Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, based in Philadelphia, owns and manages Crown Center.


PICPA chapter lead

A numbers man at Southpointe is No. 1 in his field locally.


William R. Unger, of Siemens Industry Inc., was elected recently as president of the Southwestern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Institute of Cerified Public Accountants. He will serve during the 2013-14 fiscal year.


Unger, a Greensburg resident, is divisional accounting manager specializing in financial reporting at Siemens. He also is on PICPA’s Southwestern Chapter Schools and Colleges Committee and received his master’s degree at Waynesburg University.


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