Proposed retail strip looking for first tenant

February 23, 2014
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Jim McNutt/Observer-Reporter
Oil & Gas Safety Supply is preparing to move into the former Elby’s at the rear of Washington Mall in South Strabane Township. Order a Print
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Charles Keller

Washington Square is heading toward square one.

Construction has yet to begin on the strip mall project in the Tylerdale section of Washington, but David Glickman is upbeat about its future between Jefferson and Allison avenues.

“We’re still actively marketing the property and hoping to land some tenants soon,” said Glickman, commercial real estate broker for the site. “We hope to have the first lease within two months. If we secure leases, we will begin construction as soon as possible.”

He is director of retail services for Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, a global real estate service firm based locally in downtown Pittsburgh. He estimates that 22,000 square feet of space will be available for retail shops and professional offices.

The strip mall is planned for an undeveloped two-acre site, across Jefferson from Veltri Cleaners and just west of the busy intersection with Wylie Avenue.

Glickman said in September: “It’s going to be more retail in nature. We’re looking mainly for neighborhood-like tenants: Restaurants, hair salons, boutiques, dentists – any tenant who would like to go into a nice, modern neighborhood center,”

Washington Square also is the name of a mixed-use complex in North Franklin Township, near Consol Energy Park.

New mall tenant

A new tenant will arrive around tax time at a mall taxed by disrepair and defections,

Oil & Gas Safety Supply will be opening in Washington Mall in April. The company specializes in safety products and flame-resistant clothing for workers in the oil, gas and coal fields.This will be the second Oil & Gas store in the immediate area, the other being at 1230 Jefferson Ave, Washington.

The new Oil & Gas location will be in an annex building at the rear of the South Strabane Township mall, occupied originally by an Elby’s restaurant and most recently by CiCi’s Pizza. It will have 5,500 square feet of space.

The company has hung an large banner at the front of the building, announcing in yellow lettering on a green background: “Opening in April!” Oil & Gas opened a second site last June in St. Clairsville, Ohio.

Washington Mall, which opened in 1968, is losing two more tenants. In a cost-slashing move, J.C. Penney announced Jan. 15 that it will close 33 underperforming stores nationwide by early May. They include the one in South Strabane, which will cost 100 jobs.

Designer Furniture Warehouse announced in late December it was liquidating its merchandise at its DFW Furniture store at the mall and at seven others in the region as a result of bankruptcy proceedings. A “Going out of business forever sale” signed is emblazoned on the storefront.

Attorney honored

The National Conference of Bar Presidents has presented the 2014 Fellow Award to Charles C. Keller, senior counsel of the Washington law firm Peacock Keller.

The award, in its 10th year, goes to a past president of a bar association who has shown continuous dedication to the legal profession and to community service.

Keller is still practicing law and has been for more than six decades. He was president of the Washington County Bar Association in 1965 and of the Pennsylvania Bar Association from 1982-83. Keller also is a past president of the Washington County Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the bar association. He helped to launch the foundation in 1989 and is now a trustee.

His list of community service includes: being president and director of the Washington County Easter Seals Society, Mon Valley United Way, Mon Valley Hospital, Mon Valley Health and Welfare Council, and the California Area Chamber of Commerce; and work with the Pennsylvania State Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America and Washington County Community Foundation.

Keller also is known for his work with Rotary International, for which he was president in 1987-88. He has been a member of the Rotary Club of California since 1950.

Pitching for savers

Move over, Jason Grilli. Washington Financial wants to be a Saves leader.

America Saves Week begins today, and the Washington-based bank is pitching in to push people to establish a savings plan and savings goal.

America Saves Week, which will run through Saturday, is organized by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council. It encourages organizations to promote positive savings methods and people to evaluate their savings habits and goals.

Washington Financial urges customers to track their spending for two weeks using FinanceWorks, the bank’s money management tool that is available online.

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won seven individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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