Settlers Ridge to offer Market District, bevy of restaurants
By Rick Stouffer
Published: Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009
Settlers Ridge, the region's newest mega shopping complex, has overcome two years of recession and potential tenant bankruptcies to open its doors to anticipated, eager regional shoppers.
The $100 million project has the demographics and location to attract many retailers either new to, or with a very limited presence across the region, said developers and retail experts.
"We currently are 94 percent leased," said Michael Lebovitz, chief development officer and a member of the family that runs developer CBL & Associates Properties Inc. in Chattanooga, Tenn. — a the publicly-held real-estate investment trust.
Lebovitz gave a tour Wednesday of his company's latest project.
Settlers Ridge's largest tenant, Giant Eagle, is ready to open its latest area Market District store. The 150,000-square-foot facility will open Nov. 5.
"This location allows us to illustrate our ultimate vision for the Market District concept," said Giant Eagle spokesman Rob Borella. "It will offer a mezzanine level, a cooking school, onsite gelato-making — a true world of food."
The Settlers Ridge Market District store is significantly larger than retrofitted Market District locations in Bethel Park and Shadyside. The Robinson site will employ about 650 — including most of the 250 at the Giant Eagle at Robinson Crossroads, which will close Nov. 4, Borella said.
The recession had an impact on the original marketing philosophy for Settlers Ridge. The huge project, off Campbells Run Road, initially was to be a fashion center, built around one major anchor tenant that would draw enough shoppers to entice smaller retailers to get onboard.
In 2007, co-developer Faison Enterprises Inc. told reporters that a Boscov's department store would anchor the complex. More than a year ago, Boscov's filed for bankruptcy and closed stores, including Monroeville Mall and South Hills Village sites, and shelved expansion plans.
During the tour of Settlers Ridge yesterday, Lebovitz said that Faison no longer is involved with Settlers Ridge and that Boscov's never was a part of Settlers Ridge. But he said that CBL's plans for an open-air, fashion-retailer shopping center were dashed because fashion retailers nationwide have been among the hardest-hit retailers by the recession.
"We adjusted our marketing plans to complement a Giant Eagle Market District store, an REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) and a Cinemark movie complex," Lebovitz said. "We pursued restaurants, and we've been very successful."
Cinemark opened two weeks ago, and REI and Panera Bread will open Oct. 30. Others will open in coming months.
Lebovitz also said the economic downturn had no effect on securing financing. Construction financing was provided by PNC Bank, Union Bank of California, Regions Bank and U.S. Bank.
The Giant Eagle Market District store is key to success at Settlers Ridge, according to real estate consultant Burt Flickinger III.
"This is a bad time to be opening any new shopping complex for just about anyone — except someone with Giant Eagle as an anchor," said Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group in New York. "With Giant Eagle as a anchor, a developer can be assured of getting key adjacent tenants."
Not everyone, however, is convinced a Giant Eagle-anchored, open-air retail center will be a complete success.
"Barnes & Noble, LA Fitness and REI are fine tenants, but with Giant Eagle as its primary anchor, Settlers Ridge now is more of a convenience-oriented — rather than fashion-oriented — shopping destination," said John Fox, principal with Fox Real Estate Advisory LLC of Cumberland, Ind.
Fox is familiar with the Pittsburgh retail market, having worked for mall developer-owner Simon Property Group, on its Ross Park Mall and South Hills Village projects.
The consultant said despite three very large retail complexes — Settlers Ridge; Robinson Towne Center-The Mall at Robinson; and The Pointe at North Fayette all in a small area — he doesn't see the new venture negatively impacting its long established competitors.Additional Information:
At a glance
• What: New shopping center, featuring a Giant Eagle Market District supermarket as the anchor tenant; a handful of smaller anchors, including a 16-screen Cinemark movie theater; and a nearby Courtyard by Marriott hotel.
• Location: Off Campbells Run Road in Robinson
• Total acreage: 77 acres
• Size: 600,000 square feet
? Project cost: $100 million
? Other major tenants: LA Fitness, Barnes & Noble, Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)
• Other tenants: Omaha Steaks and restaurants PF Chang's, Cadillac Ranch, First Watch, an 'All-American' restaurant new to Pennsylvania and Saga Japanese Steakhouse, another newcomer to the region
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Steelers know when to say goodbye
- IUP students have raucus early St. Patrick’s Day celebration
- Ex-Colts executive Polian: Approach free agency with caution
- With so many needs, Steelers can ill afford to miss in draft
- Pitt rallies in final seconds of regulation en route to OT win at Clemson
- Steelers defense doesn’t make the grade in 2013 review
- Fashion essentials: Pittsburgh’s style watchers tell what they can’t live without
- Pirates’ big risk with pitch-heavy draft focus might soon pay off
- Duquesne closes regular season with victory over George Mason
- Ukrainians steel to resist Russian aggression
- Eastern European military officers say security, economic ties blunt Russia’s war threat in Ukraine