Downtown Pittsburgh undergoes retail, residential rebirth
When Brooks Brothers renewed its lease for five years at 600 Smithfield St., Downtown, it was a sign that the Golden Triangle will retain a retail image.
Downtown's retail industry is benefiting from an increased residential population, including university and technical school students.
In recent years developers have established apartments and condominiums to lure residents to Downtown and restore after-hours activity there.
The 2010 U.S. Census found an estimated 7,796 people living Downtown, a 21.3 percent increase over the 2000 Census. Many newcomers own condominiums, built during the past 10 years, while others have moved into apartments, many of them developed out of former office buildings, such as 201 Stanwix Street or the 60-unit Century Building on Seventh Avenue.
Although there were 2,079 rental apartments counted as of the second quarter of 2012, hundreds of apartment units have been added since then. Most of them are in former office buildings, such as the 158 units in 201 Stanwix St., the former Verizon Building.
PMC Properties of Philadelphia, which owns 201 Stanwix, is slowly adding more rental units in former office buildings scheduled to come on line either this year or 2014.
Despite the loss of Saks Fifth Avenue, Downtown still has Macy's department store and Burlington Coat Factory among more than 210 retailers. What shoppers will find Downtown — but perhaps not at shopping malls — are more than 26 jewelry outlets, two fur stores, a number of flower shops and bookstores, specialized retailers such as Cartridge World and The Headgear, and gift shops, including those in the August Wilson Center and the Heinz 57 Center.
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership President and CEO Jeremy Waldrup is helping lead a strategy to attract and retain retailers.
“We are working with the Port Authority to develop a transit circulation route that will bring consumers to the retailers,” he said. “I'm getting a lot of calls from retailers who are not Downtown but are interested in opening a store, but I find there is not a lot of space in the sizes they need to locate Downtown.”
A recent “pop-up” promotion that brought new retailers Downtown resulted in at least two planning to stay, Waldrup said.
“One is Dream Cream, an ice cream facility, located beside Taste of Downtown, in the 500 block of Liberty Avenue,” he said.
Though no leases are signed, retailers including TJ Maxx and Dress for Less are said to be considering Downtown locations.
To meet the retail goal, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation is working with the city to develop an area along Fifth Avenue and Wood Street that would emphasize women's stores, such as Boutique la Passerelle at 417 Wood St.
In the Market Street and Fifth Avenue area, Heinz Healy's men's clothing store and the Nettleton Shoe Shop relocated.
The mayor's office and the city's Urban Redevelopment Authority initiated a Downtown plan, inviting businesses, organizations, universities and public officials to take part. The three-year strategy aims to develop branding and marketing, improve public infrastructure and recommend ways to enhance safety and walkability.
Sam Spatter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7843 or email@example.com.
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.
- U-PARC houses companies ranging from innovative to traditional
- Deported migrants find home at call centers
- Students walk shop class path to excellence
- Lower your cable bill by streaming shows
- Compelling cases exist for cashing out, staying in as stock market soars
- Young adults drive home rental trend in Western Pennsylvania
- Hershey unwraps new corporate logo
- States clear way for startups to use crowdfunding
- Fiat-Chrysler shares may hit market soon
- Dairy Queen victim of malware attack
- Banks Gas Services finds success in jobs outside shale industry