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'Blue Spruce Shoppes' strip mall proposed in Murrysville

| Friday, June 8, 2012, 7:48 p.m.

The former Blue Spruce motel site on Route 22 in Murrysville might soon become a major development called Blue Spruce Shoppes -- with up to 20 shops, an early childhood education center and four restaurants.

The project is proposed by Herky Pollock, executive vice president of CBRE Inc.'s Pittsburgh office, and Mark Baranowski, owner of North Park Lounge and Cabana Bar.

Pollock and Baranowski will come before the Murrysville Planning Commission on June 19 for action, following a hearing on Wednesday, said Jim Morrison, chief administrator for the borough.

The motel and swimming pool were demolished about a year ago, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Westmoreland County Redevelopment Authority, Morrison said.

The two developers are proposing a 64,000-square-foot strip center, which could cost up to $15 million. Developers are considering including a two-story office building, which would increase the development cost, Pollock said.

Pollock was hired by the Camille Naffah estate, owner of the site, to sell the property. He approached Baranowski about purchasing the 6-acre property. Instead, he decided to team up with him to develop the property.

Pollock said he has noticed little retail development in the region, despite retail vacancies in the Pittsburgh market of about 5 percent of the total space available.

"I was motivated to pursue the development on my own because the demand (for retail space) is so strong," he said.

Baranowski plans to open a 5,500-square-foot location there for his North Park Lounge, as well as an 8,000-square-foot outdoor Cabana Bar, when weather conditions permit.

The Goddard School plans to have its own 8,400-square-foot building there. The site of the early childhood education center would include a 7,800-square-foot outdoor play area.

Other potential tenants are Starbucks, Moe's Southwest Grill and Sincerely Yogurt.

Three other buildings will house multiple businesses.

"We look forward to working with the other developers," Morrison said.

"The project is a gateway to Westmoreland County and Murrysville. As such, we are desirous of making this development not only vital and vibrant but also unlike anything else in the region. It will become a community meeting-and-greeting establishment, rather than simply a shopping center," Pollock said.

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