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State to add liquor store at Mills mall Village section

| Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Louis B. Ruediger | Tribune-Review
The Village Plaza, near the Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer, is expecting a new state-operated Fine Wine and Good Spirits store to open by Labor Day. Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017.

Residents will soon be able to grab their favorite wine or liquor on their way home from shopping at The Village at Pittsburgh Mills when a liquor store opens later this year.

The store is scheduled to open around Labor Day under the “Fine Wine and Good Spirits” brand.

Shawn Kelly, spokesman for the state Liquor Control Board, said the board has been opening several stores and rebranding old stores over the past year.

He said opening a store at this location was based on several factors including demographics, market trends and sales at surrounding stores.

“Generally, we do look for a store location that would be co-located with a grocery store or a popular shopping center,” Kelly said. “We want to make it as convenient as possible for our customers.”

Kelly said the store's interior will be separated by colors distinguishing the wine and liquor with educational materials and cash registers in the middle of the store.

The space is being leased for 10 years from VPM Associates of Bryn Mawr, which owns the 7-acre parcel of The Village that includes stores on both sides of Pittsburgh Mills Boulevard.

Attempts to contact VPM Associates were unsuccessful.

Kelly said the store will be in the space that is Catherine's, a women's clothing store.

Calls made to Catherine's were not immediately returned.

Tony Stephens, general manager for the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills — the large indoor mall, itself — said he isn't worried the store in the nearby strip shopping center will affect business.

The mall already has Windgate Vineyards & Winery, which sells wine. Messages left at the winery were not returned.

“I think that similar stores, they're often located within proximity of each other and operate successfully,” Stephens said. “Our leasing team is consistently, constantly working to provide a mix of retail and restaurants, and we'll continue to work on it.”

The Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills will be put up for sale at a foreclosure auction by Wells Fargo. & Co. on Jan. 18. The bank, which is owed $143 million by developers Mills Corp. and Zamias Services, foreclosed on the property in November 2015.

Stephens has previously said the sale of the mall won't affect its day to day operations.

He said he welcomes new stores to the area, even outside the mall, itself.

“Growth is always good, so we welcome the growth,” he said.

Kelly said the store will provide about seven new jobs.

“We're anxious to get the project started,” he said.

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4680 or emilybalser@tribweb.com.

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