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Work progressing on apartment complex in Green Tree

| Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, 3:12 p.m.
Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item
An apartment complex is going up on land previously occupied by the Parkway Center Mall in Green Tree.
Randy Jarosz | For The Signal Item
Store manager John Autieri folds clothing at the Sports Deli's new location across from Parkway Center Mall where they were previously located.
Sports Deli manager John Autieri talks about an apartment complex that is being built behind Parkway Center Mall where his shop was formerly located.

Businesses still operating out of the Parkway Center Mall area say that new development in the area will help boost sales and draw more people.

“The obvious answer is ‘yes,'” said John Autieri, manager of the Sports Deli Pro Sports store. “But until it happens, we just have to wait and see.”

Atlanta-based Oxford Properties has been developing a 272-unit apartment complex in the vicinity since last year. The complex, City Vista, will include one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Autieri said he has been watching the progress of the apartments and thinks they could at least bring more traffic to the area.

Brown said that could be sooner rather than later. He said the first apartments could open by spring. Rent, he said, will be set around the same time based on the market.

“We don't set the rent until we open,” he said. “We have to look at the market when they open. They're going to be pretty expensive, I would think.”

Despite the downturn in business at the mall, Brown said it is prime area.

“It's the second exit out of town, and the property borders the City of Pittsburgh,” he said. “If you've lived in the city, this is a very good alternative.”

He said the ease of access to Downtown, the Parkway and the airport make it an ideal location – something he said will lead to the redevelopment of the mall itself.

“The mall will eventually — meaning in the not-too-distant future — I'm sure the mall will be redeveloped,” he said. “It's just too valuable of a piece of property.”

It's something Autieri said he hopes to see.

“The big thing that's going to help retail is if the mall reopens or they redevelop it,” he said. “I don't know how much this (the apartments) will help us. It will at least get more traffic going by.”

In addition to the residential development, changes are coming to the hotel on the property as well.

The Best Western Parkway Center Inn will become a Holiday Inn Express this month. Management has begun taking reservations for on or after Dec. 22.

Guest rooms are in the process of being redone with new furniture, bedding, flooring and bathroom fixtures.

Office space and conference rooms, which formerly occupied the seven and eighth floors, have been turned into guest rooms as well.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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