Luxurious' wine, spirits store on tap
By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Published: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:53 p.m.
A new style of liquor store might be the newest edition to the Blue Spruce Shoppes — despite plans by the state Liquor Control Board to open a similar store about five miles away in Monroeville.
Developer Herky Pollock said he is in negotiations to bring a “luxury” Pennsylvania Wine & Spirits store to an approximately 8,000 square foot retail space in the proposed development along Route 22.
“They are incredible and look like a museum,” Pollock said. “It's an amazing amenity to have here, the crème de la crème. We're bending over backwards for them.”
The state Liquor Control Board has not approved bringing a store to the Blue Spruce Shoppes, said Stacy Kriedeman, spokeswoman for the LCB. Kriedeman confirmed that LCB officials have looked at the site and are in negotiations with a Murrysville developer, but she declined to identify the developer.
In Monroeville, developer Craig Cozza is bringing one of the new Wines & Spirit stores to the former Roth Carpet property along William Penn Highway. The 8,400 square foot store is expected to open in spring.
Currently there is only one of the stores – which are considered a “rebranded store” design by the state Liquor Control Board — open in southwestern Pennsylvania, Kriedeman said.
Kriedeman said the luxury stores are designed with consumers in mind. They include a center table where customers can receive advice, educational information and, in some locations, tastings.
“The stores are designed to be more inviting,” Kriedeman said. “Our goal is to improve the consumer experience from the time they walk in the door.”
Pollock told Murrysville Council last week that he had a verbal agreement in place with the LCB until the municipal planning commission balked at plans to back a tractor-trailer across Old William Penn Highway once a week for deliveries, a fact Kriedeman couldn't confirm. Pollock returned to officials with a plan to turn the truck around on a piece of property adjacent to the development owned by Bill Ramaley.
Chad Brinkley, project manager for the development, said that the LCB is open to having deliveries on whichever day the municipality prefers.
With the possible addition of new tenants, developers have revamped the site plan that council approved in September. Among the changes are a slight decrease in the size of the green space that will replace Banner Parklet, a property owned by the municipality that used to house a gas station. Pollock also has proposed off-site parking across Old William Penn Highway from the development that would be dedicated for employee parking.
That parking arrangement would require a crosswalk be constructed across Old William Penn Highway. Project engineer John Frydrych said the developer would use traffic-calming methods, including signs, to warn drivers that there is a pedestrian crossing.
The crosswalk and the nearby buildings would be designed to match the streetscape theme of town square and would feature soft music to create an ambiance, Brinkley said.
Brinkley said the final building in the development would be two stories. The second floor would have medical offices, while the first floor would house a dentist, a restaurant and a retail store. A bank with a drive-thru also would be in a connected part of the building on the first floor.
The development, which could be approved as early as Dec. 19, also would include an early-childhood education center and two mixed-use buildings that would feature eateries such as Burgatory, North Park Lounge and Starbucks.
Pollock said he hopes to break ground next month and open the complex Nov. 1, 2013.
“We've had pretty ambitious plans, and this is a process,” Pollock said. “We had hoped to break ground several months ago, but now we're hoping to be open for the next holiday season.”
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or email@example.com.
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