Former school coming down; plans not revealed
By Kelsey Shea
Published: Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The former Northway Elementary School is being demolished, but developers with shopping-center owner Levey & Co. are not yet revealing a master plan for the Shoppes at Northway and the adjacent school property.
The school is being torn down now because “the timing was good to get it done,” said Gary O'Nesti, special projects manager for Levey & Co.
“We're working diligently toward the development program we talked about last year,” O'Nesti said.
Levey & Co., based in Akron, Ohio, acquired the Shoppes at Northway, once called the Northway Mall, for $12 million in November 2012 from Jefferson-Pilot Investments LLC.
Jefferson-Pilot acquired the mall in a foreclosure lawsuit filed against the previous owner, the Northway Group, which failed to pay $23.7 million owed to the main lender on the property, Lincoln National Life Insurance Co.
Levey & Co. purchased the nearby school property April 26 from the North Hills School District for about $2.5 million with plans to add to the shopping-center development.
When the school site was acquired in the spring, developers announced plans to rezone and demolish the building within 18 months so it could be integrated into the master plan for development.
“It's been sort of a quiet, long wait for some of us,” said Craig Linner, president of the Ross Township Business & Economic Development Corp., which goes by RED. “But they did tell us early on that it would be about a year and a half before things began happening, so I'm expecting to see progress in 2014.”
Linner, whose group promotes business in Ross, said he's excited to see progress and hopes the redeveloped Shoppes at Northway will fill the financial “middle hole” between discount stores and high-end retail on McKnight Road.
Shoppes at Northway, the oldest indoor mall in western Pennsylvania, has seen increased vacancies in the past several years, and the future of one of the mall's anchors, Dick's Sporting Goods, is in question.
Dick's officials are planning to open a new store in the McCandless Crossing development less than two miles north on McKnight Road. Calls to Dick's officials inquiring about the future of the Northway location were not returned.
Despite the mall's low traffic, some smaller shops do well in the location, and the owners anticipate a long tenancy in the complex.
Northway Shoes and Repair co-owner Danny DeMarco, 32, of Richland Township said his business is doing well at Northway. “We're excited about the change that's going to take place here,” said DeMarco, who owns the business with his father. Tony. “There's no other place we'd rather be.”
The business expanded into a neighboring space in the spring.
Northway Shoes and Repair has been a staple in the mall since it opened in 1953, and DeMarco and his father have a multiyear lease.
DeMarco estimates the business repairs about 2,000 pairs of shoes each month and said he thinks Levey & Co. has “every intention of making this one of the nicest shopping centers in the country.”
Kelsey Shea is a staff writer at Trib Total Media. Reach her at email@example.com or at 724-772-6353.
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.
- All that Jazz Shaler North Hills Library hosting concert
- Absenteeism of North Hills School Board member causes concern
- Franklin Park man presents program that examines seedier side of Hollywood
- Pine taking steps to alleviate traffic at busy intersection
- Hampton considers adding guidance counselor at high school
- Hampton, Pine, Richland named Banner Communities