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South Hills

Pleasant Hills shopping center sold to California real estate investor

| Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, 9:00 p.m.

A three-store shopping center in Pleasant Hills, featuring the area's first Starbucks, was sold to a private commercial real estate investor from California for $5.3 million.

The shopping center, once a freestanding home to Pier 1 Imports then Party City, opened in July with Aspen Dental and T-Mobile. Starbucks, the center's anchor store, opened Oct. 2.

“Starbucks was really the driving force in this development,” said Isaac Gold, director of real estate at Columbus-based Skilken|Gold Real Estate Development which redeveloped the site.

The fourth-generation family business seeks out properties across the country where the retail corridor is thriving and finds a void, Gold said.

Starbucks had been looking for a location in the Pleasant Hills area for three years, Gold said. The Pleasant Hills store features a new nitrogen-nfused coffee system, which is installed in less than 1,000 out of the 13,327 stores across the U.S.

Skilken|Gold purchased the property in June 2016 and completed a 14-month redevelopment of the site.

Allegheny County real estate records show the property was purchased in June 2016 by PA 420 LLC for $1.5 million. County real estate records do not yet list the latest purchase of the shopping center.

Gold, who declined to identify the buyer, said the new owner sold a vineyard in California to purchase the shopping center, in hopes of visiting Pittsburgh and the Oakmont Country Club more.

The new shopping center brings new retailers to the area, or allowed old ones, in the case of Aspen Dental, to relocate and stay in the area. It also cleans up an “eyesore” that was sitting vacant for years.

Skilken|Gold saw the troubled Century III mall as a positive for the project. The area surrounding the mall is thriving, Gold said. The mall likely will be redeveloped, he said. At that point, it can only bring more traffic to the area.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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