ShareThis Page
News

Retail, restaurant space to rejuvenate abandoned site

| Thursday, March 13, 2003

A dilapidated McKeesport property is getting new life thanks to a Squirrel Hill developer.

Barry L. Stein purchased the Midtown Plaza site in September at sheriff's sale. The developer was able to purchase the property, on which the former owners owed more than $300,000 in taxes, for approximately $90,000, Charles Starett, director of the McKeesport Redevelopment Authority said.

"He's taking an essentially vacant property and placed it back on the tax rolls," Starett said. "He had a vision for revitalization."

As part of the development, the parking garage on the second floor of the building located in downtown McKeesport and the deck over Fifth Avenue is being demolished.

"We wanted to eliminate that tunnel effect, eliminate the dark spots," Stein said.

Stein said he plans to renovate the abandoned first floor retail space -- approximately 20,000 square feet along Fifth Avenue and another 40,000 square feet between Fifth and Sixth avenues -- into an assortment of retail and restaurant space.

The developer said he also has found a financial institution -- which he declined to name -- that is interested in moving into a vacant bank with drive-up window already on site.

Stein, who said he also is looking at a piece of property in Duquesne, said he was particularly interested in the McKeesport location because it is across from EchoStar, a company that employees approximately 1,200 people.

"There is nowhere for (those employees) to eat," he said.

Starett and the redevelopment authority piqued Stein's interest in the project and brought him together with the city, which owned the parking garage portion of the structure, Stein said.

Starett said an apartment complex, which is in another section of the downtown building, is owned by a company in Arizona.

Construction on the development of the retail space, which will cost approximately $2 million, is expected to start within the next month.

"We're going to spend an amount of money and the tenants are going to spend an amount of money," he explained.

Stein said once the retail portion is developed he may consider turning the former parking garage portion of the building into office space.

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.

click me