Food on the Hill with a 'silver' lining

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

The Hill District's first supermarket in at least 25 years is set to break ground in several months on the Downtown side of the Triangle Shops complex, between Dinwiddie and Heldman Streets on Centre Avenue.

Architect Ralph Murovich said the 31,000 square-foot full-service market will comply with the U.S. Green Building Council's silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. The building will have a partial green roof to hide the heating and cooling equipment, to catch storm water and provide insulation, he said.

I couldn't get any calls back today from neighborhood representatives, but at meetings in the Hill for years, people have been aggitating for a full service grocery store. From the start, developers and planners of this project brought the neighborhood along. The first meeting was at the Hill House, across the street from the site. At early meetings, the neighborhood rejected Aldi's because it seemed cut-rate and they weren't going to settle. The Hill District's Consensus Group made sure the neighborhood is getting what it wants and needs.

The Hill House Economic Development Corp. and Pittsburgh Economic and Industrial Development Corp., an arm of the Urban Redevelopment Authority have been negotiating with the Kuhn's chain, although a lease has not been signed yet.

The store and a row of retail shops adjacent to it will stretch to Heldman Street and consume a lot that is currently vacant and overgrown.
It will have a parking lot entrance and a Centre Avenue entrance because many shoppers will be walking

"The plans are looking really good," said Mr. Murovich.

Centre Avenue is looking really good. The New Granada theater has a veil over it; restoration has begun at that historic site. Possibly an outdoor cafe will sit across Heldman from new townhouses. Pedestrian traffic is more multi-cultural than it has been in years. A new Carnegie Library branch is just a few blocks east. And the overall scene benefits greatly from having the Hill House as an anchor.

Soon, Hill residents won't have to take a bus to buy greens, tomatoes, corn and all the other wholesome foods that other neighborhoods take for granted. We at Walkabout are big fans of the Hill and hope lots of other goodies follow..

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