Food or Shopping? That is the question that many developers are facing right now. Downtown Pittsburgh is booming with developments popping up everywhere. However, the question that has come up recently is what would perform better downtown. Many restaurants are coming into Pittsburgh at rapid pace, but are those restaurants going to see customers without shops to go to. Keep reading to learn more about this question, and what developments are coming to the city.
When it comes to more dining in downtown Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation is thinking about stepping away from the table for one would-be restaurant.
This morning, longtime PHLF president Arthur Ziegler told me the organization is reconsidering putting a restaurant into the Thompson building redevelopment just off Market Square in order to see if there’s any opportunities for a retailer in the location.
“We haven’t decided,” said Ziegler. “We are trying to evaluate more food or more retail.”
Zeigler suggested the organization is beginning to wonder whether there’s a greater need for retail than more restaurants in downtown right now considering what’s happened with the market there.
Restaurants are rushing in to downtown these days.
The Pittsburgh office of CBRE reports that 26 new restaurants have opened downtown in the past two years, with 12 more on the way. The pace is simply not the same for incoming stores, even though PHLF is working on a number of buildings on Wood Street it is targeting for use by independent women’s clothing stores.
A short walk from the Thompson building that is part of PHLF’s Market at Fifth development that includes a Heinz Healey Gentlemen’s Apparel store and The Nettleton Shoe Shop, most of Market Square is almost entirely occupied by restaurants right now, with the potential for added seating for outdoor dining serving as more of a natural draw for restaurants than stores.
It’s a very different market than when PHLF first announced its plans for the Thompson building in September 2011, announcing at the time that the $2.2 million renovation, pursued with a $1 million grant from the Allegheny Foundation, was fully expected to be a restaurant, working informally with a Florida-based restaurant management firm.
Ziegler said PHLF is still working with the restaurant group and may still go with the same plan for a two-level restaurant in the building that it did two years ago. He expects a final decision will come in the next few weeks as PHLF finishes adding an elevator and stairs in the building.
Construction is expected to be completing in the upcoming months.For more information see BizJournal.