PITTSBURGH, PA (October 11, 2021) Mayor William Peduto has announced that the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) will enter lease negotiations with locally-owned and family-run Salem’s Market & Grill, LLC to open a grocery store in the former SHOP ‘n SAVE site at the Centre Heldman Plaza in the Hill District. The URA selected Salem’s following a community process coordinated with City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle and the Hill Community Development Corporation (CDC).
“I am grateful to all those who participated in the thorough process with the Hill community to identify a grocery store partner who will serve the needs of the community and be a hub tenant in the Centre Heldman Plaza and Centre Avenue business district,” said Mayor Peduto. “Salem’s has a proven record for providing high quality food and products and supporting our minority communities. We look forward to working with them on this expansion project.”
Interested grocery stores and markets submitted applications to be considered to fill the vacant grocery store site. Four finalist applicants presented to the community last month as part of the Hill CDC’s Development Review Panel, where residents shared their views and preferences by filling out an online scorecard for each candidate.
Based on the scorecards, the URA announced this week that they have selected Salem’s, who received the highest rating from the local community. Salem's Market & Grill has been a locally-run minority-owned business for over 40 years, with their original store located on Penn Avenue in the Strip District. Their application highlighted how they could collaborate with and contribute to the Hill District community after reviewing the Greater Hill District Master Plan and Centre Avenue Redevelopment and Design Plan.
“Salem's Market locating to the Hill District is a tremendous win both for Salem's and the Hill District community,” said Councilman Lavelle. “It affords Salem's the ability to grow and expand, while providing the community with a much-needed grocery store and restaurant. What's more, given Salem's well established customer base, the new grocery store and restaurant will bring considerable foot traffic to Centre Avenue, which will help support efforts underway to build back Centre Avenue as a business corridor.”
Some of the benefits they believe that they can bring to complement the neighborhood include:
“The URA purchased the Centre Heldman Plaza to ensure there is a transparent conversation about which grocery store would best fit the needs of the Hill District community,” said URA Deputy Executive Director Diamonte Walker. “We want to thank Mayor Peduto, Councilman Lavelle and the Hill CDC for committing to a community-centered process that continues our recent record of revitalizing the Hill District with local, minority-owned businesses. We look forward to entering into good-faith lease negotiations with Salem’s.”
The City, URA and Councilman Lavelle have worked closely with the Hill community to attract community-driven tenants to the Centre Heldman Plaza, including CARES CommuniTEA Café, Catapult Minority Business Incubator and G’s Closet. Additional information about the plaza can be found here.