Tuesday, February 6, 2007

New Northway Stores...

Since Shoppes at Northway plans have gotten the OK from Ross Twp Planners, one has to wonder what stores are coming to the mall. So far, this Tattler has found out the following:

* Homestyles & More - This opened in the late fall on the upper level of the mall across from Dick's Sporting Goods. It is an "interior gallery of fine designer furniture, home accents and more...

This is one store that seems out of place in the Shoppes. Its location seems generally empty and the merchandise does not fill the retail space adequately. This Tattler thinks that the store is a bit too upscale for Northway and would find a better customer base at the Galleria in Mt. Lebanon, South Side Works or various areas in Wexford and Cranberry.

* Pennsylvania Barber School - This is set to open in the first quarter of this year. It will be located next to Homestyles and is a combination barber shop and school.

This seems like a good move for the Shoppes at Northway because the region is in need of a business like this. From what this Tattler understands, barber shops regularly have trouble finding professionally trained barbers because their schools are few and far in betweeen. That is why some have been forced to hire beauticians or salon workers rather than actual barbers.

The barber school will also be a place where you can get a cheap haircut while the students perfect what they have learned.

* The Kid Company - This is an indoor play facility that will feature a gym, miniature bowling alley, bumper cars and more. It will be located where the food court was and will open this spring.

This sounds like an interesting idea to this Tattler because there is nothing else like it in the immediate area. The only other nearby locations would be Wildwood Highlands in North Park and a similar facility in Cranberry.

However, one must remember that an indoor play area used to be at Northway when Discovery Zone was located there. It left the mall several years ago to make way for Fox & The Hound Restaurant.

Although it seems as if The Kid Company will offer much, I guess only time will tell if they can find success at Northway.

* Shoe Carnival - The shoe store based out of Indiana will be the logical replacement for Payless, which vacated the retail facility late last year.

* Mama Lucia's Restaurant - The pizza parlor is currently located in the food court but is in process of constructing a sit down restaurant in the Shoppes at the former Radio Shack and Payless locations. The restaurant will "offer an expanded menu including desserts, espresso as well as outdoor seating."

This Tattler thinks this is another good move for Northway. Offering another sit-down food establishment will enhance the attractiveness of the mall.

* Northway Dollar - The discount store will move to the lower level across from Value City. Their new, expanded store is expected to open in March.

As a dollar store enthusiast, this Tattler believes Northway Dollar is one of the best in the North Hills. Aside from a very large dollar store in Cranberry, everything pales in comparison to Northway Dollar. It can only please this shopper that the store will offer more value-priced items.

However, store owners must be careful not to make the store too big because then it will lose all of its attractive. Remember, that was one of the main problems with a store that was at the current location of Dunham's and Steinmart.

As long as they offer good merchandise, this Tattler cannot see why Northway Dollar wouldn't thrive in their new location.

* If development plans are approved, three exterior buildings will be constructed in various areas of the parking lot.

I would not expect them to be restaurants because that will drastically affect how much parking will be needed. There was talk in the past that mall officials were in discussions with a grocery store or market, however this Tattler has heard nothing of those talks recently.

So, there it is. One can easily visualize how some of these changes will breathe new life into Shoppes at Northway. But what do you think? Or do you have any ideas of which stores would be good for the exterior buildings?

Post a comment and let's get that discussion going.

Working to keep you posted...

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