Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ross Park Mall changes...

As you've all heard me spout about in the past, big changes are coming to Ross Park Mall. The shopping facility is attracting more upscale retailers with the opening of Nordstrom's this fall.

From the Post Gazette:

The North Hills mall has been under renovation for months, as construction crews replaced the former Lazarus department store structure with a 138,000-square-foot store made just for Nordstrom. The expansion also includes adding other store spaces next to the enclosed mall. Inside, a number of existing tenants have been moving or closing, as management prepares for the new anchor.

The newest announcements follow a string of tenant signings in recent months. Other stores expected to open include jeweler Tiffany & Co., clothing stores BCBGMaxAzria, White House/Black Market, L.L.Bean and Martin + Osa, a new concept from South Side retailer American Eagle Outfitters.

Change also has come inside some established stores. The Sears store at the mall has expanded its Land's End store-within-a-store concept to cover 43,000 square feet. The company said only a few of those around the nation are that big.

Yes, upscale isn't always bad, but mall management must keep in mind that turning the shopping facility into the Galleria in Mt. Lebanon would be a terrible decision. Terrible.

I took a trip up to Ross Park mall last week and noticed the changes underway. My problem isn't necessarily with the fact that new retailers tend to be upscale it is with the type of stores at Ross Park. There is little diversity among them.

Most are shoe stores, clothing stores or department stores. Would it be so difficult to throw in a decent book store, electronics store or something a little different that could set the mall apart?

When it comes to retailers that have left or will be leaving Ross Park Mall, officials at the Shoppes at Northway would be crazy not to try and woo some of them. Remember, there is a huge piece of vacant retail space at Northway after Value City closed earlier this year.

Working to keep you posted...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Local papers to call it quits...

The McKnight Journal and North Journal newspapers will end their run by the end of the month. While the McKnight Journal only operated for a couple years, North Journal provided coverage of Northern Allegheny County for a LONG time.

These two North Hills-related weekly newspapers are not the only ones being cut from Gateway Newspapers. Other publications facing the chopping block include papers in Oakmont, Cory/Moon, Bridgeville, Penn Hills and Woodland Hills.

While it is sad to see these important publications go, it frankly doesn't come as a shock to this Tattler. You see, I wrote for the McKnight Journal for more than 4 years and left my position last August. I've always felt that a bright future wasn't in store for Gateway Newspaper given the leadership at the helm.

Management in the upper echelon of the company was inadequate at best. Newspaper staff did a good job given the fact that micromanagement ran rampant ever since the Trib bought Gateway Newspapers a couple years ago.

Reminiscent of what happened to North Hills News Record all those years ago, the powers that be at the Trib accomplished ruining yet another worthwhile publication.

I'll let you know if I hear anything else about this. This whole situation totally disgusts me.

Working to keep you posted...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Italian Restaurant closes...

Hey all,

Sorry for yet another hiatus but I'm back -- finally! One reader commented that I'm a "lazy blogger", which is somewhat correct as I've been known to get lazy every now and then :)

Well, I stopped down to Don Parmesan's along McKnight Road in Ross Towne Center recently and noticed that they have shut their doors. There was a sign posted that said along the lines of "Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to open).

This note could mean a variety of things. The restaurant could have went out of business or it could be simply a problem with an utility. At this point, I'm unsure if they have closed for good. This story is developing.

It's great to be back!

Working to keep you posted...