Buyers of the former JCPenney building in Lower Barrel will bring in some work after refurbishing and calming down to a site that has been vacant for 17 years.
Earlier this week, Chaedler Yesco, a power distribution and supply company at RIDC Park in Ohara, announced that it would buy a building of approximately 185,000 square feet at Barrel Plaza. According to company officials, it is scheduled to open in the summer of 2023.
Lower Burrell will serve as the company’s main distribution center in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties and beyond, said Gary Menor, territory manager at Shadler Yesco.
He said the lower barrel site started with more than 30 employees and will grow as the company continues to grow.
The company is excited about the opportunity
It’s hard to tell who’s happy about buying the biggest parcel at Burrell Plaza. City officials and residents, or Schaedler Yesco.
“We are excited not only about the new business at Lower Barrel, but also about the potential it brings,” said Councilor Chris Fabri.
He and councilor David Stoltz prioritized attracting new businesses to the city.
“The square is one of the foundations of the barrel, and hopefully it will serve as a catalyst for other parts of our city to do the same as it continues to grow and prosper.” Said Fabry.
Meanor has been driving for 16 months to find the perfect place.
“We are just as excited as they are,” he said, and plans to add a plaza site design and refurbishment plan.
“The company was at a crossroads and needed larger facilities that were strategically located,” he said. “The proximity to Allegheny and Westmoreland counties is important to us.”
They will leave the current RIDC Park site at the end of next year’s lease and will find a small facility in the Pittsburgh area.
Fabry disease does not yet know the full financial impact of tax revenues from the sale of an old department store, but it has a trickle-down effect on local businesses.
“Another good part of the deal is that Schaedler Yesco brings a lot of people to the city, including employees and contractors, who have no other reason to come here,” Stoltz added. I did.
Life after a big box store
Buyers and tenants have transferred the empty old JCPenney building for 17 years, but Schaedler Yesco bought the site because of its size and strategic location.
The parcel was listed by Newmark Real Estate for $ 2.4 million. The final selling price is not yet available.
Revitalizing the vacant JCPenney is a coveted spark for a seemingly tired shopping hub.
The departures of the Plaza’s two largest anchor stores, the Montgomery Ward in 2001 and the JCPenney in 2005, have significantly curtailed shopping in the lower barrels.
A series of discount department stores enter and exit the space of the nearby Hillcrest Shopping Center, where the Hills Department Store was once moored. Rose discount stores are open there today, but traffic in the area is much lighter.
To make matters worse, the large empty parking lots and vacant buildings at Barrel Plaza looked shabby year after year.
“long time no see”
Some relief came when the U-Hall moved to the front end of the Montgomery Ward Building in 2017.
“Before the U-Hall moved, when I passed the square, it looked like I lived in the ghetto,” said Christine Schubert, 76, who lives most of her life in the city.
“It’s been a long time, but I’m glad that something finally entered the building.”
She acknowledged Fabry and Storz’s efforts to make it attractive and easy for businesses to come to the city.
“Lower barrels are a great city to live in, but these empty storefronts make a bad impression,” Schubert said.