Grocery cleared to build in Pittsburgh's Friendship section

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By Diana Nelson Jones

A hotly contested design impasse has been resolved to allow the construction of a proposed Bottom Dollar at 5200 Penn Ave in Friendship. It will be the first full-service grocery along that corridor in 25 years, said Aggie Brose, deputy director of the Bloomfield-Garfield Corp.

While Garfield residents embraced the plan, the store's footprint in Friendship, south of Penn, alarmed some residents on the Coral and South Pacific side streets because of its proposed screening design and materials.

Those residents contested in the Court of Common Pleas a zoning board ruling in favor of the proposal last fall. The zoning board had determined the property's configuration on less than one acre needed variances on setback requirements and parking in order to be developed. The store is to be 18,000 square feet. The last full-service store in that area was a Giant Eagle that closed in 1987.

In May, Bottom Dollar revised its plans for screening materials, to which the appellants agreed, and the case was dismissed, Ms. Brose said.

Representatives of the appellants could not be reached for comment.

According to a statement, Brantley Tillman, the president of Commercial Properties Inc., based in Raleigh, N.C., said construction could start by August and be complete early next year.

"We are so excited Penn Avenue is getting its first grocery store in 25 years," said Ms. Brose.

Diana Nelson Jones: or 412-263-1626. Read her blog City Walkabout at

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