West Elm to open store in Bakery Square

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Residents who move into the new housing to be built at Bakery Square 2.0 in the East End won't have to go very far to pick up furniture, bedding or home accents.

West Elm, an upscale contemporary furniture and housewares retailer, plans to open its first store in Pittsburgh in mid-September at Bakery Square, a development across Penn Avenue from its sister development, Bakery Square 2.0.

Walnut Capital, the developer behind both of the projects, has signed a lease with New York City-based West Elm, which will occupy 8,000 square feet of space in the Larimer development.

Gregg Perelman, Walnut Capital managing partner, said the retailer -- which he described as a "very cool, hip furniture store" -- will be a perfect complement to the residential units the developer is building a short walk away.

"It's going to fit in real well with the rental properties we are doing," he said. "Those tenants are going to want that type of furniture for their apartments. It works out real well."

Walnut Capital is planning 350 apartments and 57 townhouses at Bakery Square 2.0. The first apartment building, with 175 rental units, is expected to be ready for occupancy in June.

Mr. Perelman said West Elm, a subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma, also will be a good complement to two other existing Bakery Square retailers, Anthropologie and Free People.

On its website, West Elm says its mission is to "make it simple to express your personal style at home with unique, affordable, authentic, responsible products." The retailer's only stores in Pennsylvania are in King of Prussia and Philadelphia. It also has a store in Columbus, Ohio.

West Elm had considered opening a store at Bakery Square in 2009 but backed off because of the recession.

"This is the rebirth of it," said Todd Reidbord, Walnut Capital president.

Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.

First Published February 10, 2014 1:34 PM

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