Duquesne University to open pharmacy in the Hill

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Duquesne University plans to open a pharmacy in the Hill District by the end of the year, creating a much-needed service that the community has lacked for a decade, officials said today.

The pharmacy would be the first in the neighborhood since an Eckerd Pharmacy closed in 2000, forcing residents to travel to Oakland, Downtown or the South Side to fill prescriptions. Some older residents must depend on pharmacies that deliver medication.

"It's a terrible inconvenience," said Victor Roque, interim president of the Hill House Association, who called the university's project "a wonderful development."

The pharmacy will be designed and operated by Duquesne's School of Pharmacy, said Duquesne spokeswoman Bridget Fare.

The university plans to announce its intentions tomorrow at the pharmacy's future location, the Triangle Shops Plaza on Centre Ave., across from the Hill House Association.

"It's just another step in bringing the Hill District back," said Mr. Roque.

Stakeholders in the Hill District, a once-thriving neighborhood that in its heyday was the heart of Pittsburgh's black community, have for years tried to bring basic amenities like a pharmacy and a grocery store to the area.

In November 2009, Kuhn's Market withdrew plans to build a 40,000-square-foot full-service grocery on Centre Ave. Those plans had included a pharmacy.

The Hill House Association and the Urban Redevelopment Authority still intend to open a grocery. Hill House senior vice president Marvin Prentice said they are currently talking with three potential operators for the store, which would be located one block from the future site of the Duquesne University pharmacy.


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