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Downtown barriers to holiday shopping removed

Downtown’s holiday shopping climate is looking up, partly because of the removal of construction equipment from city streets, say business promoters and real estate experts.

“The barriers are down on Fifth Avenue and in Market Square, and the addition of retailers such as Heinz Healey’s, Nettleton shoes and Larrimor’s relocation, have added to the vitality” of Downtown, said Herky Pollock, executive vice president with commercial real estate firm CB Richard Ellis.

Pollock and others point to changes in the past year or two. Although no one keeps a hard count of Downtown stores from year to year, clothing store Boutique la Passerelle opened in April on Wood Street, Doncaster on Fifth opened in October in Piatt Place and a Splash bath store and optical shop are among other new Fifth Avenue businesses.

The rebuilt Market Square includes PPG’s Paint Color & Design Center and several restaurants.

This is the first holiday season for Fairmont Hotel in the new Three PNC Plaza, and for Consol Energy Center, Uptown, both of which draw people to the city.

Higher office occupancy means more workers who shop, said David Glickman, vice president of Grubb & Ellis Retail Group, and more students attend Point Park University and other Downtown schools.

The business district lost fashion retailer Chickdowntown on Liberty Avenue, but that’s about it, said Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership CEO Michael Edwards.

With Downtown’s improved overall ambience, Pollock said, “People are looking to clear off the dust from the last two years, and be much more active with regard to holiday entertaining and shopping.”


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