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Brentwood, county officials show plans for a new shopping center

Saturday, May 15, 1999

By Al Lowe, Tri-State Sports & News Service

Brentwood and Allegheny County officials, along with Giant Eagle representatives, were able to announce all the specifics yesterday regarding a $28 million development project designed to replace the current Brentwood-Whitehall Shopping Center.

They knew all the answers except one. It still does not have a name.

Brentwood school officials had rejected Giant Eagle's proposed name of Brentwood Town Center for the 10-acre complex of office and retail buildings which will have a 73,000-square-foot Giant Eagle as its centerpiece.

So Brentwood Mayor Ron Arnoni yesterday announced a contest to name the development with a $500 Giant Eagle gift certificate as the prize. It will be judged by a committee of Arnoni, Dennis Troy from the county's Department of Economic Development, school board President Jim Edwards, council President Nancy Patton and Dick Nimtz, a giant Eagle representative.

Officials also announced the time line for development for the project. In 1999, the post office's bulk mail facility and a connector road beside St. Peter's Episcopal Church will be constructed. Plans call for the demolition of the Brentwood-Whitehall Shopping Center and the construction of an 83,600-square-foot office/retail and 20,000-square-foot retail buildings during the following year.

The new Giant Eagle will be built in 2001, along with the construction of a 3,000-square-foot retail building.

Commissioner Bob Cranmer said he had started the ball rolling when he sought a new grocery store for the community during his term on Brentwood council from 1991 to 1995. This led to the formation of the Brentwood Economic Task Force and the Brentwood Economic Development Corporation, both now defunct, and the newly formed Economic Development South, a nonprofit development corporation, not just for Brentwood but also for Whitehall and Baldwin Borough.

Cranmer said he moved his family here in 1988, the same year Horne's and G.C. Murphy left the shopping center, which many years ago was considered the premiere shopping center in the South Hills.

When he became county commissioner, the development department knew the redevelopment of the shopping center site had high priority and every week he checked on its progress.

The cost of the project will be primarily financed by the owner, Giant Eagle's development companies, and approximately $3.6 million will be through a tax increment financing agreement between Brentwood Borough, Brentwood schools and Allegheny County.



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