Recently, local officials conducted a survey among Downtown residents of how they'd like to see their community improved. One of the items on the survey included a grocery store as one of the top amenities sought after among residents. Of the main choices when considering a food store, Giant Eagle topped the list. The Post-Gazette article mentions that Giant Eagle apparently is not only listening to the some 7,000 residents (and growing) of Downtown, but it looks like they might take action.
The article mentions at least two possible locations for a store in which the grocer will likely employ a Giant Eagle Express layout rather than a full-scale grocery store, some of which can be as large as 60,000 square feet. An express location will likely take up to 15,000 square feet and offer a varied, yet limited selection of fresh produce, meats, prepared foods, and other grocery items. Two of the locations include the vacated Saks 5th Avenue store on the corner of Oliver Avenue and Smithfield Street and the former food court in the basement of Two PPG Place.
When looking at this from a land use perspective, it would be interesting if they were to consider a two-level layout rather than the single-story layout you would typically find just about anywhere. Other typical uni-level retail establishments (Target, Wal-mart, etc) have already employed multilevel locations in some urban areas. Speaking of Target, they recently opened up a two-level store in East Liberty. Giant Eagle could follow suit, even with a Giant Eagle Express configuration and offer an even wider variety of groceries and other services and amenities. Considering the idea of the Saks location, such a configuration would definitely be beneficial considering this building is slated for a mixed-use development that includes structured parking and residential, as well as ground-level retail...