Sign On to Support Bloomfield's Future
ShurSave is at the heart of the Bloomfield we love.
Echo Realty, the new owner, hasn’t created a clear development plan yet. Our community has a strong neighborhood vision for what an inclusive, equitable development looks like, and the developer asked to learn about this vision in detail.
Sign your name to this statement to support a development that furthers our neighborhood values of equity, inclusion, affordability, and accessibility.
BLOOMFIELD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
OPEN LETTER TO NEW PROPERTY OWNERS OF SHUR SAVE PARCEL
February 7, 2020
Echo Realty called BDC early today (2/7) to acknowledge they are the new owners of Shur Save site. Specializing in redevelopment of grocery centers, we are optimistic that the new development will include a grocery store. Echo is currently developing the Shadyside Giant Eagle site (on Penn Avenue), which includes a grocery store, affordable housing, and mobility improvements.
Echo Realty, to whom this letter is addressed, recently purchased the Shur Save parcel at 4401 Liberty Avenue for $5.78 million. We have hope from our conversation initiated by you that the call was the first step in a positive, productive dialogue between you and the community. We are excited to discuss your goals for the project, our work in Bloomfield, and the vision the community developed with us for this site.
The Shur Save site is currently the home to a much-beloved and needed grocery store that feeds hundreds of residents every day. Situated at the gateway to the Bloomfield neighborhood, it is also our most visible and iconic property. Because this property means so much to our community, BDC led a series of three community meetings when the property was listed for sale in 2019. With the help of ACTION-Housing and Studio for Spatial Practice, more than 100 residents and stakeholders dug deeply into their hearts and developed a vision for the future of this piece of land. What emerged from those meetings is a comprehensive document that outlines the priorities of the community for any development of the Shur Save site in particular, while also providing guidelines for all new development in the community. Titled “Bloomfield Central Gateway Development Guidelines,” this document encompasses everything we learned from the community through this process, and it reflects the needs and desires of this diverse community for its most important development site.
The top four desired uses which emerged are as follows:
- Food – retention of an affordable supermarket in Bloomfield to ensure food access
- Housing – provision of affordable rental and for-sale housing for a mix of income, ages, abilities, household sizes, etc.
- Community Use – creation of spaces to support community life, health, and culture, including uses such as an affordable gym, a community center, art and performance space, and childcare facilities
- Connectivity and Mobility - create a people-oriented development serving those of all abilities who walk, bike, and take public transit.
This process now directs BDC’s work and is strongly supported by our Councilwoman, Deb Gross. It required us to learn the details of relevant laws, policies, and regulations of the City of Pittsburgh, including those of the Department of City Planning, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment, and others. We gained a clear understanding of how these processes work and where community voices of the BDC as a Registered Community Organization (RCO) can affect outcomes. This process leads to give and take from both sides, resulting in better projects overall for both the developers and the neighborhood. We are confident that this community process will be an asset to you, which we know you recognize by proactively reaching out and asking to meet with BDC staff as soon as possible to go over in detail the work of the community on this site.
We are excited to work with the City of Pittsburgh and the Port Authority of Allegheny County, as well as PennDOT if necessary, early and substantially on this project. Development at this location will have a substantial impact on the public right-of-way due to the high amount of pedestrian, bike, car, and bus traffic through this important corridor of Pittsburgh’s East End. The number of crashes and public safety incidents near the intersection of Liberty Avenue and the Bloomfield Bridge and the adjacent intersections is already far too high. We look forward to working with you on a traffic study that centers the needs of our diverse community
BDC embraces and encourages good development. Based on our contact with you, we know that you are thinking deeply about the impact your investment will have on Bloomfield and the surrounding neighborhoods. We look forward to working with you to shepherd a productive, community-supported project that reflects and celebrates the character of Bloomfield.