Wednesday, October 13, 2004


I'm at a bit of a loss as to why the federal goverment is giving an East Liberty organization a $700,000 grant to open a Shop 'n' Save across the street from an existing Giant Eagle, and not far from a Whole Foods grocery store. (Full disclosure: My father works for Giant Eagle in their corporate HQ.) The store is supposed to create 500 jobs, but it could just as easily cannibalize business from the other two. (I realize Whole Foods isn't in quite the same category as Giant Eagle and Shop 'n' Save. Whole Foods, incidentally, was the beneficiary of a similar grant.) Competition is a good thing, but not when one side gets a boost from government. (Giant Eagle certainly isn't clean--several of their stores have been the beneficiary of tax-increment financing.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe East Liberty Development Corp. was the CDC formerly controlled by Mulu Birru. That East Liberty is now a jumble of stores with no real market reason for existing is testament to the brilliant urban development policies of the URA.

At least the free market put Giant Eagle there. When the grocer vacates the area to seek more lucrative returns elsewhere, I'm sure the URA will blast them for deserting an impoverished neighborhood.

In the meantime, the Hill District can't get a grocery without URA approval because the city owns nearly all the land there. Not that it's being developed. The Hope VI project seems to have collapsed.

So many promises made to so many people, and nothing to show for it. Let the people of Pittsburgh get a belly full. They voted for it.

6:35 PM

Blogger Mark Rauterkus said...

The Giant Eagle in Brentwood got built with a TIF of some sort. Another public funded deal is brewing in Shadyside near the busway. None are clean. But, the blame isn't upon the business folks, in my opinion.

When the URA sells off its assets, then more devopement with private money can begin. Then the floodgates open the other way. We need to right the course.

11:33 AM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

Businesses are doing what businesses are supposed to do--look out for their own best interests and bottom line. It is the role of government to look out for the public interest, something that the state and local governments here stopped doing, if they ever did it, long ago.

1:21 PM


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