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Hill District Could Be Losing Its Grocery Store, Worrying Residents

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Financial problems affecting the Hill House are now impacting business that it helped establish in the Hill District.

The Hill's grocery store could close, so could a bank.

The Hill District Shop 'n Save full service supermarket opened its doors about six years ago in Heldman Plaza, on Centre Avenue. Now, there's every indication its days are numbered.

shop n save
Photo Credit: Bryce Lutz/KDKA photojournalist

There's been no official announcement from Shop 'n Save, but Dollar Bank, which has had a branch office inside the supermarket says it's closing here for good on March 19. Signs were put up in the bank on Tuesday and letters were sent out to customers.

In those letters, the bank said it regretted the move, however it was the result of the decision made by Shop 'n Save management to close its Hill District store in late March.

Dollar Bank
Photo Credit: Bryce Lutz/KDKA photojournalist

While shoppers said they weren't totally shocked by the closings, the news did not diminish their disappointment.

One woman said "I think it's absolutely crazy, they haven't told us anything...I literally come here like everyday."

Man outside the store complained "it's convenient for me, I live right around the corner, so if they shut down, I got to go farther out, and I'm not driving."

Across the street from the Plaza, the non-profit Hill House, which helped spearhead the drive for a new neighborhood grocery store, announced just last month that its finances were in desperate shape. And it might have to slash programs. But, a $500,000 special fund is helping it stay afloat for the time being. And it's still considering selling a few of its properties.

Despite the latest bad news, Mayor Bill Peduto said Tuesday night that he's not giving up hope.

Peduto explained "the businesses within the plaza have been struggling for years, I would have hoped Shop n Save would have tried to wait it a little bit more, as the Hill House restructures, but it I can't stop them from leaving when they're losing money."

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