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Saks Fifth Avenue Leaving Downtown Pittsburgh

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Saks Fifth Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh is closing.

The store says it’s losing money and couldn’t negotiate a better deal with the owners of the current property.

“There have been major competitive shifts in the Pittsburgh marketplace in the last several years that have reduced our revenues and continue to challenge our business which prompted our monetary request. Unfortunately, during the negotiation period, our situation has worsened,” Saks Spokeswoman Julia Bentley said in a statement.

The store has been in Pittsburgh for more than 60 years.

Saks asked its landlord and the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority to help secure $10 million needed to upgrade the current store, but said the funding proposal it received would have required significant outlay by Saks that it was unwilling to make.

City officials said it was Saks’ call to leave Pittsburgh.

“We did everything we could to encourage Saks to stay in Pittsburgh, while also protecting taxpayer dollars,” Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said in a statement.

“Obviously disappointing to see kind of a downtown anchor close their doors,” Rob Stephany, with the URA, said. “At the end of the day, it’s really a result of Saks’ own business decisions. They’ve been not signing or renewing leases across the nation.”

A spokesperson for the store told KDKA-TV they have no plans at all to relocate anywhere in the Pittsburgh region.

The store’s closing will happen sometime before the lease expires in September 2012.

Stephany said the retailer’s departure would have hurt 10 years ago, but things have changed.

“There’s a stunning resurgence and rebirth happening in one of America’s greatest downtowns,” he said. “This ends up being kind of a blip on the radar screen.”

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