Whole Foods Withdraws From East Liberty Development Project

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Affordable housing advocates have protested the plan to tear down the low-income Penn Plaza Apartments to make way for 200 luxury apartments.

Now the developer confirms that Whole Foods has decided to withdraw from the project.

The city and the developers have faced off in court ever since the planning commission rejected the project in January.

The Peduto administration has demanded the project include affordable housing units and has objected to the eviction of low-income tenants, who have been relocated in East Liberty.

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“We were able to find apartments for almost all of the remaining people,” Mayor Bill Peduto said.

The Whole Foods Market was to be the anchor tenant of the project with a 50,000 square foot store. But the developer’s attorney Jonathan Kamin said the store has been concerned about the city’s resistance, which he has called unfair. But Kamin said their withdrawal will not kill the project.

“Whole Foods is stepping away but we are moving forward with our plans,” he said.

Despite the obstacle, developers seem determined to carry on and build on that space in accordance with their wishes.

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