By John Shumway

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Golden Triangle of Pittsburgh is going through a seismic transition.

It wasn’t that long ago there were five department stores. Today, they’re gone and restaurants, bars, condos and apartments have taken their place.

“Downtown is now a neighborhood,” says Herky Pollock, the Executive Vice President of CBRE Retail Services – a development company. “So people are walking their dogs, jogging. They’re living, they’re eating, they’re playing.”

But the transition has needs and a survey by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership found the number one want is a Target department store.

John Lizzi lives in Beechview but shops downtown.

“Target’s got everything. I need a Target ’cause I take the subway places and it would be right here,” he said. “It would be awesome.”

Toshae Little, who had a toddler by the hand and a baby in a stroller, added, “They took the Macy’s out. The only thing they got close to it is Burlington and a lot of people like Target over Burlington. It would make it easier instead of [shopping] online.”

When you think Target, an image of a huge store comes to mind and there are some big spaces open in Downtown Pittsburgh, including the old Macy’s store. But Pollock says Target may not need that much space.

“They can do it in 20,000 to 25,000 square feet,” he said.

They are called mini Targets and have been opened in several cities.

“You’d basically find the same things in a larger Target, just in a smaller footprint,” Pollock said. “They have a lot of the soft goods, not a lot of the hard goods. You find grocery, you find a pharmacy, a lot of the amenities for your household or office. So it’s a very convenient store.”

Beth Strayer, of Baldwin, works downtown and says a mini Target would be a perfect fit.

“Just kind of everyday needs. It’s something that I can pick up before I head home so I don’t have to stop at the store on the way home,” she said.

Target spokesperson Liz Hancock had this response when we asked if Target was looking to come into Downtown Pittsburgh:

“Target enjoys serving local guests at 18 stores across Pittsburgh and continuously explores possible locations for new stores in the area. We’re always looking for new opportunities to better serve our guests, but we don’t have any stores news to share for Pittsburgh.”

Meanwhile Pollock says the Cultural Trust is working on filling another Golden Triangle need — a movie theater.

“I think you’ll see a movie theater here in the next couple years as well,” he said. “I know of two that are actively looking.”

The old saying “the only thing constant is change” certainly appears to apply to Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle in this latest renaissance.

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