URA now owns grocery store plaza
Updating a Policy Brief from earlier this year and a recent blog, the Allegheny County assessment website now shows that the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) completed its purchase of the Center Heldman Plaza that housed the Shop ‘n Save grocery store.
The sale price was $10. Based on meeting minutes from the URA’s Nov. 14th meeting the price for the assignment of all loan and mortgage documents was $1.6 million.
One of the other items taken up at that meeting was to negotiate with taxing bodies for property taxes owed (at least $200,000 based on data from March). The records show that $9,933 for 2019 Allegheny County taxes have been paid along with $1,192 in penalties and interest. Whether any taxes have been paid to the city or the Pittsburgh Public Schools—for this year or any year in delinquency—is not yet known.
Another larger unknown is how long the parcel will remain under URA ownership (it owned the property from 1994 to 2011). As with properties held without any specific plan (as mentioned in a performance audit on city-owned property) when the URA made the proposal to buy the plaza it stated it would be “working to determine the best path forward for the property.” The best path is to sell to private interests to develop it.