Pittsburgh, July 16, 2010 – Responding to inquiries from community residents, State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) today said that negotiations are underway to bring a grocery store to the Beechview neighborhood of the City of Pittsburgh, but cautioned that any premature discussions on the project could jeopardize a positive outcome of the ongoing talks.

“I am committed to securing a grocery for the neighborhood,” Fontana said. “I just don’t feel that it is productive to speculate or make premature public announcements about any proposals. The community should, most definitely, have an opportunity to weigh in on any plans and I have pledged to make that opportunity available as soon as it can be arranged.”

Senator Fontana has been meeting with a potential grocer and representatives of the Urban Redevelopment Authority since before the Foodland on Broadway Avenue closed at the end of June. He characterized the meetings as positive and productive, but he and the other parties to the discussions are bound by a confidentiality agreement that prevents them from discussing details.

“Growing up in Beechview in the 1950s, there was always a grocery store serving the community,” said Fontana. “Although that has just changed recently, I still believe a new grocer can flourish in Beechview. Recent studies have indicated that a grocery can be successful here and I also believe that the community will support efforts because the residents understand how vital a grocery is to anchor their community.”

Senator Fontana said that a tentative date in early August has been set for a community meeting where residents will have the opportunity to obtain more information and ask questions of the new grocer. That information will be forthcoming as soon as it is available.

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