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Trader Joes in the Strip District?

Trader Joe’s, the beloved California-based grocery chain known for its quirky Hawaiian shirts and unique private-label products, is scouting locations in the city’s vibrant Strip District. According to multiple real estate sources, one potential site is nestled between the Fort Wayne railroad bridge and Interstate 579, conveniently near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. This story was first reported by The Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

a store front at dayReal estate professionals believe that Trader Joe’s expanding into the Strip District makes perfect sense. The area is one of Pittsburgh’s hottest markets, brimming with new residential, retail, and office developments. With residency skyrocketing by 316% since 2015 and an expected population doubling in the next two to three years, the demand for a unique grocery store like Trader Joe’s is at an all-time high. The Strip District Neighbors organization reports that 2,132 residential units are currently in the pipeline, underscoring the neighborhood’s rapid growth.

Known for its loyal following, Trader Joe’s attracts fans with its affordable prices, diverse product offerings, and friendly, whimsical atmosphere. Fans of this idea believe that the addition of Trader Joe’s to the Strip would blend seamlessly with the area’s eclectic nature, complementing the generations-old ethnic markets, lively restaurants and bars, street vendors, and bustling sports apparel stores. Critics are concerned about the impact on the locally owned grocery stores and food markets that have existed in the Strip District for decades.

Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, expressed his support, stating, “We’d love to see Trader Joe’s in Downtown or on the periphery. Having one that bridged Downtown and the Strip would be an amazing asset for both neighborhoods.” John Valentine, executive director of the Pittsburgh Downtown Neighbors Alliance, echoed these sentiments, highlighting the increasing market potential with 12,000 residents in the greater Downtown area and another 7,000 units in development.

While Trader Joe’s has not confirmed the exact location, spokeswoman Nakia Rohde stated, “We are actively looking at hundreds of neighborhoods across the country as we hope to open more neighborhood stores each year.” Rumors are that the grocer aims to open a store in the Strip District within the next three years, adding to its existing Pittsburgh locations in East Liberty, the South Hills, and McCandless Crossing.