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A New Grocery Store for Downtown’s Market Square

The Thompson Building, Market SquareOn Sept. 11, PHLF announced that Pittsburgh real estate developer Ralph Falbo and the proprietors of Vallozi’s Pittsburgh—Ernie and Julian Vallozi— a longtime western Pennsylvania Italian family restaurant with a location on Fifth Avenue in Downtown, have created a partnership, which will open a new high-quality grocery store in Market Square in late spring of 2014.

The venture, a first of its kind in many years, targeted to serve Downtown area residents—and returns a grocery store into the square decades after the loss of its historic market— will be located in The Thompson Building, 435 Market Street, currently undergoing restoration by Landmarks Development Corporation (LDC), a subsidiary of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.

“This store is the result of intensive efforts after many months of work by our group, PHLF, and the Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corporation. It will feature specialty and high-quality foods and produce, meats, seafood, and wine among other grocery necessities,” said Ralph Falbo, president of Ralph A. Falbo Inc.

“The store will also have a coffee bar and a community dining area, which will be used for seating during the lunch hour, but can also be converted into space for evening special events, dinners, and parties,” Mr. Falbo added.

Ernie Vallozzi, said that in addition to quality groceries the store also will offer prepared food for take-out.

“We intend to serve Downtown’s food market needs in every respect, and plan to offer special culinary events on Saturdays such as cooking with celebrity chefs and wine tasting,” said Mr. Falbo.

The restoration of the Thompson Building complements PHLF’s efforts in Market Square, which saw the creation of the Market at Fifth Development—a restoration of three buildings in Market Square that created seven apartment rental units and two ground-floor retail stores—which opened in 2009 and proved to be very successful.

The building was acquired by PHLF through a grant from the Allegheny Foundation, which helped leverage additional funding from Allegheny County’s Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Restoration of the building’s exterior will be completed in mid-September.

“We had many opportunities to lease this prime space,” said Michael Sriprasert, President of Landmarks Development Corporation,” but we wanted to work with Ralph Falbo and Ernie Vallozzi to enable them to create this unique and much needed store.”

Landmarks Design Associates is the architect for both the restoration of the building and the development of the grocery store. The contractor for a new elevator, exterior, and façade work is Waller Corporation General Contractors.

“This much-needed, high-quality facility is a welcome addition to the community. From day one, the Pittsburgh Downtown Community Development Corporation (PDCDC) has been an active participant in the conceptualization of the grocery store and has helped to bring the parties together to get it accomplished,” said John Valentine, executive director of the PDCDC.

The partnership intends to hold focus meetings with Downtown residents to obtain their input for items to be stocked in the store.

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633