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GetGo May Be Coming to City's East End

By Jason Togyer
The Tube City Almanac
July 03, 2019
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Another gas station and convenience store may be coming to East Fifth Avenue near the McKeesport-Duquesne Bridge.

McKeesport City Council by 5-0 vote on Tuesday approved a request from Morris Knowles & Associates of Delmont, Westmoreland County, to merge together 12 separate lots, totalling more than 3 acres, for the development of a gas station and convenience store.

Councilmen Jim Barry Jr. and Richard Dellapenna Jr. were absent.

Council also voted to vacate a portion of Gleditsch Alley, which passes between the lots at the bottom of Hartman Street.

Dick Roberts, a spokesman for Giant Eagle, said the O'Hara Twp. based retailer is considering the construction of a GetGo cafe and market at the site.

"We're in the very, very early stages of development," Roberts said. "We're working very closely with the city and PennDOT to explore the opportunities."

But it's "premature" to discuss the plans and further, he said.

The GetGo, if built, would be located between a Speedway convenience store and a Dunkin' Donuts that opened in 2013.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said Tuesday potential developers are showing a lot of interest in the East Fifth Avenue area.

Last year, McKeesport Council gave its approval to the developer of an as-yet still-unidentified fast-food restaurant along the same stretch of road.

In addition, the owners of a small shopping center that currently includes a Family Dollar and UPMC's Latterman Family Health Center have proposed an 18,000 to 24,000 square foot expansion project.

That's according to marketing materials that were released in 2017 by Cushman & Wakefield Inc. and Grant Street Associates, commercial real estate brokers in Pittsburgh.

"We know that’s a corridor that has been coming along," Cherepko said Tuesday. "We’re excited and we'll be able to talk about this in more detail shortly."

The lots to be merged together include the Route 148 car wash, several vacant lots where houses recently were demolished, and three single-family homes.

The lots have been rezoned for commercial use, according to city planning commission documents.

However, the resolution passed Tuesday by city council also included a lot owned by Auberle, which includes a small office building for the group's foster care program.

We "have not sold our property and have no plans to move our offices from that site," John Lydon, chief executive officer of Auberle, said Wednesday. "It would seem to be an error, as I don't see how they can combine our property into one without our consent."

Lydon said there appeared to be a mistake in the paperwork filed with city council.

A.J. Tedesco, McKeesport community development director, and Jennifer Vertullo, assistant to Cherepko, said Wednesday they would look into the filing and see how Auberle's parcel was included.

Jason Togyer is volunteer executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc. and editor of Tube City Almanac. He may be reached at jtogyer@gmail.com.

Originally published July 03, 2019.

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