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Moon Officials: Walmart Could be Boon for Township Businesses

No construction date is yet planned for the Moon Township store, but community leaders believe the retailer will spur development along University Boulevard.

Moon planning director Adam McGurk said the sooner the deserted former West Hills Shopping Center property is developed, the better it will be for business in the township. 

The empty lot, sitting at the corner of University Boulevard and Brodhead Road, was purchased by the Walmart Corp. in 2007. It is slated to house a 150,000 square-foot store for the national retailer. 

"It's almost like the broken windows theory," McGurk said. "If you have a broken window and don't fix it, it just leads to more and more problems." 

No construction date has yet been scheduled for the store.

Walmart on Oct. 19 resubmitted an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for a highway occupancy permit, marking one of the final steps before work on the store can begin. 

McGurk said a Moon Township Walmart could spur development along University Boulevard. 

"The less abandoned buildings you have along University Boulevard, the better it is going to look, and the more positive business you're going to have attacked to that corridor." 

Township manager Jeanne Creese said the long-planned development has gotten the attention of neighboring businesses in the community. 

"We've seen a lot of the older businesses surrounding there to call us and express interest about getting permits and putting money into redoing their site," Creese said. "The hope is that when the Walmart goes in, there will be traffic coming in to that, and you will see the parcels along University Boulevard continue to develop." 

Creese said one example of that interest are upcoming improvements to Moon Township's Giant Eagle, which plans an expansion that will include a cafe and beer and wine sales. 

Giant Eagle spokesman Victor Kimmel said the corporation is unable to comment on upgrades to the University Boulevard location. 

Creese said because Walmart is set to develop a long-abandoned property in Moon, concerns that the big-box retailer will create a decline in neighboring businesses might not come to pass.

"Moon's Walmart was a little different in the sense that they are redeveloping what is essentially a blighted parcel," Creese said. "That made ours somewhat atypical compared to some of the complaints against Walmart.

"We don't envision (neighboring businesses) going away because of Walmart," she said. "We actually picture them changing their product in response and doing very well." 

McGurk said he has not received requests about other businesses looking to relocate closer to Walmart's eventual store, but he anticipates that he will in the future. 

"It's well known in the industry that Walmart does attract other retailers," McGurk said. "Certain retailers will look where a new Walmart has been built and then they'll try to locate close to them because of the traffic that they draw." 

Sound off: What do you think? Would Walmart in Moon Township help or hurt surrounding business?

Don December 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM
And when the small, local businesses dry up and close, then what? Then Kmart will probably close, Kuhn's will probably close, Rite-Aid will probably close - who else? Then Walmart can buy the land where Kmart and Kuhn's are located and build a Sam's Club. Pretty soon, University Blvd. will be looking like McKnight Rd. in North Hills. There is a Walmart 12 minutes away in Robinson. Are we becoming too lazy to drive 10 miles?
Airdoc December 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM
So when I drive to the Walmart in Robinson do I drive by all kinds of empty lots and abandoned buildings that surround WalMart? Please enough of the usual anti-Walmart talking points.
Get Real December 11, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Rite-Aid, Kmart, Kuhn's, may not be big box, but they certainly are rooted in big. Big chains, that is. So if they close, aren't there other Rite-Aid's, Kuhn's, and Kmarts that Moon residents could drive to if they are willing to drive to other Wal-marts?
Fred December 11, 2012 at 03:54 PM
we dont need another wal-mart . we have have one in robinson 5 minute drive from here to there. we dont need more traffic on Univ. Blvd. we dont need the crime wal-mart people seem to bring. And as far as creating jobs if you ever worked at wal-mart you know what i mean. Wal-mart go away
Airdoc December 11, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Wal-Mart people? - I remember the same thing being said about crime when the Meadows was just opening. I don't hear the Moon PD being dispatched on a daily basis.
RealMoonResident December 11, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Those of you who want this thing, get out of town for a few days. Go to the New Jersey suburbs, DC suburbs, NYC suburbs and SIT IN THE TRAFFIC. That part of Moon is not built for that type of store. Don't get excited by the shiny new store. Think of having to sit there on Brodhead while people block lanes turning into the place day after day while you need to pick up your kids from school or go get a few groceries. It's too big of a store for the roads near it. We have on in Robinson, we don't need one here.
Laura December 11, 2012 at 05:49 PM
So your saying that people who shop at Walmart create crime around that area of the store?! Fred, I am one of those Walmart shoppers and so are many of my neighbors and friends. Some who own their own companies, and are regarded as fine upstanding citizens. I have no idea where your statement is coming from. Wow! Walmart, come to Moon, soon!
Laura December 11, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Can I just say DITTO to Get Real and Airdoc. Though there is nothing anyone can say that will sway a Walmart hater from changing their minds, the reality is, in the end Walmart will be built in Moon. I might be retired and living in Florida by then but it will happen. Lol
Claire Lauritzen December 11, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Forget "woulda-coulda-shoulda". What about right now? Right now, we have a blighted property that has been neglected since it's purchase by Walmart in 2007. Why don't the Moon Supervisor's pass an ordinance that would make business property owners responsible for the appearance of their property? Each day, A multitude of citizens from other communities drive through Moon Township via University Boulevard. Blighted business properties make Moon look like a dying community.
Svenska December 11, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Wal-mart will put the SIT in UniverSITy Blvd. as far as traffic is concerned. I can just envision this turning into another 228 in Mars or McKnight Rd. Goodbye Moon Township, hello Anywhere USA.
Mooooooooon December 11, 2012 at 06:41 PM
My main concern is how they plan on dealing with the traffic getting to West Hills center, if you are coming in from business 60 you are going to have to drive the whole way down to Broadhead and make a left at the BP and then another left to get in to West Hills. **That will be backed easily to Primanti's** How does the township plan on handling this influx of traffic??
Teri Shaw December 11, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I do not know what everyone keeps talking about. It is not a matter if you want it or not. The supervisors have approved it. Wal-mart is coming once they get the permit.
Get Real December 11, 2012 at 08:06 PM
In a perfect world, no one would ever have to sit in traffic. That said, let's get the BP off the University/Broadhead corner. Many times when I travel Broadhead, I get hung up by someone trying to make a left into the BP. That said, let's have Diane Cleaners leave their location. Their parking lot that is used as a road creates confusion, hence traffic. Let's close off Sharon Road at the ugly traffic nightmare of an intersection where Sharon meets Beaver Grade, Kmart, and Sharon Cleaners. Let's move Getgo, getting out of there is no picnic because of....traffic. Or maybe not. Because don't those who abhor traffic, travel elsewhere to avoid traffic?
Get Real December 11, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Meaning,there's already traffic in Moon. So, there couldn't possibly be that much additional traffic when Walmart opens, as those who are fearful of the additional traffic are probably already not driving around Moon anyway.
The Dude December 11, 2012 at 11:13 PM
People act like we live in the country or a rural community!! Please save the small business is going to suffer, because the last time I looked, Moon lacks all this "small business" everyone talks about. K-Mart, Kuhn's, and Giant Eagle are all big business out to get you in the stores and spend money, just like Walmart. So do you think they feel sorry for a small business owner?? This Township needs a kick in the butt and get some development and tax dollars rolling in. If not here, than somewhere else. Look at Robinson, huge amounts of dollars being spent in that Township (probably a lot from Moon) and they are growing. I don't see Walmart having this doomsday impact up there??? Traffic, if you don't want to sit in traffic, then move. Guess what, communities that are growing have traffic.No one has seen the traffic patterns granted by Penn DOT, yet we all seem to know how it will impact us. Ya, so it might add an additional 2 minutes to your ride, I think you will live. Oh, guess what, you can get around Moon more than one way beside the University, Broadhead, and Beaver Grade Road intersection!!
RealMoonResident December 11, 2012 at 11:49 PM
The Dude: When you're in Robinson, crawling from light to light, do you happen to see schools nearby ? Do you see houses ? No, you don't. The reason is that The Pointe is a huge area that is built for big box commercial. It was built from the start for that type of development. West Hills Plaza is not located in the right area. It's next to a 2 lane road that is the only practical way for people on that end of Moon to get to schools, churches, and their jobs. West Hills is not the right place for such a large store that will be open 24 hours a day. Look around a little the next time you're in Robinson.
Get Real December 12, 2012 at 02:33 AM
So, traffic ok as long as it is only created by big box commercial? This is getting too close to the "not in my backyard" way of thinking.
Louisa December 12, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Get Real: Get real, it is all about TAXES. The property taxes Walmart will pay, the sales tax revenue generated at the store, and the wage and income taxes paid by the employees. The township, school district, and county are all on board with this for that reason. I'm on board with it because I want a local Walmart with the selection and low prices they bring!
Get Real December 12, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Me too Louisa!
Get Real December 12, 2012 at 05:32 PM
My comment about the traffic being ok is in reference to the traffic at the big-box up at the Pointe.
Get Real December 12, 2012 at 05:32 PM
My comment about the traffic being ok is in reference to the traffic at the big-box up at the pointe,

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