Moon Walmart in Sight? Contractor to Raze West Hills Shopping Center Storefront

The retailer plans to build a store at the intersection of University Boulevard and Beaver Grade Road.

Motorists may have spotted it—a few Dumsters and five or six trucks parked outside of the empty Sherwin-Williams building on Beaver Grade Road. 

The vacant storefront is the last remaining building in the former West Hills Shopping Center—the property was purchased by the Arkansas-based Walmart Inc. in 2007.

The big-box retailer plans to build a 151,000 square-foot building on the land.  And those waiting trucks might mean the company is taking another step toward construction of the store.

Moon Township Planning Director Adam McGurk said the company is likely preparing to demolish the building.

McGurk said Walmart has not yet applied for a demolition permit through the township. 

“They’ve hired a contractor to demolish the remaining building,” McGurk said. “They have not yet applied a demolition permit, but it’s not a very extensive process to receive one.”

McGurk said he has met with an architect for the project to discuss the township’s building permit process.

But there is one catch—Walmart must first receive a highway occupancy permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation before any further work can begin. 

Walmart, which began the PennDOT permit process more than year ago, cannot obtain township building permits until it finalizes its highway occupancy permit through PennDOT. 

In May, PennDOT spokesman James Struzzi said the company was working alongside PennDOT engineers. 

Walmart could not be reached for comment. No ground-breaking date is available.

Will you shop at a Moon Township Walmart? What impact might it have on the community? Tell us in the comments. 

Kate September 05, 2012 at 02:34 PM
So depressing - another Sprawlmart? Isn't it enough that there is one right in Monaca AND Robinson?? I wish they would find something else to put in there. Fortunately, we have decided to make our stay in Moon Township a temporary one. The traffic and mess that will be caused by this store is not something that we welcome or look forward to.
Fred September 05, 2012 at 02:43 PM
why do we need another walmart here . is not robinson walmart close enough
Dr Gonzo September 05, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Really? You're complaining about Wal Mart building here on Moon? Would you prefer that West Hills Shopping Center stay a vacant eyesore that attracts vagrants and vandals? With that attitude you should run for township supervisor; you'd fit right in.
clearfield September 05, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Vacant eyesores? How about the empty Toyota dealer, and the vacant 84 Lumber building? How about the gas station on the corner of Moon Clinton and University? How about the decaying motels around the Eat N' Park? The township officials have had multiply opportunities to make sure that the Walmart property, before the purchase, and now after, to change the zoning so it qualifies under the overlay district and within the special zoning district. But they have not. They ignore it month after month. If Walmart does not build and they decide to sell the property, a mixed use requirement within the special zoning district could be in place so as to be proactive when a new owner comes forth with a sketch plan. Our officials need to be ready for a sale, if it comes to that.
RealMoonResident September 05, 2012 at 06:04 PM
So it sounds like ANY development is OK. How about a landfill ? How about a jail ? Some thought needs to be put into what goes there. We shouldn't jump at the first (oversized) thing to come along. Moon can wait for the right thing.
appalled resident September 05, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I'd prefer to see the ugly vacant eyesore than Wal-Mart!!! You think the vacant lot attracts vandals...have you not seen the people Wal-Mart attracts??? There are so many better options for this space!
Jenna Staul (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 06:22 PM
On that topic, we run a series called 'Visions for Vacancies' where we basically solicit ideas for empty storefronts. If you're not in favor of Walmart, what would better serve the community on this property? If you could have it your way, what would move into this space?
Sweets 22 September 05, 2012 at 07:09 PM
I agree no TRASHMART!! Keep the trashy people that store brings away from Moon!!! I'd rather look at that empty lot. Further more if anyone ever drives in Moon at that intersection daily between 4:30-60pm the traffic is hell now. What stupid person at PennDot is going to approve that highway occupancy! Just like the other person wrote about ALL the other empty lots in Moon. Maybe Moon people should start supporting the local stores that way Corp Trash like Walmart doesnt come in. Look at Sewickley the people their NEVER went to Rita's Ice they supported the family business right across the street and Rita's closed up! NO WALMART!
Don September 06, 2012 at 12:08 AM
......and after Walmart is open for a few months, some of the local merchants will be closing their doors - Kuhns, Kmart, Rite Aid to name a few. Then - after Kuhn's and Kmart close, look for Walmart to buy the land and build a Sam's Club....................................
Don September 06, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Talk to RMU.....maybe they'd be interested in expanding again. They already have the Holiday Inn down the road, with campus bus service, so what would be the big deal about another building nearby?
moonflyer September 06, 2012 at 12:56 AM
I am not weighing in on wal-mart versus the world here. I really feel that parcel could have been developed better. It would take several steps. 1. A true strategic plan. 2. A total redesign of the intersection at University and brodhead/beaver grade. This could mean the loss of a couple of the businesses on the corners. (this should get done anyway) 3 Removal of he Meadows betting parlor. 4. Better road access to the back of the property (not sure how that would work) 5. A true mixed use plan for the property. Mid rise apartments (3-4 floors, probably in the back of the property). Mid level office in the center of the property, then as you get closer to the main street you put in low density retail (perhaps a trader joes style grocery store some restaurants and other services). Actually you could even intersperse some of these uses to increase foot traffic through the property.
Svenska September 06, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Don, I think you summed it up perfectly. Well-said.
appalled resident September 06, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I do not shop at Wal-Mart now & I will not shop there if they build in Moon. I will drive past it every time & go to Kuhns or GE. If Kuhns ended up closing due to Wal-Mart being nearby I will then drive 20-30 mins to a place that offers a more pleasant shopping experience (& real food) than horrible Wal-Mart. In my opinion it’s worth the “higher” price & extra gas than to subject myself to that atmosphere.
George Kniss September 06, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Well folks, seems like the consensus is that the WalMart project in Moon is a mistake. I agree, but see, this issue was fought over hard and well over the last 4 years and essentially, we, the Moon community lost. A grass roots community group called Moon First started up and with the help of local residents, local small businesses, residents in two adjacent apartment complexes heavily impacted by this, and numerous others that provided expertise such as attorneys, web master, sprawl experts and traffic experts all joined in to fight this with the hope of ----not stopping WalMart from building here------ but, building a scaled facility more in tune with Moon's Strategic Overlay plans and community composition. They fought it all the way! And to boot, our past supervisors went along with this with barely a struggle. AND THEN, WalMart sued the township for not giving them every last special exemption from our code requirements. The last straw will be the PA DOT giving them their traffic go ahead. Enjoy the "swift" movement of traffic right now, because when WM is finished you'll just love driving through the center of our community to get where you're going!
JonathanB September 07, 2012 at 01:05 AM
So.................... what "local merchant" do you think runs the Kmart and Rite Aid?? Both are poorly run struggling PUBLIC companies (look at their history of Bankruptcy). Walmart would provide the lowest prices around and could be the anchor store to finally building up Moon.
Bart McClelland September 16, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Bring on the walmart!! I am all for helping grow more businesses in this area. I am all for more jobs in the community, especially for college students. I am all for competition and better service. Does everyone like the service at Kmart? Does everyone like the low prices at Giant Eagle? Does everyone like the craziness of going to Robinson. Walmart will help this area by supporting local farmers, and bringing more people to this area we call home. It won't be as busy because the rest of you guys won't be there. Don't even try to go there when it's late at night and the rest of the stores are closed and your sick. We will see what you think about Walmart then. People in this area don't understand politics. i can't blame you guys. Historically this county puts people in power who tax us, and don't support growth. People just don't know any better. Bring it Walmart. You at least have one shopper! I will really get my shopping done quicker!


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