Boring Pittsburgh received a tip that Supercuts will be opening a new location in Shadyside Village on S. Aiken at Walnut. The last thing Shadyside needs is another salon, but at least Supercuts will be open on Sunday/Monday and likely to be priced significantly lower than other hairdressers in the area. What does this say about Shadyside? The premier shopping district of the Pittsburgh is becoming even more watered down and boring than it already is.
Greedy building owners and the commercial real estate agencies they hire are to blame. They have become spoiled over the years with major brands occupying spaces with decade-long leases and an ability to burn lots of cash on rent. When those companies decide that the retail well in a particular location has dried up, they liquidate and hit the road. The storefronts they vacate stay empty and ugly until a new prospect appears with a big checkbook.
Astronomical Rental Rates
The rent at the old Chico’s location on Walnut Street was rumored to be at least $10,000 a month – not far off from what United Colors of Benetton paid. The same rumor mill claims Banana Republic pays over $30,000/month for their corner location. New or smaller local business cannot compete with national chains that consolidate and average their rental expense between many locations spread out across different markets in the country.
The buildings on Walnut tend to be owned by people who inherited them and they could care less what goes in the space as long as they get lots of money and a long-term commitment to stay – two qualities that new and smaller businesses cannot easily agree to. If you’re not a big-name national brand, they won’t even take the time to talk to you or tell you what the asking price of the rent is. The result is fewer independently owned local shops, and more of the same cookie-cutter retailers found every 5-10 miles.
Shadyside can be so much more than it is, but there’s no turning back now. First a European Wax Center and now a Supercuts. Thanks to greedy landlords and commercial real estate agents, Shadyside is becoming nothing more than an overpriced strip mall – sans parking.