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News: I forgot my phone when I went out and about in Southington today so no pictures. I also thought my foot was getting better, but as I walked from Goodwill to Price Chopper (next plaza over) my foot was in a lot of pain and I was walking with a limp. My foot is still in a lot of pain at 7:30PM Thursday 10/19. - Brammy
 
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rjstheiv
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« on: January 12, 2009, 03:51:45 PM »

The West Mifflin Ames started out to be a hills. THen when hills closed Ames immeditly moved in. About two years after Ames closed, Big Lots moved in. It still has the green awnings. It had the Snack bar at first for like 2 months and they took it out.
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rjstheiv
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2009, 03:52:51 PM »

the green awning still is on the big lots in West mifflin pa.
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NJxxJon
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 04:27:29 PM »

Whats the exact address for this?
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rjstheiv
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 05:00:28 PM »

On Google maps it says 42 connector , west mifflin PA
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NJxxJon
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2009, 06:23:11 PM »

Quote
Originally posted by rjstheiv
On Google maps it says 42 connector , west mifflin PA


Yeah nevermind. PA is like NJ and doesnt have good street view....but just wait 2 years ....google is on a roll.
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C3Nostalgia
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2009, 06:56:08 PM »

That Ames was in the old Murphy's Mart down on Rt. 51.  But then when Hills went out, they moved into the Hills building.

There is actually a piece of the Ames/Hills that still exists at the now Big Lots location.  Big Lots is only using about 2/3 of the space that Hills and Ames had.  I've tried to take pictures from the outside looking in the door into the walled off Ames part, but it is too dark to make anything out on a camera.  But if you get a chance, go take a look.  It is on the end of the building that is closer to the Service Merchandise.  The door is the old emergency exit door incase the electronics dept of Hills went ablaze.  Just a glass window door that you can look in to see the walls of that part are still decorated with the Ames green, and maybe some Hills red on the poles near the ceiling.  
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2009, 07:38:32 PM »

My friend took these at night looking in the window on the door a while ago, but here are a few pictures of the inside of the still existent part of that Ames.



 



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TheFugitive
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2014, 04:53:36 PM »

There was a second store (another ex-Hills) at the Kennywood Mall.
Also technically in West Mifflin.
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retailfan
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2014, 02:36:22 PM »

There is a big lots in Anderson In. that did the same thing snack bar and service area remain Big lots is moving out though in there stock room also still had the ames deco up
This area is possibly going to be flooded in the coming years for a resivor the building is very old  has been arlyns T-Way Hills then ames
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2014, 08:45:30 AM »

On Google maps it says 42 connector , west mifflin PA

Turns up in my Google search as 7005 Clairton Rd., West Mifflin, PA  15122

That seems odd as Clairton Road is generally used to refer to PA Route 51 in that area.
51 is way down at the bottom of the hill, on the other side of Century III Mall.

This is a big, captive plaza with a couple of access roads that link Century III Mall
to Lebanon Church Road.  This store is actually MUCH closer (stone throwing distance)
to Lebanon Church than to Clairton Rd.  So the address does not make sense.

I worked in this plaza when Service Merchandise had a store two doors to the left.
That building is now a large telemarketing call center (was owned by PRC but recently changed hands).

Building between what was then Hills and Service Merchandise was a Foodland grocery store.
It later closed and became a Labrokes off-track betting parlor/bar and restaurant.  It likewise has
since closed.

Across the parking lot was a Busy Beaver home remodeling store.  It was recently closed and torn down
due to some sort of serious structural issue.  The building next to that used to be a Hechingers.  It is now
a Burlington Coat Factory.

At the far end was a Standard Oil car repair business that has since been torn down.
At the other end is a gym, which was a Chuck E. Cheese location when I worked there, and a
Handels ice cream store.

The Hills store also had a beer distributor attached (this being Pennsylvania and all).
The whole area is in need of some serious redevelopment.
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2014, 01:48:19 PM »

Thinking about this further, there were actually 3 Ames locations that would have been considered West Mifflin.

1) The one in the photograph at the top of the thread (a long-time Hills location near
Lebanon Church Road that became an Ames after the merger. Currently a Big Lots).

2) The one down across the road from the Kennywood amusement park.  A former Hills store
(and my last gig in retail)

3) The one on Route 51 South in the Southland Shopping Center (currently a DSW Warehouse).
That one goes WAAAAY back.  I remember my uncle taking me there to buy school supplies
when I was 5 or 6 and the location was a G.C. Murphy Mart.  For a time Ames kept both this
store and the former Hills store up by Lebanon Church open.  Despite the fact that they were
probably one mile apart, if that.

That Route 51 location may technically be in Pleasant Hills though.
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a.estok
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2015, 07:18:02 PM »

There were definitely at least 2 Ames stores in West Mifflin. One in the Kennywood Mall and one off of Lebanon Church Road (currently Big Lots). Both of these stores were former Hills. The third, on route 51 near Century III Mall appears to have had a Baldwin zip code, but according to Google Maps is located within the boundaries of West Mifflin. If my memory serves me correctly, this Ames closed in 1999 or early 2000. Both the Lebanon Church and route 51 Ames stores were definitely open at the same time, I can recall my mother commenting on how close they were together. Check this article out: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=20000802&id=44UNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=aW8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6586,737850
The article states Value City Furniture and DSW moved into the former Ames space on route 51 in 2000.

My best memories come from the Ames in the Kennywood Mall. The mall opened in 1978, and was anchored by Hills on the left end. There was an entrance to the mall on the left side of the Hills store. In 1995 the hallway that ran through the back of the mall was torn down and storefronts were constructed on the front, creating a traditional strip mall. At this time, a Giant Eagle was built on the side of the mall opposite Hills. Other than the layout of the store, little changed during the conversion to Ames. The store sat vacant for several years after 2002. In about 2005, the store was used as some sort of flea market for just a few months. All of the old Ames signage remained. In about 2009, The store was sub-divided, with a gym taking one space, Roses discount store taking a second space and a third space remains empty. One interesting thing is after Ames closed, the 2 industrial ceiling fans in the front of the store near the registers were left on until thery were removed when the space was sub-divided.
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2015, 01:58:01 PM »

I worked there when it was a Hills store from '96-'98.
Not long after the mall section had been torn down/enclosed.

It is a fairly rough part of town.   People there told me that the mall
was closed mainly because as it declined it became just too inviting
of a space for drug users to come in from the cold and shoot-up. 

And no one wanted to lease space in a mall with junkies lying
all over the place.

No doubt my scariest stop in retail.  Got out of the biz after that.
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a.estok
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2015, 07:53:23 PM »

It is in a very rough part of town, surrounded by Duquesne, Homestead, Braddock and McKeesport. Also, it is located on a bus line, attracting even more bad crowds. My grandmother used to get her hair done at a salon in the mall and I can remember her commenting about the druggies who frequented it. If my memory serves me correctly, the entrance to the mall from Hills was toward the rear of the store and the mall only had stores on one side.

Also, if you're coming up the hill past McDonald's, just after you pass the Kennywood parking lot on the right, the Ames sign still stands. It was painted over with black paint after the store closed, but the paid has started to chip in recent years, revealing the green.
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2015, 07:41:02 AM »

When I worked here there was a Kmart store directly across the road, uphill from McDonalds.
It has since been demolished.    I spent an incredible amount of time dealing with shoplifters
and thieving employees.  A number of them were pretty rough customers.  That's when I started
giving serious thought to a career change.  I would not have put it past some of them to come back
and lie in wait for me in the parking lot after we had closed.

As you can imagine the store had VERY high shrink (3.2%!).  Obviously because you could go out into
the parking lot, toss a rock in any direction, and it would land in a housing project. 

Obvious to everyone that is except Hills Corporate.  Their official explanation for the shrink was "the Operations Manager is not doing his job."  So I got put on a special auditing program where this guy would come all the way from Johnstown once a week to follow me around with a clipboard and compile a report on everything I was not getting done.   A ridiculous waste of time.  He did not want to be there any more than I wanted him there.  But they had to have some sort of window dressing for the stockholders apparently.

When I went in to resign they put a big pile of money on the table in an attempt to get me to stay.
So obviously I could not have been doing that bad a job!   Roll Eyes
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a.estok
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2015, 12:32:39 PM »

I remember that K-Mart very clearly as well, closed in 2003, demolished in about 2008 maybe? Kennywood Park now owns the property and uses it for storage, and an overflow parking lot.
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2015, 03:27:50 PM »

Kennywood would sometimes use our Hills parking lot for overflow on an extremely busy day.
The General Manager would come into the store and politely ask us if it was okay.
In exchange he always gave us an advance tip when a school from an especially rough part
of town was scheduled to have their school picnic there, in order to give us the opportunity
to schedule extra loss prevention.
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2015, 08:04:25 AM »

This DSW location was formerly the Ames on PA Route 51.  Century III Mall can be seen
in the background.  This is either West Mifflin or Pleasant Hills, I am unsure precisely where
the boundary line is.   This was a GC Murphy Mart when I was in grade school.  There was a
Hills location on the opposite side of the mall, which became an Ames after the merger.
Ames continued to operate two locations, less than a mile apart, for some time.

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a.estok
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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2015, 05:20:09 PM »

That store was just barely inside the West Mifflin boundary line, but it had a Baldwin zip code. I believe it closed in 1999 or 2000.
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2015, 06:31:53 AM »

That store was just barely inside the West Mifflin boundary line, but it had a Baldwin zip code. I believe it closed in 1999 or 2000.

Thank you.  So indeed, there were at one time 3 Ames stores located in the Pennsylvania borough of
West Mifflin.  Kennywood, Century Square and Route 51.
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2017, 02:46:29 PM »

I drove by my old Hills store at the Kennywood Mall for the first time in a long time.

Was very surprised to see it is now a Rose's location!
Did not think any of those existed within a 300 mile radius.
Will have to stop and look around next time (they call that "nebbing" here in Western PA)
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2017, 11:56:23 AM »

Across the parking lot from the ex-Hills/Ames store at the top of this thread
was a Busy Beaver home remodeling center.  It had to be torn down several
years ago due to some catastrophic structural issue.

There is now construction activity at the site.  From the shape of the concrete
pad being poured I am guessing a restaurant.  Stay tuned.
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