A Pitt-owned grocery store will move into the 7-Eleven space on Forbes Avenue, University spokesperson Joe Miksch said Thursday.
After confirmation from Miksch, The Pitt News reported Wednesday that 7-Eleven will close to make room for Pitt’s Oakland Bakery. He later said Thursday that the 7-Eleven isn’t being turned into just a bakery.
“It will be a grocery store with a bakery section,” he said. “This is being done since the IGA closed and our students don’t have a convenient place to shop for groceries.”
The University made the decision to replace 7-Eleven with a grocery store in early spring, according to Jim Earle, Pitt’s vice chancellor for business. Pitt is aiming to open the store during the spring term, but it could open as late as summer 2018.
“It felt like an ideal space for a grocery store — like it would be a real convenience for students,” Earle said.
7-Eleven — whose contract with the University allows for termination with a minimum of six months notice — was notified of the decision before May. The agreement with Pitt property management specified that 7-Eleven would vacate the space by Oct. 17, although 7-Eleven owner Don Young said the store will close Sept 29.
The new establishment “truly will be a grocery store,” Earle said, and will offer fresh produce and fresh meat.
“Our goal is to create a place where students can come … and shop for healthy food,” Earle said. “I think it will be popular on campus.”
The University is still negotiating whether Sodexo or another provider will manage the new store, Earle said.
The Pitt grocery store will also include a bakery section with many of the same treats currently offered at the Oakland Bakery.
“Students will still be able to get the cookies and cupcakes that they love,” Earle said.
Maggie & Stella’s is set to replace the Oakland Bakery, which will operate through the end of October. Although the timeline is tentative, the University plans for Maggie & Stella’s to move to Fifth Avenue Feb. 1.
Earle said he doesn’t think the grocery story will be open 24 hours like 7-Eleven, given that Market To-Go in Towers is already open late. Market To-Go is open 24 hours Mondays through Thursdays, until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and until midnight on Sundays.
Currently, students can choose from Market To-Go and 7-Eleven for late-night snacks on campus, with Market To-Go having consistently higher prices. 7-Eleven sells a half-gallon of milk for $2.69, while Market To-Go charges $3.09. Market To-Go also sells Cliff Bars for $2.39, compared to 7-Eleven $1.99 deal. The Pitt-owned store charges $4.79 for Jif peanut butter, a dollar more than the store down the street.
John Hamilton contributed reporting.
This story has been updated.