If traffic is any indication, The Block Northway—formerly Northway Mall in Ross Township—is already a big hit. No surprise there. Nordstrom Rack opened its first store in the Pittsburgh area on August 26 in the 350,000-square-foot mall and immediately drew a crowd. More crowd pleasing stores will soon follow at the redeveloped mall, such as Saks OFF 5th and The Container Store.

nordstrom rack opening day
Opening day at Nordstrom Rack. Photos by T.H. Carlisle.

Nordstrom Rack offers 40,000 square feet of discounted versions of popular brands such as Free People, rag & bone, Amanda & Chelsea, and Joe Fresh, as well as styles exclusive to the popular retail chain. Seasonal merchandise is updated daily and the selection at its opening was impressive. One shopper wondered if it would stay that good. “Usually you have to search for the good stuff,” she said, eyeing her shopping cart which included Kate Spade purses and Paige jeans.

Nordstrom Rack shoes
The Women’s Shoes department on opening day.
The Women’s Shoes department on opening day.

Another customer in the dressing room was overheard saying, “I’m breaking a sweat from all these clothes I’m trying on.”

Lines to both dressing room and check out were long but customers seemed happy with their selections.

“Now I don’t have to go to D.C.,” said one shopper who frequented the Nordstrom Rack store there. This store is the 203rd in the country.

A big re-do

The Block Northway at 8013 McKnight Road recently received a $90 million facelift which has helped attract these three highly sought after stores.

“It is filling up with great retailers,” says Craig Polard of Pinpoint Retail, which handles leasing and marketing for The Block Northway, owned by LRC Realty. He cites the “ideal location” sandwiched between Ross Park Mall and McCandless Crossing.

“There are several other exciting tenants coming. Our goal is to create a destination that is very different to anything else in town.”

On October 13th, a 36,000-square-foot, two-level Saks OFF 5th will open with one-of-a-kind designer finds from more than 800 brands.

“We are pleased to bring the thrill-of-the-hunt experience to Pittsburgh shoppers with our second Saks OFF 5TH store within the Pittsburgh metropolitan area,” says Jonathan Greller, president, Saks OFF 5TH and Gilt. The other location is at Tanger Outlets south of Pittsburgh. “As a destination center for shoppers looking for high-quality, on-trend product, The Block Northway is an ideal location.”

The Container Store’s first location in the Pittsburgh area offers more than 11,000 home organization products spread out over 24,000 feet. The grand opening weekend will be Saturday and Sunday, October 8 and 9, with giveaways every hour on the hour and 10% of proceeds from the grand opening weekend going to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh. Hours will be Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Hours for Nordstrom Rack are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Maya Haptas has an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University and is a freelance writer covering various topics from architecture and urban design to wellness and skateboarding. She is currently the assistant editor of Bigfoot Skateboarding Magazine.