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New Home for the Wholey's Smiling Fish Still Up in the Air

The 100-foot-long Wholey’s fish is one step closer to getting a new home.

Jim Wholey, president of Wholey’s, held a press conference with Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald over the weekend to announce the top five choices for a new location.

In December, Wholey had asked the community to help decide where the fish should go. Wholey said a few thousand fans of the fish voted via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and in person.

“The third most popular was somewhere in McKees Rocks, the number two spot was Mt. Washington, and the number one spot was the Heinz History Center,” said Wholey.

He said other top choices included on or near the water, on a bridge or a barge, and on the retaining wall near Veteran’s Bridge.

The company still needs to talk with the Heinz History Center to see if it’s a possibility, though the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that museum president Andy Masich is not thrilled by the idea.

“The next step is to start with the first spot and ask them if they’re interested. We have to get the owner’s permission … and then we have to get the city zoning permission to get it zoned correctly,” said Wholey.

The sign, made of dozens of LED light bulbs, is currently situated on the side of the former Wholey’s Wholesale building, which is slated to be redeveloped into 144 loft-style homes.

Liz Reid began working at WESA in 2013 as a general assignment reporter and weekend host. Since then, she’s worked as the Morning Edition producer, health & science reporter and as an editor.