Former Tokyo Massage in Murrysville will become new home for dental practice

“Have you ever seen that much pink?” Rick Rivardo asked while touring the former Tokyo massage parlor.

Rivardo and his wife Lisa are moving their dental practice from the Golden Mile Highway in Monroeville to the head of Route 22 east of Murrysville on Buena Vista Drive.

Lisa Rivardo said they are happy to transform the building – the interior of which could be generously referred to as “Pepto-Bismol-Rosa” – into “something much more innocent than the previous occupants”.

In late 2019, Hui Xu, a 46-year-old Chinese man who authorities said ran a number of local massage parlors as fronts for prostitution courts, pleaded guilty to human trafficking offenses. Xu admitted that workers performed sex acts for customers at her four spa establishments – three in Monroeville and Tokyo Massage Spa in Murrysville.

Also, when Rivardo became aware of the building’s availability through a sheriff’s sale in January 2020, he found that although the building had been several different companies over the years, the building was still intended for residential use. After successfully changing the zoning to a more appropriate business name, he began converting it into a dental practice with four operating rooms, a laboratory, a kitchen and office areas.

“Plumbing is the big thing,” said Rivardo, who has been a practicing dentist at his Monroeville location for 14 of his 20 years. “The floor is a large slab of concrete and that only needs to be cut for installation,” Lisa added.

It is also about installing the entire infrastructure necessary to run a dental practice. Rivardo said he hopes to be fully moved in by August and is thrilled with the visibility of the new location – his office will be one of the first things commuters on Route 22 will see when they head west into Murrysville.

“Where we were in Monroeville we couldn’t put up a sign near the road,” said Lisa. “We were in the middle of three postcodes and that was great, but the visibility is just not good there.”

Last Friday a working group was busy with demolition work. Lisa Rivardo was only too happy to do her part by sinking a sizable hammer into a bright pink wall that is falling down.

“We’re just very excited to own rather than rent,” she said. “We are waiting for the building permit and then we are ready to go.”

Patrick Varine is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected], or on Twitter.

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