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Author Topic: Shoreway Shopping Center - Sheffield Lake, Ohio  (Read 1424 times)
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jason83080
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« on: July 02, 2012, 05:07:27 PM »

Our local plaza, the Shoreway Shopping Center, is about as run-down as it gets. On top of the now-abandoned bowling alley, post office, and drive-through beverage that occupy a good chunk of retail in the back (closed for unpaid rent, lack of business in general, and it moved across the street to a shiny new building, respectively), the rest of the plaza leaves a LOT to be desired. Once the subject of discovering old medical records/waste hidden underneath the floors in certain storefronts, half of it was torn down, with most of the abandoned space in the other half walled-up and made to look like it's not there anymore. The strip center itself has four major tenants - Chase Bank, Rite Aid Pharmacy (which is VERY run-down, and hardly ever has more than 2 people shopping there at any given time), Dollar General, and Family Dollar - and a couple of smaller businesses (a barber shop and one of two bars that were originally there), but the rest of it is empty/walled over. There used to be a Hardee's, which went out of business after the owners changed the name to "Rax" and tried to survive. That's been demolished, and its space integrated into the shiny new boat launch ramp parking area. There's also an Apples grocery store, which started out life as a Rini-Rego Stop-n-Shop, then was - in this order - a smaller Giant Eagle, a Rini-Rego/Sparkle, and a Giant Eagle again after RR/S never caught on. There used to be a bank inside, but it's long since been closed/walled over/turned into the employee lounge.

If I owned the space, I'd level everything and start over from scratch. First, you build a new Rite Aid in the back (it has side-street access) with a drive-thru pharmacy, and try to rejuvenate that business. We'll keep Apples around (although I'd redo the facade), and build onto both sides, moving the current occupants of the strip center to those new spaces. As that is finished, we'll demolish the old plaza and start over from scratch. In need of an anchor store to complement Apples? Why not Kmart? We're a small city, so we don't need much. How about a restaurant? There's a brand-new Subway down the road, so we don't need one of those. How about a Chick-fil-A? Those are a hot commodity. Heck, why not really draw in a crowd and open a Sonic? I'd even look into buying the space that the old Subway and Pizza Hut are sitting on and put a new restaurant over there. (A return of Fazoli's, anyone?) Utilize the space to the best of our abilities, bearing in mind that we can't dump the boat-launch parking.

If done right, it could lead to a strong retail renaissance for our city.

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Edit: Some pictures of Shoreway are visible starting here: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/70832957

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Edit, part deux: Apparently, Shoreway used to be thriving. Check out this site - http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html - for pictures of Shoreway back in the '50s when it opened and when they were tearing it down. Evidently, there used to be an A&P at one point! Who knew? (The "false front" was there when I moved out here in 1996, except it was all faded wood paneling, and the large squares were false windows.)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 05:24:55 PM by jason83080 » Logged
jason83080
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 08:20:53 PM »

So, two years later, and the retail landscape is vastly different. Poor Shoreway has lost both bars. The barber has retired. The bowling alley is officially just an empty building. Nobody wants to buy the drive-thru beverage, and the old post office building is now "North Coast Woodworking." To top it off, Dollar General is likely closing to move into a brand new building about a mile south, so there's another vacancy.

Time to fantasize!

To start, we tear down the old bowling alley building and construct a new Rite Aid with a drive-thru pharmacy. Next, we tear down the old drive-thru beverage and build a brand-new Chase Bank. (This frees up a portion of the existing plaza.) Apples will remain, but we give it a new nautical-themed facade (being on the lakeshore and all), along with annexing the open land on both sides to build new small-strip retail. Family Dollar moves to the West side (freeing up more of the old plaza; we're going to level it soon), and the smaller stores that have opened up (karate studio, balloon shop; we're moving the Driftwood Cafe into the old Pizza Hut across the street) will relocate to the East side, along with new openings for smaller-space things to open up. (Perhaps a Baskin-Robbins, and what city would be complete without a GameStop?) With the old strip center free, we demo the whole thing and start over. We bring Community Drive through to Lake Road and landscape down both sides to establish that it's an actual street. This separates Chase, Rite Aid, and Speedway from the plaza space, but it gives us an official "back of the plaza" border.

Now, what do we build where the old plaza was? That corner lot gets developed into a Chick-fil-A, and we'll also landscape in some official driveways and sidewalks to make it look nice. Next, we build a new Books-A-Million location as the cornerstone of the renaissance of the plaza. It won't be HUGE, but it's a decent-sized location. Next to that, there's still some space, so we'll build an OfficeMax. There isn't one in Lorain County anymore, so there's no reason why there shouldn't be one in Sheffield Lake. Any land that's left after this is redeveloped into 'green space,' landscaped and made to look nice.

Up the street a bit, there's an old drive-thru beverage store that's sitting empty. We'll renovate the building a bit and put in a T-Mobile store. It won't require a lot of parking, and the store doesn't need to be that huge (since Midway Mall has one, so they clearly don't need the square footage that AT&T and Verizon require), which frees that up. We'll do the facade in a similar nautical theme to the Shoreway Plaza.

Further, there's an old appliance store that'd make the perfect Buyback$. All it would need is a new paint job and a fresh parking lot, and you're good to go. Next to it is the plot of land that the townspeople here didn't want to become Dollar General. We could put Baskin-Robbins here in a standalone building. It wouldn't attract too much traffic, and it wouldn't be nearly as 'busy' as a Dollar General would be.

Toward the center of town, you come to our major intersection of Lake Road and SR 301. This intersection, aside from Brownie's Market and the old-but-still-operating laundromat, is basically dead. You've got residential to the North on the lakeshore, Brownie's/the hardware store/laundromat to the West, and nothing to the East except the old lumberyard-turned-storage-lot. There's a restaurant space next to Brownie's - right on the corner - that was last one of those 'sweepstakes' joints for a few months before it closed down. We level that and redevelop it into more parking and a side entrance for Brownie's, since there's only a narrow lot in the front. On the East side, we take over the entire corner and develop it into a gas station (BP/7-Eleven), and we plow over the lumberyard to build a brand-new CVS/pharmacy, replacing the closed location in Sheffield Village and giving Rite Aid a run for their money. Further East, next to our new BP, we'll build a new Wendy's. This should butt up right to Gus's Bar and the industry down that way.

...

Reality check: None of this will likely ever happen. Shoreway will keep emptying out, until it reaches the point where there's nothing left except dreams and plans of what could be... And that wind turbine smack-dab in the middle of the parking lot, which I just remembered now. We'll just landscape around it. Wink
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