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Dollar General Moving Into Former CVS Location

City’s director of planning and development: Building’s owner made a “lazy decision.”

The 9,000-square-foot, now-vacant former home of is about to get a new tenant.

And city officials are not at all happy about it. 

The building, which recently changed ownership, will now be the future home of Dollar General, a national discount chain. 

City officials began looking to attract a new tenant when to its new home on the site of the a couple blocks away.

Four local tenants — including a local breakfast restaurant, the owner of a “well-established” Lakewood restaurant, a local hardware store and a fitness center — stepped forward.

To no avail. 

“We cultivated these leads, and in spite of that this owner made a lazy decision,” said Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development.

“I don’t understand why, with all the positive thing happening in the downtown, why they would want to go in this direction. These aren’t start-ups. We gave them leads that were well-known businesses in Northeast Ohio.” 

The building’s owner, Sam Barnes, did not return several calls seeking comment.

“Here’s what’s disappointing about this: It’s a lazy decision,” Siley added. “When we got wind of a new owner coming on board, we got excited about this investment in this prime location in downtown Lakewood. 

“We really wanted to find a great tenant, and instead they snubbed their noses at us. The decision to have this tenant lies squarely on their shoulders.”

Ian Andrews, the executive director of , said he’s also disappointed with the news.

“We’d love to see a different tenant in there,” he said. “When you have a private owner and a private tenant, they’re entitled to do whatever they want. It’s a prime opportunity — it’s a prime space.

 “This is just very underwhelming. Very underwhelming.”

Minor renovations to the building’s exterior — including a cleanup of the façade — are slated to go before the city’s architectural board of review on June 14.

Nathan June 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM
And I say this as a lifelong Lakewoodite.
Allison June 11, 2012 at 01:42 PM
That really stinks that a dollar store will be moving in. It's unfortunate. I guess it's better than NOTHING being there... but I will never shop there! Just like CVS. I never shopped there before, and I won't be shopping at the new one! I still support Drug Mart because they are family-owned and always have what I need! :-) As for Quaker Steak, honestly, it'll be nice to not have to drive out to Valley View and support another city over ours! I like their food... what can I say?
Dudley B. June 13, 2012 at 06:26 PM
What am I missing here? The city of Lakewood has zoning codes in place defining allowable use of the property. The owner of the property has followed the law established by Lakewood by leasing/selling the property to an allowable business. He has done what the city instructed/required him to do. The problem appears to be with the city not having the proper zoning codes in effect. For anyone to suggest the city strong arm the new tennant by overzealous enforcement of building codes or to have the architectural review board make it difficult for the tennant to get building approval is ridiculous. That would be discrimatory and illegal. Do we really want our government that have that kind of power?
Judy Towner June 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Dudley makes a valid point, but someone from the city should drive down Madison starting at the east end. I know we're discussing Detroit and CVS and the like, but you only need that drive to see how much the city ignores what is going on on Madison. There used to be a "Madison District" with some eclectic shops and now there is a gold store, a hip-hop cell phone store which has terrible sineage, and don't forget the new custom gun holders and 7 out of 10 storefronts with cedar faced, brown painted fronts of which 4 out of 10 are empty. I've lived in the same place for 34 years and have seen Madison turn into a total mess. I had a business in Lakewood, now closed, and we jumped through hoops when it came to our signs and the ones on Madison paint them in windows, hand make them or hang banners. Think the city cares enough to bother them for weeks? Guess not, still there. Landlords should be held accountable for the appearance of their budildings regardless if they have a tenant.
Judy Towner June 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM
On Detroit Avenue, at least the groups LakewoodAlive and the Downtown Business Alliance care enough to make sure the city AND the building owners AND the shop owners keep up their property as evidenced in part by the Curtis Block that they have taken upon themselves to keep the windows clean and decorated with current Lakewood events. Unfortunately rents in the downtown area are pretty hefty and the only ones that can afford to move in are the chains. I've heard the term "Downtown Lakewood Historic District" and then you have Dollar Store. They have not been around long enough to be considered "historic". On another note, Applebee's on the east end? I thought those were relegated to malls.

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