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Madison Avenue Business Owners Form ‘Uptown Lakewood’

The business cluster of several businesses between Elmwood and Arthur avenues — looks to make the neighborhood a destination for shoppers.

Hoping to get some attention to a cluster of businesses on Madison Avenue, a few business owners got together to form Uptown Lakewood.

The organization — consisting of several businesses between Elmwood and Arthur avenues — looks to make the neighborhood a destination for shoppers. 

“Our primary goal is to unify this neighborhood,” said Rachel Anzalone, who owns Holistic Lakewood. “Our long-term vision is to grow more than just a couple of blocks.

Robby Zettler, of Metro on Madison, said the up-start organization will host events and promote the neighborhood through clearly defined marketing efforts — modeled after LakewoodAlive’s Downtown Lakewood Business Alliance.

Although it’s just a couple of blocks, the organization includes businesses such as Metro, Holistic Lakewood, Dirty Town Guitars and Amps and Buckeye Beer Engine. 

“We feel we are in a very good area, and we have a lot of great businesses,” said Zettler. “The idea is to really bring attention up here. There are enough unique businesses up here, but there are also enough empty spaces so I think forget about the area.” 

Zettler said that the organization could grow to include more businesses outside of the Arthur-to-Elmwood boundary. 

“We’re hoping to see the whole landscape change,” she said. “And we think it starts right here.”

A holiday event — as well as an open house — is currently in the works. 

“This is really going to help this whole area,” said Dennis Bielinski, who co-owns Dirty Town. “This is how you build up an area.”

Joni Nowak RN/CCRN November 23, 2012 at 02:17 AM
The Lakewood Learning Center is way down on the Eastern end of Lakewood, on Madison, and would luv to be a part of it. It's a great idea! Can other businesses on Madison attend the Open House // Holiday Celebration? Where will the events be posted? Madison has many viable businesses, the Lakewood Learning Center is one of them............. how can we help?? Joni Nowak / Owner: Lakewood Learning Center
ian king November 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM
HI - great idea. Lakewood cannot support two drawn out business districts. Walkability and density is the only way to survive in this economy and the future. Creating areas of several shops, cafes, etc. should be the goal. Having a store here and then another one 3 or 4 blocks away - all in isolation of each other - does not create an inviting visual or shopping incentive. One of the problems Lakewood has is it at one time had a lot more residents and was a shopping destination. Crocker Park has now taken that away as has Westgate. Boutique shops are hard to sustain without foot traffice and a destination focus. Congrats on trying to make it happen, but I think what really needs to happen is for City Council to try to rezone a lot of Madison and Detroit. Spread out shopping blocks without connecting them except vacant and empty storefronts of lots, will not secure a good future for retail in Lakewood. Think Cedar/Lee and Coventry Village and Fairmount Village on the East Side - they work well and are successful since they are not spread out, walkable, have a mix of cafe, store, food, vintage, residential - and accept density as a good thing for retail survival in cities that are experiencing competition from the suburbs and reduced population. Compact, dense and diverse areas of Lakewood can work. It just takes a lot of vision, rezoning, and yes, some areas of the city without retail, but it has to be done for the rest of retail to survive at all in Lakewood's future.
Joni Nowak RN/CCRN November 23, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Fortunately, the Lakewood Learning Center does not need "foot traffic" to survive. It has been successful since day one. I don't depend on people just 'happening by'... in my world, they've already signed into an online class, finished those requirements and then come to the Training Center for a mandatory in-person skills session. I know there would need to be a whole lot more happening between myself and the other end of Madison for Lakewood's Uptown to succeed. BTW Mr. King, are you a business owner on Madison Ave? It could happen. It should happen..... Lakewood can support two business districts. Here's to making it happen! Great job [ Uptown Lakewood ] How can we help??
Renee Lavelle November 23, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I agree Ian, I am hoping that by bringing attention to this area and what it has to offer, will help to bring more businesses here to this section and make it more "shoppable" and "walkable" and hopefully others can follow suit and build clusters within their areas as well. Dowtown, Uptown, Birdtown and so on.... Renee Owner "The Little Bling Shoppe", by Thirstees
kathy Curran November 23, 2012 at 09:02 PM
i would like to encourage shopping local at all the small businesses in lakewood, on madison and detroit avenues! thanks!
Renee Lavelle November 23, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I believe everyone feels that same sentiment, while at the same time trying to improve the city's shopping experience as a whole for everyone.
Joni Nowak RN/CCRN November 25, 2012 at 03:21 PM
I agree! Small clusters of interested business owners will increase interest in Madison Ave. as a whole. I'd like to propose something for the Eastern end of Madison Ave. The Lakewood Learning Center is just East of Angelo's Pizza on the North side of the street. Included in that area would be Mahall's, Madison Library/Park, Taco Tanto's, Waterbury Coach House, Cielo's and many more. I have space for a meeting. Let's put one together. Go to Meetup.com and look for [ Uptown Lakewood ] and sign in.
Renee Lavelle November 27, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Joni- I am gonna stop by and see you- I just wanted to clarify also that I don't speak exclusively for the Uptown Lakewood group- but I can tell you- we started small so that we could get organized efficiently and then the borders of what is considered to be "Uptown Lakewood" should expand to in or around/between the area of Warren to Hillard- Basically adjancent to Downtown Lakewood. We were not specifying that the entire street of Madison Ave is "Uptown Lakewood" .But that is AWESOME to hear you want to join in and exactly the response that we hoped would come from this-- is that others see what we are doing and want to improve their area, designate a section as we are doing by working with the city etc.. I will also mention that MAMA is a Madison Avenue wide merchant group that you may be interested in as well. Hope to meet you soon. Renee
Dan Munday February 06, 2013 at 10:59 PM
I have a furniture business at the far east end and would like to have an origination to be involved with.
Dan Munday February 06, 2013 at 11:02 PM
How about an east side organization?

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