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Traders Joe's Wanted on Detroit Avenue

We recently asked what business should move into the abandoned Vedda Building building on Detroit Avenue.

Trader Joe's should move to the abandoned Vedda Building on Detroit Avenue. 

That's according to Lakewood Patch readers who that the grocery store chain should move into the space. 

We  what should move into the vacant space next to the .

The nominations — and then the votes — rolled in.

Trader Joe's took in 32 percent of the vote, but closely followed by a suggestion to convert the building into artist studios/apartments.

The Vedda Building — once the home of Phil Vedda and Sons Printing — has been abandoned since the company vacated the property in the late 1990s.

The building was most recently the home of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign outpost in Lakewood.

There have been reports that neighboring , but no deal was ever reached.

Matthew Somich June 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Isn't Trader Joe's owned by an evil corporation? Or is that okay because it doesn't attract poor people?
JC June 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Wait - that's already an abandoned Trader Joe's building? huh?
Darlene Hood June 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Trader Joe's is a great idea. But the old Giant Eagle building would be a nicer spot-good size for a Trader Joe's. Aren't all large corporations evil? DH
Alexandra June 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I know a few.things about real estate...poor location, not enough parking. The old Fairchild lot is a better location than Vedda's. Better access, parking, visibility. It is owned by the same parent company that owns Aldi's. It is not evil in that it brings much needed commerce and jobs to the EAST SIDE of Lakewood and continues to drive out troublemakers. Good lightening, active business, quality products. Good company moral.
Pat Ballasch June 30, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Abandoned? The city decision makers helped Vedda Printers relocate to Berea Rd. They needed more space. A good point was made about lack of parking. The space itself doesn't look big enough for a Trader Joe's. Good parking is essential for the way we shop today. I think the old Rego's at Detroit & Bunts would be a better fit for a Trader Joe's. Help us out next time you ask what we'd like. Give us information like Square footage, number of parking spaces, zoning, condition and any other important facts. Who knows, someone may have an idea that could actually be implemented.
Matthew Somich June 30, 2012 at 02:10 PM
I was joking about the evil part:). It seems that every time a reitail/restaurant corporation wants to move into Lakewood every one gets upset. I just found it funny that Trader Joe's would be acceptable but Family Dollar would draw outrage.
Judy Towner June 30, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Trader Joe's in Westlake does a huge business. Perhaps it's just because it's at Crocker Park and people are already there, but if that's not the case I think it would bring people into Lakewood and they might just see what else is around. That would be great, but I can already hear "Great, another Family Dollar Store"
Mark Buckley June 30, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Matthew, Given your concern you should know that Drug Mart's developer bought a residentially zoned apartment building on Grace with the intention of razing it to the ground and extending an asphalt parking lot up Grace. Why this should concern you is that they evicted all of the tenants of the building - most of them are on disability many of them are veterns and all of them are friends and neighbors. They did this because someone or something assured them that they would get approval for conditional use by the Planning Commision. The Mayor and The Director of Development should be ashamed of this and we should be outraged that these people were displaced from their homes for 15 extra parking spaces.
Colin McEwen June 30, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Good catch! Fixed it. Thanks.
Nickie J. Antonio June 30, 2012 at 09:04 PM
is that a abandoned building or an empty building? Seems to me that Viginia Marti could expand or how about student housing or an artist loft and coffee shop/gallery? While Trader Joes is nice it but it is a corporate business rather than Lakewood's Nature's Bin which is an independent , mission driven non for profit market. Maybe Nature's Bin should consider a second location?
Theresa Ferline-Carr June 30, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I cannot tell what corner this is on...can anyone help me place this? I have a business I am trying to relocate....thanks!
leah June 30, 2012 at 11:56 PM
As much as I would love to see a Trader Joe's in Lakewood I don't think a lone building is their thing.I haven't seen every Trader Joe's but the ones I have been to are in plazas or places like Crocker Park. It would be great if Virginia Marti could use that area to expand.
BlackFlame July 01, 2012 at 12:53 PM
"I just found it funny that Trader Joe's would be acceptable but Family Dollar would draw outrage." That's because you don't understand what your opponents are saying. People like myself would like to keep Lakewood a decent place to live. Since Lakewood is a unique, we should try to retain some of its charm. It would be like buying a beautiful home full of history and ripping out all its charm and replacing it with cheap ugly crap. High paying jobs are better than low paying jobs and this doesn't just apply to the rich. Poor people would like an opportunity to have good jobs. Trader Joe's employees get paid 40,000 to 60,000 a year with a 401k plan which is much better than what is paid at Family Dollar. Trader Joe's is also environmentally friendly while most products are made in the US. Family Dollar makes products that break after a short period of time which means people have to keep buying the same thing over and over again. Trader Joe's promotes community and have nice buildings while Family Dollar is an eye sore. In fact, if you support Family Dollar you hate the environment and poor people. See, two can play at this game.
Renee July 01, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I absolutely hate how the City and the Director of Development are handling things. They truly do not care what people and the neighbors think or want, no matter what they tell us. They are allowing Lakewood to be populated by pharmacies and gas stations. Trader Joes would have been an excellent neighbor where they are now going to put a massive Get Go gas station. Yes, Get Go needs a new home but I think it should go at the bottom of Giant Eagle's parking lot (like Rocky River). Let Trader Joes go where the old Giant Eagles used to be -- but, hey, too much competition for Giant Eagles, I guess. I love Trader Joes. I go to Westlake to shop there. Bottom line, the City will do what it wants no matter what the neighbors want, sadly. They'll just provide the neighbors with a nice presentation of where we were, where we are and where we're going and politely let you know you have no choice in the matter. Unfortunately, things are a done deal before neighbors even know anything about it. I do like the new look of downtown Lakewood and I hope the "sharrows" go through but I do not like the fact that they do not stand up for what residents of Lakewood want. They have their own agenda, that is clear to me.
Colin McEwen July 01, 2012 at 07:30 PM
I think it's both abandoned AND empty. ;)
Colin McEwen July 01, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Theresa, it's the northwest corner of Hird and Detroit avenues.
Mark Buckley July 01, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Renee, Much of what you say is shared by residents on Grace. If you're interested this Thursday (July 5) The Planning Commision will be deciding the fate of the encroachment by Drug Mart on Grace. Please attend and have your voice heard. We need support. Also those of us who feel poorly served by this administration should mobilize and push back at the ballot box.
Liz B. July 02, 2012 at 12:33 PM
The issue is basically moot. The City has approached Trader Joe's on many occassions. First with no response whatsoever and then with a "we're not interested". If you have been to any other Trader Joe's across the country, you will notice they are usually in some upper scale plaza and setting like Crocker Park. The east end of Lakewood does not interest them.
Evan Hammersmith July 02, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Renee, though this is no longer up for debate, you can't put a Get-Go at the bottom of the GE parking lot. Their lot is borderline too small as it is. the Get-Go will be perfectly situated where they have proposed on the corner. We need a Gas station in that area anyway. Since Trader Joes wants no part of Lakewood, we'll have to wait until Lakewood improves to the point where more upscale retailers will want to locate here. That's probably 4-5 years out...
Peter Grossetti July 02, 2012 at 03:28 PM
ah, the gentrification of Lakewood will, according to Evan, be complete in 4 to 5 years!
Evan Hammersmith July 02, 2012 at 03:52 PM
complete in 4-5 years? probably not. But given the recent development in the past few years in Lakewood, I would imagine over the next 4 years, we'll see more improvements made to the east end of the city. That'll be great, in my opinion. The east end is too neglected.
ian king July 14, 2012 at 01:47 PM
the reality of business is if no one supports them, whether mom and pop shops or large corporations, they won't be able to stay in business. plain and simple. for all the focus on this website about supporting small mom and pop shops in lakewood, i don't see that happening that much. a lot of small business have closed their doors in lakewood in the last few years. blame it on the dreary economics everywhere, but talk to a few of these former owners and they will all tell you not enough local support was given. we can all say how much we want charming, small unique shops, but if not enough citizens of lakewood support them, they won't exist. shopping local is unfortunately just often not the reality in lakewood!
Alexa September 06, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Well said. Yes, the GE building is a good idea Darlene. Parking would be MUCH better! It would be good to have a TJ in Lakewood! It certainly would be more convenient for those of us who might not want to go 'all the way' out to Crocker just to pick up dinner ingredients. It should be very prosperous for them. It is far enough away from Earth Fair in Westgate too, the competition would be good for both of those stores' business. I suppose it could push pretty hard on the raw foods store on Clifton, but that would make them work even harder, some decent advertising would help them out. In my opinion there would/should be a good market for T.J. in Lakewood!
Lisa Mooney September 12, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Trader Joe's would be a fabulous addition to Lakewood! How can it even be debated as a negative when so far on Detroit a beautiful church and theater have been torn down -- for a McDonald's and another not needed drug store. If we want to scrutinize tenants, then something isn't working right since these eyesores of mediocrity are seeping in everywhere. Trader Joe's shouldn't be placed in that category.

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