Abandoned Ganley Dealership Eyed for New Drug Mart

Value World eyed as tenant to take over the pharmacy’s space at 11900 Detroit Avenue.

is looking to expand its presence in the city.

The company — with its — has plans to move its eastern Lakewood location to the abandoned Ganley auto dealership at the corner of Cohassett and Detroit avenues.

Value World, a thrift store at W. 107th Street and Lorain Avenue in Cleveland, is considering a move into Drug Mart’s vacated location, according to officials.

The former auto dealership's showroom building would be demolished — along with an apartment building and vacant house at the rear of the property — to make way for a 24,000-square-foot Drug Mart, according to plans submitted to the city on Tuesday.

Plans call for a red brick structure, 92 parking spaces, a drive-thru, and green space that includes space for a bio-retention swale.

“That will take care of a significant piece of real estate that leaves only the ,” said Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers.

But before ground is broken, there are a couple of hurdles ahead of the drug store chain.

The first is a proposal for a conditional use permit for a zoning change and a lot consolidation at the former Ganley site. The city’s planning commission will consider those motions on June 7. 

And the following week, on June 14, the city’s architectural board of review will examine the company’s design plans. 

Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development, said the drawings submitted Tuesday still need some refining.

“The initial building design is a good first pass, but it will need a lot of work before it can be approved,” he said. “This will have to look like a Lakewood building and not like a typical Drug Mart.”

Officials from could not be reached for this story, but Siley said that the store is looking to compete as a grocery store — not as much as a pharmacy.

“The east end of Lakewood is, without a doubt, underserved for grocery store options,” he said.

This isn’t the only proposed development on the Ganley-owned property.

Earlier this year, on the adjacent property across Grace Avenue.

Although a tenant for the current Drug Mart hasn’t been confirmed, Siley said that Value World “has been a part of that discussion.”

“I am encouraged to see interest in reusing the former Ganley dealership site,” he said. “The quality of the design is going to be as important here as it was for , because Grace and Cohassett are two of our most historic residential streets.”

Siley said that early feedback has been positive from neighbors, who no longer want an abandoned building at the location.

The city — which has distributed fliers to residents throughout the neighborhood — is hosting a forum to address questions and concerns with the public at at 6 p.m. tonight.

Tim Torrence May 17, 2012 at 05:13 PM
@Peter this scenario was already tried through eminent domain on the west end of Lakewood and all it did was put our mayor on 60 minutes looking like a fool. @angelo what business do you own next to Drug Mart? And how would a higher end clientele improve your prospects? I know of no business in that area that would strictly benefit from people who own $200,000 dollar condos. Especially considering the people who bought them can no longer afford to live there and are putting them up for sale. So if you are looking for disposable income from these property owners you need to rethink your business model. People in foreclosure do tend to drink heavily so if you are the owner of the 5 O'clock Tavern you should soon see a boost in revenue.
Steve May 17, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Not talking for Peter, but the city never really laid out any plans for the board, and then UNDERMINED them. You think the present city council really CARES about Animal Welfare, well think again. Peter will be missed, GREATLY... Thanks for your service, friend, even if they didnt give a damn.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward May 17, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Um, the city DOES give a damn. Or at least the Animal Welfare Advisory Board does. Not sure why you think differently but they do. People of the AWAB developed the TNR program for strays (we got a grant from Petsmart). How is that not caring about our city? David Anderson is a city council member and he is a liason and he cares for animals. He was there. Not sure what you're talking about. They underminded nothing as far as I know. Can you elaborate?
Steve May 18, 2012 at 12:39 AM
@Christina, Are you a board member? You stated "We got a grant..." but yet you never talked to him directly. Who did you talk to? I have little problem with Mr. Anderson, it's the rest of council I worry about. Ask Peter, he knows...and WE support him.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward May 18, 2012 at 12:46 AM
@Steve--I should have worded things differently. I am not a board member but am a fellow TNR trapper and try to make the meetings although I have missed a few. There definitely is a grant and the city knows about the grant for the TNR for strays. Everyone seems on board with it and it's working out quite well actually. Who did I talk to? Everyone that's on the board! What's wrong with the rest of the council? You mean city council? True, sometimes it can be hard getting a hold of the city council rep for your ward. But if you care to elaborate somehow, that would be great whether on here or via email or message on facebook. I see no problems with anyone and the committee is doing a GREAT service for the animals of Lakewood.
Steve May 18, 2012 at 01:00 AM
@Christina, so you are saying Peter was not on board? I find that hard to believe. Any city that turns down FREE money, ala grant, is suspect. The board lost a good person, as did Lakewood. Talk to him yet???
Christina Cocchiarale Ward May 18, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Peter resigned is what we were told last night. Nobody went into details though. How did we turn down free money? We took it and now because of that we are helping all the stray cats in the neighborhood!! I don't recall ever meeting Peter. I'm still wondering why you question the committee or the council to begin with. And no, I have not spoken to him yet.
Steve May 18, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Because WE lost a good person that truly cares about animals, but YOU have not spoken to him. Your loss and Lakewoods. Remember, He championed for TNR for cats and Anti-BSL for dogs...
Steve May 18, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Not city council...
Barbara May 18, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Maybe Steve and Christina (and anyone else who is privy to their squabble) should meet for coffee, a drink....whatever, and address the issue/s in person instead of taking potshots via a public forum.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward May 18, 2012 at 12:27 PM
@Steve-it seems that everyone in this group cares for the strays and animals. You're right I have not met him--but for some reason he stepped down and I wanted to know why. If he was so good about the animals why did he leave?? Odd. And we're all doing a pretty good job now with the money that we DID take for the TNR program so there's really no problems with animal welfare. Maybe some day we could all meet for coffee. You too, Barb. lol
Peter Grossetti May 18, 2012 at 01:23 PM
All of a sudden I am the center of this discussion?? Christina - you say: "If he was so good about the animals why did he leave??" Again, that borders on insulting. For the record, I left LASWAB a few weeks before my appointed term expired (May 16). No harm done! I am proud to have served and appreciate Councilman Juris' appointment. Again for the record (from the minutes of the 04/16/12 Boards and Commissions Ad-hoc Committee: "[Councilman At-Large Brian] Powers stated that it [Lakewood Animal Safety & Welfare Board] is a nice active passionate group but there may have been hard feelings when items were not referred to the committee. He stated that in his opinion the ordinance regarding the group should be rewritten or the board eliminated. Mr Powers believes there are too many boards and commissions and is more inclined to get people involved in specific instances." CAN WE NOW GET BACK TO DISCUSSING THE ORIGINAL TOPIC: "Abandoned Ganley Dealership Eyed for New Drug Mart"?
Christina Cocchiarale Ward May 18, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Insulting how? Yes they are talking about that with the possibility of the group being taken away but I think it's a ridiculous idea. It's a group that helps animals. Makes no sense to take it away and I don't understand why you or anyone else is getting all excited about this. I just asked why you left. This is absurd. The group is fine as it is and needs to be left that way. The end.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward May 18, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Yeah, I decided to write one more comment. You still didn't say why you left the Animal Board especially a few wks early. And in no way was I trying to insult anyone. If you took it that way then you're mistaken. The animal group is still together and should stay that way. If anyone knows any different he or she should speak up and say why or why not. Ridiculous. No need to respond.
Colin McEwen May 18, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Thanks for your service to the city, Peter. Not sure how you became the center of the discussion... But it gives me the opportunity to give you kudos. And I like that.
Steve May 18, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Thats exactly what I was trying to say, Great job my friend.
Christina Cocchiarale Ward May 18, 2012 at 07:08 PM
It stemmed from a question why he resigned from the Animal Advisory Board which he never said why. Which is fine. I'm just stating the reason. I asked and then it blew up into all of this.
xv May 21, 2012 at 09:33 PM
What does thIs string of ranting have to do with the Ganley / DrugMart project, which impacts every family with children attending Garfield school. Does no one care about the safety of the children?
angelo May 23, 2012 at 01:21 AM
I do own the Five O'Clock and FYI my neighbors in the condos are regular customers. Last Dec. I attended a holiday party hosted by one of them. Several condo dwellers attended. I was upset by the number of them who wanted to sell and move because they hadn't received what they were promised. One in particular brought the brochure she was given when she bought her unit. When she passed it around people would burst into laughter as it in no way represented their present reality. It showed beautiful landscaping and vibrant shops were for years a chain link fence has surrounded a large weed filled empty lot. No, it's not about eliminating the poor. It's about not trying to increase the concentration of them in one section of Lakewood that gets little attention from city government. What business model are you proposing? One that gets us to iron bars over my doors and windows. Ask the Shore restaurant how they feel. Ask Maria's Roman Room. Oh wait they've been an empty space for years now. Ask the condo owners how they feel about Value World.
angelo May 23, 2012 at 01:36 AM
I'm also tired of hearing this defeatist "inner ring suburb" crap like it's inevitable that we decay because of our aging housing stock. There's nothing that some leadership couldn't fix. How did Battery Park emerge from a worse scenario than Eastern Lakewood? I don't expect us to be Crocker Park but we should aim higher than Value World and an eternal empty lot.
Barbara May 23, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Well stated, Angelo.
angelo May 23, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Tim, the majority of the condo dwellers can afford them and some quite easily. There are also some who really like their homes but are tired of waiting for the rest of the package to arrive. Did you really say you know of no businesses in the area that would benefit from $200,000.00 condo owners? How about every business and to be accurate the condos directly across from me sold for close to $400,000.00. I know of only one resident selling because he can't afford it and that was due to his business collapsing.
Tim Torrence May 23, 2012 at 04:25 AM
This isn't about drawing people into Lakewood that ship has sailed. The economy killed that. The housing market killed that. The fact of the matter is we have a population here in Lakewood and a business that is willing to serve them. High end retail and high end eateries are not coming to Lakewood. People who patronize high end retailers and high end eateries are not coming to Lakewood. Every time Patch posts about empty store fronts people clamor to keep money here and more will come. Well IHOP proved those people wrong. The Detroit Theater proved people wrong. Denny's proved those businesses won't come. Facts are facts I can't change them. The businesses people say they want won't come and when they do the people don't go and then cry when the business pulls out. And those businesses were not at the east end. Think western suburbanites are going to jump over each other to get to the Quaker Steak and Lube on Detroit Rd. or the one right off 480? Living in a fantasy world and dreaming of better days doesn't make better days happen when you are holding a double edge sword. Traffic is a nightmare. There is not population to draw from north of Lakewood. High end retail and eateries would compete with Crocker Park. And remember Crocker Park style living was tried here and shot down by legal challenge. To say you do not want retailers who service residents who are here is to say you do not want the residents to stay. We both know that is not going to happen.
angelo May 30, 2012 at 11:07 PM
So Tim how to you explain Battery Park? Those residents came to an area that was more impoverished than the East end of Lakewood. How do you explain the number of condos that did sell in the Rockport development? Yes, the economy tanked but it tanked everywhere and a lot of people weathered the storm and have disposable income and yes they will come here from Westlake if there's something to come to. A number of my customers are from homes in River, Westlake and Bay. Village. There also are people who find those communities too "Stepford Wife" like, too antiseptic. I agree that the number of people without disposable income is much larger. They already have plenty of places to shop in the area. We want a more balanced mixture. You site I Hop. What about The Melt? Deagans? Jammy Buggers? Why can't our end get places like that?
Christina Cocchiarale Ward May 31, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Angelo, AMEN to that!!!!!!!! Thank you. I TOTALLY agree. It is rather ridiculous that our end gets the shaft. And the others that don't see it that way obviously don't live or know the area well.
Tim Torrence June 01, 2012 at 03:47 PM
No Mr. Trevor I would not. But I would like to remove a large portion of the alcohol funded business establishments in Lakewood. We certainly have more than our share. Why doesn't the city do something about this? We have children who walk to school every day down Detroit Ave. and they pose a clear danger. Maybe the city should remove alcohol licenses and put the present owners out on the street so that better businesses can move in and brighten up our streets rather than having people puking on the side walks or getting in fights in the middle of the streets or even drinking and driving. And after that maybe the city of Lakewood can force some high end retailer or eatery to move in. It would certainly be an upgrade from say the "5 O'Clock" tavern that is currently there. Would Angelo and Christina agree this is also a fair proposal or do they only want some people to feel put out for Lakewood's upgrade?
Barbara June 01, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Like it or not, the bars are businesses that seem to be able to maintain a client base. I don't think they 'pose a clear danger' to children, and the Lakewood police have been vigilant about watching for DUIs. You are contradicting your previous post 'high end retail and high end eateries are not coming to Lakewood...' when you state that by putting bars out of business, 'better businesses can move in'. I'm not sure what your arguments are.
angelo June 01, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Mr. Torrence, despite owning a tavern I too am somewhat poor as my debt matches my assets. My tavern definitely needs an upgrade and like you I'm doing it as I can. My stance against Value Mart is an attempt to improve my lot and that of my neighborhood and from what you described you are not the type of neighbor I and others would like to see in less of a concentration. Your animosity toward liquor based businesses as well as your desire to put them out of business has been tried before and it wasn't pretty, much more reprehensible in fact than that tiny minority of consumers who overindulge. You want to rid this city of one of the main attractions to it especially attractive to young college aged residents. Again, your Deagans, Melt and Jammy Buggers all serve alcohol and are great additions to our city. Maybe you can ban car dealerships too since people die in vehicles for more reasons than alcohol abuse. You need to get over your imagined insult from our stance on this issue. I agree change needs to begin with individuals but no matter how nice I make my apartment (and it's damn nice) it won't make Forest City complete the Rockport Development. A palatial building would look silly next to ValueWorld.
Tim Torrence June 02, 2012 at 05:57 PM
You and I will never see eye to eye on this but it was interesting to see you react to irrational fears of bars. That hint of business freedom coupled with personal responsibility was refreshing. Although it only applies when you or your vision are involved. For the record I frequent alcohol establishments on Saturdays and I do not hold bars responsible for serving people exactly what they ask for. I will not respond further but I would like to see a response to S. Trevor. Don't back peddle I read your comments in the exact same manner.
angelo June 03, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Not sure what you mean by responding to Mr. Trevor as I thought I was. Identifying myself and my property in a blog like this hardly qualifies as backpedaling and I'm still not sure what your position is. If it's business freedom from government intervention it doesn't completely apply in this situation since the city owns most of the parking surrounding the Drug Mart property. Any business coming in has to lease from the city giving the city more of a say than normal. If my business is a blight on this city believe me I have no problem with some high end retailer buying me out and if I'm lucky after paying off my 6 loans and the IRS I'll be able to buy my wife and I a cup of Joe. When the smoking ban passes we lost $100,000.00 in sales that year. I invested in a patio and put in a stage for live music as we could not sustain the place under those conditions. Then the economy tanks. The changes paid off as sales are back to normal but it all goes to others. Value World will probably be our neighbor despite my feelings about it just as the now purple and gold exotic dancer store is on the other side of me. You know if this continues I'll probably have to scratch any chances at those cups of Joe.


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