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Drug Mart Modifies Plans at Ganley Site

City wouldn't have supported the purchase and demolition of Grace Avenue home.

is still planning to tear down the former Ganley auto dealership to make way for  on Detroit Avenue.

However, company officials have scrapped plans to demolish the home south of the dealership.

In a letter to residents of Grace and Cohassett avenues, Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development, said the administration wouldn’t have supported the purchase and demolition of the house at 1425 Grace Avenue. 

“The developer withdrew that item from the proposal and is revising the project plans,” Siley said. 

However, plans to demolish the multi-unit apartment building are still in the proposal. 

The city’s planning commission is set to vote on that issue — along with a request to buy 13 feet of land from the property owners at 1425 Grace Avenue — at its June 7 meeting.

Some neighbors have .

In a May 30 , Mary Grodek said that neighbors feared an “encroachment” into the neighborhood.

“Although many residents are concerned about Drug Mart’s impending location across the street from , the neighborhood is NOT anti-development,” she said. “The Ganley lot is zoned for and needs a commercial tenant. Drug Mart’s plan, however, is not progress.”

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.

Here’s a complete copy of Siley’s letter to residents:

Dear Neighbors- 

I wanted to touch base with the neighbors on Grace and Cohassett and provide some updated information about the project proposal and dispel some rumors currently circulating. 

I am using as a baseline distribution list the e-mails of those who attended the May 16th Town Hall meeting at City Hall regarding this project. Please feel free to share and circulate this message as you see fit.

1425 Grace – the white house

I know there is concern about the dumpster in the driveway and that the house is being stripped of fixtures and woodwork. This is not the case. The dumpster was placed by the owners as part of their clean out of the attic, garage and basement of many years of stuff. This is a clean out and not a salvage situation. I asked one of our building inspectors to stop by the house yesterday and he was able to confirm that this was the case. We will continue to monitor the activity.

More importantly, the proposal for Discount Drugmart will no longer include a request to demolish 1425 Grace. As I explained at the May 16th meeting, though this was proposed by the developer, the removal of the house would not meet the criteria in the code, would not have been supported by the administration and would likely never be approved by the Planning Commission (I use the word likely because I would not presume to speak for the Planning Commissioners). The developer withdrew that item from the proposal and is revising the project plans.

With this news we referred both the current owners of 1425 Grace and representatives of Discount Drug to the Cleveland Restoration Society for technical assistance so all parties clearly understand the scope, opportunities and resources that might be available for a much needed rehab of that house. We referred both parties because I am not sure at this time who will have final ownership of the 1425 Grace property – see below.

Planning Commission – June 7th, 7:00 p.m. – City Hall Auditorium

The developer is currently revising the site plan, parking plan and building design to reflect the changes and still plans to be in front of the Planning Commission and the Architectural Board of Review in June. The project proposal dealing with land use that will be presented at the PC on June 7th will still include the apartment building at 1419 Grace and will also outline a request to include the northern 13.5 feet of the 1425 Grace lot. Attached is a graphic I received yesterday that shows this request.

I know this revised proposal still begs a number of questions.  The Planning Commission hearing will be an opportunity to ask those questions publically and on the record. I hope to see you all there on June 7th.  As always, I am available by phone or e-mail.

I will keep you posted as updated information becomes available.

Best,

Dru

 

Christina Cocchiarale Ward May 31, 2012 at 07:11 PM
If Value World moves in Drug Mart's current place, the whole east end will go downhill even more so than it already is. That is NOT the type of business to bring people in. It makes me so mad I wish I could just move out of Lakewood but like many others, cannot afford to. Putting in a nice restaurant (like we were suppose to get a few years back but alas, fell through) would be great. Even a Starbucks. Any coffee shop. SOMETHING besides Value World. That will NOT help with the current market values of homes around here. NOT ONE BIT. And Lakewood needs to realize this. God help us all if this actually goes through.
whitney gersak June 01, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Value World is a sweet thrift store, and those types of things do bring people IN to Lakewood to shop, believe it or not. i know (and I am!) one of a ton of people who actually drives to the Value World on Lorain to go shop! Im not always agreeing with the types of stores being brought into Lakewood, but I think we are lucky there are any stores willing to fill the huge empty places we have and pay the taxes that are insane LOL
M-F Schreiber June 01, 2012 at 02:32 PM
In an era of carbon-footprint reduction, it would behoove commercial developers to remain within their boundaries. Encroaching beyond the former Ganley Dealership footprint is the issue here, not who has decided to redevelop the site. Bigger doesn't always mean better. Encroachment and unsightly development of commercial space abutting a residential neighborhood of historic significance to Lakewood and within the proximity of a middle school, which caters to a student body residing east of Warren to 117th Street, is however at the heart of this discontent. We want to ensure our commercial entities are responsible and good neighbors and care about the safety of our children. Business will thrive without our input, but our quality of life on our streets and in our historic homes will forever be changed if we are not proactive and react to change.
BlackFlame June 01, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Sorry but Value World will only provide low paying jobs. In fact, the people who work at Value World will probably have to shop there just to get by. Look at every low income neighborhood and you have the same business model... which is no coincidence. The downside is that after the site is built, profits flow out of the city. Local businesses keep profits within the city itself which create more wealth and more jobs. Furthermore, Value World is an eyesore and will probably continue to drive the homes prices down on the eastside. This wealth reduction will cause people to move leaving vacant lots which will reduce home prices (and drive down the quality of homes along with neighborhoods) which may cause people to spend less on businesses. Once people start moving out, poorer people will move in along with criminal elements (sorry but it's true). This will create a decrease in well-being for the city. There are other options available besides leaving idle resources. The city could give interest free loans to new businesses. Many cities are experimenting with worker self-managed companies which have been successful. Employees share the wealth which means most of them are paid the same. That means you don't have a CEO who is paid 200 times more than the average employee. This sharing of profits would drive consumer demand and create a better Lakewood.
BlackFlame June 02, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Trevor: You are apparently an economic illiterate since you don't seem to understand even basic concepts. Low paying jobs is not a good thing. If you don't believe me, ask all the people with low paying jobs who struggle everyday to just get by. I also never said that Value World has anything to do with crime which I'm sure you're well aware of. "Fear, ignorance and bigotry is what is being spewed here - nothing more." I like how you switched subjects...again. It is a matter of simple economics. If you want high paying jobs, you create businesses that pay well. If you want the people in Lakewood to be poor, create businesses like Value World which pay very little. If you want to write back, please tell me where my logic is wrong. Or how about this, tell me about all those high paying jobs in worst neighborhoods in Cleveland. "Up the taxes and increase police presence, raze the trash houses, enforce building codes, fine slumlords substantially....and then you have a start at building a better community, one improvement at a time...." That's fine but you have to deal with the economics of the situation. Business pays a central role in in the development of Lakewood. If people are poor, NOBODY will support building codes that they can't afford to keep up. Furthermore, low paying jobs means low taxes. Again, simple economics. It's not about the businesses it's about people.
The original Bill June 02, 2012 at 11:48 AM
BlackFlame: Just an FYI: There is a Value World out in Parma Heights near Southland. I would hardly call that a low income neighborhood. How do you figure this is going to cause money to flow out of Lakewood? From what I can see there is nobody working at the former Ganley dealership right now. When they put the new Drug Mart in there will be people working there paying taxes to Lakewood. If Value World moves into the old Drug Mart building the employees there will be paying taxes to Lakewood.
Annie Caswell June 05, 2012 at 02:09 AM
I would like to remind you that the Planning Commission meeting is not about what types of businesses or what class of people we are trying to attract or promote. The issue at hand is conditional use of residential property by Commercial and General business. The residents around the Ganley site are NOT focused on whether or not the space will be inhabited by Drug Mart. We just don't want the blurring of residential and commercial. The proposal, even with the recent amendments, calls for encroachment of commercial into residential. We want whatever business that takes over the lot to remain within the existing footprint. The classism debate has no place at Thursday's Planning Commission meeting. I have my own opinions about what a better world looks like... those are not on the agenda.
xv June 05, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Annie well stated S. Trevor really higher taxes? Perhaps you should know Lakewood has one of the highest tax rates in the county. I want to assume you are not homeowner but a renter. But you know what happens when one assumes!
xv June 05, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Well S Trevor it's a good thing I did not assume. I ran across a tread which you state you purchased a foreclosed home. Welcome to Lakewood.

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