If you’ve traveled down Clifton Blvd by the Lakewood border you’ve likely noticed a large block of nothingness. A few months ago an old Giant Eagle and attached stores were razed to make way for the “Shoppes on Clifton.” The block is nearly empty, except for the historic yet decaying Fifth Church of Christ Scientist, which a neighborhood group is looking to save amid plans for demolition.
But what’s to go in this empty block? According to the newly released proposed site plan, the Shoppes on Clifton will consist of a 16,005 square foot “box” that sources say will be a Giant Eagle Express. Potential retail tenants for the second and third locations include Chipotle Mexican Grill and a dollar store. Plus, there will be parking lots.
So there you have it. Scenarios like this have been all too common lately, especially in Lakewood where the historic Detroit Theatre was razed for a McDonald’s… and an old church was demolished for a CVS. Do the ends justify the means?
Neighbors in Action, the group trying to save the church, says the city can do better.
From their press release: “The ‘Shoppes on Clifton’ plan, being developed by Carnegie Companies, is nothing more than a suburban style retail strip center ill placed in a historic district deserving of quality, character and good urban design, and is a far cry from actual shops on Clifton Boulevard.
“The mere idea that this plan is a basis for ‘revitalizing’ the neighborhood, not to mention a historic district, is extremely troublesome and would be a true embarrassment as a representation of a gateway into the City of Cleveland.
“Neighbors in Action is a strong proponent of development; however, the proposed site plan is not conducive to transforming the Edgewater neighborhood into a destination location like successful nearby areas: Detroit-Shoreway, Ohio City, Tremont, University Circle, and soon to be added to this list, the Waterloo District.
“Demolition by neglect is calamitous to our generation and to those who will follow us. Neighbors in Action calls upon our neighborhood leaders to champion the best interest of the Edgewater neighborhood with the ‘Shoppes on Clifton’ project and prevent the influence of important decisions by quick and easy fast-food establishments and signs that read, ‘Everything is a dollar!’ Frankly, the Edgewater neighborhood and its residents deserve so much more!”