The 9,000-square-foot, now-vacant former home of is about to get a new tenant.
And city officials are not at all happy about it.
The building, which recently changed ownership, will now be the future home of Dollar General, a national discount chain.
City officials began looking to attract a new tenant when to its new home on the site of the a couple blocks away.
Four local tenants — including a local breakfast restaurant, the owner of a “well-established” Lakewood restaurant, a local hardware store and a fitness center — stepped forward.
To no avail.
“We cultivated these leads, and in spite of that this owner made a lazy decision,” said Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development.
“I don’t understand why, with all the positive thing happening in the downtown, why they would want to go in this direction. These aren’t start-ups. We gave them leads that were well-known businesses in Northeast Ohio.”
The building’s owner, Sam Barnes, did not return several calls seeking comment.
“Here’s what’s disappointing about this: It’s a lazy decision,” Siley added. “When we got wind of a new owner coming on board, we got excited about this investment in this prime location in downtown Lakewood.
“We really wanted to find a great tenant, and instead they snubbed their noses at us. The decision to have this tenant lies squarely on their shoulders.”
Ian Andrews, the executive director of , said he’s also disappointed with the news.
“We’d love to see a different tenant in there,” he said. “When you have a private owner and a private tenant, they’re entitled to do whatever they want. It’s a prime opportunity — it’s a prime space.
“This is just very underwhelming. Very underwhelming.”
Minor renovations to the building’s exterior — including a cleanup of the façade — are slated to go before the city’s architectural board of review on June 14.