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Upgrade could help unify centerís look
Upgrade could help unify center’s look
By SUE REID
Redevelopment hopes continue to build in Solon with plans for upgrades to one of its oldest shopping centers, the SOM Centre Plaza on SOM Center Road (Route 91).
The city received an application this week from ADA Architects on behalf of Cipriani Property of Cleveland, owners of the Marc’s building and the southern portion of the plaza, for exterior modifications, substantial interior upgrades and the expansion of Marc’s southward. Pet Supplies Plus would move to the Solon Village development, with Marc’s expanding into the Pet Supplies Plus space.
As part of the upgrades, the interior of the Marc’s store will be completely changed, City Planning Director Robert S. Frankland said, with about $2 million invested in those upgrades. Interior plans are before the administration for review for permits.
“They will be making extensive changes to inside, offering a lot more groceries,” he said of at least 50 percent more groceries. “It is basically more of an upscale marketing approach.”
While the changes will be an improvement to the plaza, which dates to the 1960s, it is not considered to be the end of what the city wants to see on that site, Mr. Frankland said.
“It’s a temporary interlude,” he said. “We plan to still promote the demolition and total redevelopment of the site.”
The retail plaza is considered the city’s top priority in terms of redevelopment.
“It is a very outdated center right on one of the principal entryways into the city,” Mr. Frankland said. “It is probably one of the areas we receive the most expressions of dissatisfaction about.”
Initially, Cipriani Property approached the city about refacading just the Marc’s store. “We had indicated they should do the entire plaza,” he said, “as it would look odd to have Sears and Marc’s with another design and the area to the south of Marc’s with another. We wanted anything in the plaza under their control to have the same general look.”
The Sears building is co-owned by Developers Diversified and Ron Ohl of New York.
Plans are to reface Marc’s with a brick front, additional glass added to the storefront and spandrel glass. There also will be coping details at the top of the building.
“It’s going to be an improvement,” Mr. Frankland said, adding it’s “not a spectacular” change, but an improvement to what is there now.
Improvements should not require variances, he said, although the property owner is indicating the desire to put a small rear addition on the building.
“We have to ensure that would meet the required setbacks of commercial from residential,” he said.
The plaza is an “A site” in terms of commercial redevelopment, Mr. Frankland said, adding it’s hoped that with the Echo project down the road, it will spur redevelopment elsewhere in the city.
“Anytime a community achieves redevelopment,” he said, “it generates interest from other developers.”
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