Some bummer neighborhood news: Kmart is closing our local store. Here’s the article in the Plain Dealer. Not that Kmart is a great chain, or that this store is anything special, but this situation is a perfect example of the problems Cleveland faces. With the population declining pretty much everywhere in the city, if a new store opens then an old store has to close. There’s just not enough business for both of them. No matter how well these new stores do, the net effect is, at best, neutral.
In this case, a Target opened up about a mile to the west (on W 117th at I-90) and both a Target and Wal-Mart opened up in the new Steelyard Commons development about 2 miles east. Since they’re right on freeways, both new shopping centers are easier for suburban commuters to hit on their way in or out of downtown. This neighborhood Kmart simply couldn’t compete.
And so there’s another large strip mall in Cleveland that’s effectively empty now. It will probably sit there indefinitely.
On a more positive note, the Ashbury Towers development at 53rd and Walworth Run is apparently back in play with a new name: Kierland Commons. Nothing going on yet with the former factory portion of the property — now owned by Doug Perkowski — but the standalone condos are finally getting repaired and sold after sitting there boarded up for something like four years.