Photos from March 14, 2012
This post is on the Elyria Shopping Center on the east side of Elyria, Ohio. This shopping center contains a former Hills department store (later was Ames and has since been subdivided) and a former Tops Friendly Markets store. The shopping center is 142,827 square feet.
The Hills store was at 825 Cleveland Street in Elyria, Ohio. The Hills store was built in 1977. It became Ames in 1998 after Ames acquired Hills. The store closed in 2002.
The former Hills / Ames was subdivided into a Dollar Tree (14,925 Square Feet), Rentway (now closed), Best Cuts, Fast Cash Express Tax (now closed), and a larger space that has had no occupancy since Ames. I cannot quite recall when the store was subdivided although I would say around 2004 or 2005.
I think some Ames features may still exist inside (like the Green stripe with brand names). I don't recall going to this store much but I remember that it was nicer than other stores I frequented and had an nice open feel. I remember a small food court by the front and at the time the electronics department seemed very impressive. That is really all I recall about this store. I did find an image of this store as it looked as Ames here.
The only businesses that still survive in this shopping center are Dollar Tree, Best Cuts, and Burger King. I found a Loopnet page listing that the stated that the Dollar Tree store is for sale.
|This is how the former Ames appears today. This store has obviously been subdivided and its exterior look has been greatly changed.|
|More of the greatly changed former Hills and Ames store. Part of the|
The Tops Friendly Market store was at 821 Cleveland Street in Elyria, Ohio. This store was originally built as Finast in 1989. I heard someone tell a story about the Hills Department Store having fireworks every year, but after Finast opened the fireworks were not allowed for some reason. This store replaced a nearby Pick -N- Pay store that was located in North Ridgeville in a shopping center that is now torn down. Pick -N- Pay operated stores under the the Pick -N- Pay (Northeastern Ohio) and Finast (Northeastern U.S.) banners when they were acquired by Ahold in 1988.
Ahold decided to use the Finast name on all their U.S. stores; all new stores (such as this one) opened as Finast and they began converting all other Pick -N- Pay stores to the Finast banner. The last stores operating as Pick -N- Pay became Finast in 1994.
After the 1996 merger with another of Ahold's brands (Tops Friendly Markets) I recall a mix between the Finast logo and the Tops logo. The logo had the Finast style writing but had the Tops red and white cube to the left. I searched around and found no trace of this logo online. I know I have a paper bag with this logo on it somewhere, if I find it I will post a photo.
In 1999 all Finast stores were re-branded as Tops Friendly Markets. Tops would remain in the Northeastern Ohio market until December 2006 when all of their Northeastern Ohio stores closed.
This store then became a Giant Eagle grocer store for roughly more than a year before that closed in February 2008. Here is a link to a picture and more information about this store's time as Giant Eagle.
|The Former Finast /Tops Friendly Markets /Giant Eagle store|
|A former branch of the Lorain National Bank. There is a sign up saying that a Napa Auto Parts store is coming soon. There was previously a Napa downtown that closed a few years ago.|