Sunday, May 27, 2012

City View Center in Garfield Heights, Ohio


Nicholas Eckhart


     The City View Center is a massive shopping center built in Garfield Heights, Ohio that overlooks the scenic Cuyahoga National Park. At first glance this shopping center seems to be in the best possible location. There are plenty of residential areas nearby, an interstate exit right at the front, and the site is highly visible from interstate 480. 

     The shopping center opened in 2006 under the ownership of the McGill Property Group. In December 2006 the shopping center changed hands to City View Center LLC. Around this time the negative effects of building on top of a landfill began to be felt when a build-up of Methane gas became evident. The center at one point was forced to close down until the levels subsided. The shopping center was sued by the EPA for various reasons and as a result installed a relief system for the Methane.

     After the environmental issues of building this shopping center on a landfill became widely known shoppers and companies started to doubt the safety of the stores there. In September 2008 Walmart closed abruptly claiming the closure was a result of their fear the building was unsafe. The environmental concerns and the closure of the center's anchor caused retailers such as Home Depot and JCPenney to cancel plans to open stores in this center. By the end of 2008 the Petsmart, Jo-Ann Fabrics, and Circuit City stores closed.

     In May 2009 City View Center LLC failed to make payments on an 80 million dollar loan and the ownership was transferred to Foresite Realty Partners LLC. In late 2009 the Bed Bath & Beyond store closed. The Dick's sporting goods store closed in January 2010. In March 2010 plans to convert the former Walmart into a convention center were cancelled. I am uncertain when the Bottom Dollar discount store (was located in the former Circuit City store) closed. 

As of May 2012 the shopping center houses Giant Eagle, Office Max, and Marshalls. There are also a few smaller businesses that cater to people traveling along the interstate such as Applebee's, Steak N' Shake, Penn Station, Chipolte, and Starbuck's that managed to survive. There are now again plans to continue Transportation Boulevard to Rockside Road (which could potentially boost business to the center). It is currently unclear what the fate of this shopping center will be; only time will tell.

Enjoy these photos I took on May 20, 2012.

The former Walmart store; here is an article on its closure
This is one of the last Walmart stores I know of not being built as a Supercenter. Notice how two entrances were put on the building and a space was preserved to the left of the above entrance. It appears this store was built so a conversion to a Supercenter would be easy. 

This is another view of the closed Walmart (closed 2008). I am sure the closure of this store was good news for the nearby Kmart, but after this store closed the whole shopping center seemed to fall apart.

The former Circuit City (Closed 2008). The top part use to be painted yellow. This was used as Bottom Dollar discount for a few years before that too closed.

A still open Office Max. I took these photos on a Sunday, so it must have just been closed for the day.

A former Bed Bath & Beyond store (closed 2009)

A former Jo-Ann Fabrics store (closed 2008) with a label-scar that is clearly visible.

A former A.J. Wright that was re-branded Marshalls when TJX pulled the plug on A.J. Wright. 
Note; this store is now closed as of January 2013. 
This is how the store looks now.

This Dick's sporting goods store closed in January 2010.

This Giant Eagle store is the remaining major tenant that appears like it is doing well. Giant Eagle relocated from a smaller store at the Garfield Mall shopping center, that store is now Save a Lot.
 (click here to see a photo I took of the former Giant Eagle store.)

This is a former Petsmart store (closed 2008) as evident from the Petsmart tape in the windows.

A look at the Petsmart label-scar

A store that was never finished. This appears to be more of an Old Navy store look and size to me .

A unfinished building that was planned to house smaller stores and restaurants.

Another view of the same unfinished building

A view of the Methane gas relief system that was installed. Methane is a problem since this shopping center was built on a landfill. A massive empty lot is visible in the background. A JCPenny store and a Home Depot store were supposed to be built in the undeveloped area, the the plans never became reality.





29 comments:

  1. This is one of the coolest abandoned shopping centers ever. The real loss here is the idiot developer who thought it was a good idea to build on a landfill, and the idiot companies bought into it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I cannot imagine a better place to put a strip mall.

      Delete
  2. and the mayor who pushed the idea

    ReplyDelete
  3. Suppossedly, Stouffers built on a landfill and they sell their methane to make money. Other shopping centers around the country have done the same thing. (from an article I read in the newspaper some time ago). Why Garfield Hts or the developer didn't think of that is beyond me. I hope with the street suppossedly going thru from Rockside Rd now, it will pick up again. It would sure be a great shopping center.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wouldn't it be nice if the K-Mart on Rockside Rd in Garfield Hts moved to the old Walmart in Citiview at some point? Then it could be a Super-Kmart. A bigger store would be nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I have wondered that myself. Maybe the lease is too expensive or something is wrong with the building there. It certainly would be a move up for the Kmart that is currently in the 1970s store a ways off the highway. Kmart seems on the edge of phasing out Super Kmart so I couldn't see them open another one.

      Delete
    2. Yes, I have wondered that myself. Maybe the lease is too expensive or something is wrong with the building there. It certainly would be a move up for the Kmart that is currently in the 1970s store a ways off the highway. Kmart seems on the edge of phasing out Super Kmart so I couldn't see them open another one.

      Delete
    3. I live 5 minutes away from there and it is a shame it never took off, they actually demolished house on the other side of 480 planning a couple resturaunts there and buisnesses but that all fell through too and it wasn't part of the landfill. I was told by someone on the Garfield hts. city board it was because the transportation bridge had to be widened for all the extra traffic and it costed too much? Its a shame, if you go to the wallmart you can see the ground around the building is sinking! The ground is almost 2 feet below where the parking lot lined up with the walls. Its only a matter of time till all the stores fall in on themselves!

      Delete
  5. I live in this city and routinely roam around this amazingly desolate space, it's awesome! I walk around it and sometimes I wonder if its a good idea when I see how many times the parking lot sank and looks like a earthquake shook it apart, it's an eerie feeling.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am an over the road truck driver who shops for groceries from time to time. I stopped at the Giant Eagle, a great store, was parked in the truck delivery area, went in to buy about $50 worth of groceries. 20 minutes later, a wrecker was hooked to my truck towing it away. I had to pay the $350 tow fee just to get the guy to unhook. He said they have orders to tow all trucks immediately. The Giant Eagle store manager called the wrecker company, gave them hell, they refunded my money. then he called Foresite Realty, the company in Illinois that manages the bankruptcy and gave them hell. Total scam, the only way they can generate revenue to replace all the closed stores. The story and the corruption on this joint is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is really neat. Most abandoned shopping centers are really old but this one was very new and its very cool to see what a closed new one looks like.

    Dylan Palmer

    ReplyDelete
  8. They should better off put a Free Clinic in the former walmart

    ReplyDelete
  9. It was all political. When it first opened, I use to shop there. The smell was so bad, at times, that I was gagging. I'm glad I'm out of that neighborhood!! I had lived a few miles from City View and I could smell the methane.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I hope someone WARNS the EPA to constantly monitor Garfield Heights when they start digging for the new road to go to Rockside Road. What makes them think they can create a road going through there eventually build more businesses or houses along that road without the same FATE happening to those properties with the methane gas and the parking lots sinking? Asshole Garfield Heights. Money hungry fuckers......FUCKIN FIX Turney Road with its damn speed bumps from the asphalt buckling up, and fix all the other streets too. I hate this city!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then get out dumb shit!

      Delete
    2. Most people can't you dumb shit.

      Delete
  11. City View Center is probably the worst example of building on a landfill site. Apparently the site wasn't properly remediated, thus the methane and land-shifting problems. The shopping center started out well, but died very fast, with Walmart's departure (after less than two years of being open) accelerating this demise. City View's rapid decline also resulted in the scrapping of Bridgeview Crossing across I-480, which would have had Target, Lowe's, and Aldi as anchors. The only evidence of Bridgeview is an abandoned shell of a partially-constructed strip. Supposedly Bridgeview's developers went bankrupt, and the land is in foreclosure. And at City View, there are even shells of partially-constructed buildings that have sat dormant for years. Probably the best thing for City View would be to demolish the entire shopping center, except for Giant Eagle and the outlot buildings and restaurants, and start anew, with a better way to remediate the methane, and make the land more stable. Sadly, some of City View's now-gone stores were relocations form the Southgate and Randall Park areas, also dying retail areas now.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I suppose most people don't realize that a convention center was proposed for the former Walmart building but Giant Eagle didn't want that to happen. Apparently they have first right of refusal as to who or what moves into the center. Also, methane is ODORLESS. I still shop at the center and my issue, especially during the winter, is the high winds--not any smell. The unfortunate factor contributing to the "demise" of City View was the economic downturn---ALL Circuit City stores closed, not just the one at City View. I don't believe Walmart bailed because of methane. I do believe it was due to logistics---the distance between City View and Steelyard Commons is approximately 7 miles, about the same distance from City View to Meadowbrook Market Square in Bedford. City View opened 7 years ago---nothing has fallen into a deep abyss nor has there been methane explosions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with this comment, it is probably the most accurate of them all. I never see any fire trucks in the area now and you would think with no occupants that the methane would blow the place off the foundation. I mean they had so many problems with leaking and alarms going off but now it is silent. Makes me wonder if the EPA made up most of the problems and tried to extort more money to fund their own payroll. With the economy failing, City View was looking up but with the EPA involvement it just fell apart. I wonder if any stores are even interested in this place? If they are and they do open will this methane probable reappear and fines be attached to these tenants..... just saying...

      Delete
    2. I agree also, I can't believe there are so many people commenting on something they clearly know nothing about. I see "well that's
      what you get for building on a
      landfill" comments and shake my head. There was not and to this
      very day any methane leaks at
      this location. Walmarts detectors went of reporting a false reading because they stored their cleaning
      solution barells directly
      underneath the sensors, fumes
      from them set off the detectors.
      Walmart used this as a crutch to
      break their lease when they'd
      already decided they wanted to
      close the store because of
      logistics as mentioned above. The rest was a direct result of the economic downturn and businesses that were already on the verge of bankruptcy. I can't wait till the outlet malls opens and retailers will be begging to claim a space. One thing for sure is Walmart will never be allowed within the city limits for the actions committed.

      Delete
    3. I have lived in the area for over 10 yrs. I do not pre-port to know anything about landfills or methane. What I can tell you is I have smelt the disgusting aroma from the site to the point of gaging and nearly throwing up. I have seen the cracks and sinking of the car park. I will not go there unless I absolutely have to. I have lived in an area of land fill before and noticed the land settling to be a problem if not allowed to sit for a few years before construction. It seemed like they (the builders and developers) seemed to be in a hurry to put this place on the map. The Ghost Mall it has become is very strange. I don't think the problems are an easy fix, and I don't think consumer faith will allow for this shopping center to come back quickly if at all.

      Delete
  13. Who owns or manages the property?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Probably boyas exscivating.

    ReplyDelete
  15. It sounds like Mr. Anonymous is a bit connected. I think its time, for a Youtube video called Walmart Chain Reaction. It will be up soon. Buy the way, this time when Mr Rich calls me to remove my City View Video (this happened in 2008) the answer is no unless Mr. Rich wants to buy the video rights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to see this video!

      Delete
  16. I lived I Garfield during the construction and the completion, and never smelled anything. I shopped at all the stores when it first opened and it as was nice. They rushed to open it without proper roads leading in or out.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Actually and Factually......Odors from Landfill Gas

    Odors in landfill gas are caused primarily by hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, which are produced during breakdown of waste material. For example, if construction and demolition debris contain large quantities of wallboard (also called drywall or gypsum board), large amounts of hydrogen sulfide can be formed. Hydrogen sulfide has the foul smell of rotten eggs, while ammonia has a strong pungent odor. Humans can detect hydrogen sulfide and ammonia odors at very low levels in air, generally below levels that would cause health effects.

    Health Effects of Ammonia and Hydrogen Sulfide

    Short-term exposures (typically up to about two weeks) to elevated levels of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide in air can cause coughing, irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headache, nausea, and breathing difficulties. These effects usually go away once the exposure is stopped. Studies have been conducted in communities near landfills and waste lagoons to evaluate health effects associated with exposure to landfill gases. These studies lasted for several months and reported health complaints which coincided with periods of elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide and landfill odors. The reported health complaints included eye, throat and lung irritation, nausea, headache, nasal blockage, sleeping difficulties, weight loss, chest pain, and aggravation of asthma. Although other chemicals may have been present in the air, many of these effects are consistent with exposure to hydrogen sulfide

    ReplyDelete
  18. I moved in to Garfield Heights in 2004. My house is north of the shopping center on the other side of 480 but very close in a straight line. The smell that drifted along the valley when this was being built was horrible. I would literally gag in my driveway. It always seemed its worst in the morning. It's a damn shame the way the center has failed but I can't blame the retailers one bit - that whole thing is a disaster from the gas to the sinking land. I know at one point all of the birds died in PetSmart. I was in Circuit City once and there was a piercing high-pitched alarm going - I asked and they said "oh that's the methane detector". I also wish they'd just connect with Rockside already. Enough talk, git 'er done. The Walmart should become a rock climbing / lasertag / paintball / arcade.

    ReplyDelete
  19. http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/tomb-with-a-view/Content?oid=1497346

    ReplyDelete