Sunday, May 27, 2012

Former Super Kmart in Maple Heights, Ohio

Nicholas Eckhart

     This store is located at 5500 Warrensville Center Road in Maple Heights, Ohio. This former Super Kmart was one of the three Super Kmart stores that opened in 1997. This store sported signage with the "Super Kmart" logo on it. The first Super Kmart to use that logo opened in 1996, before then they all used the "Super Kmart Center" logo. Oddly enough, Kmart started using the "Super Kmart Center" logo again in 2001. This was the 97th Super Kmart store opened. Sadly, this store closed in the 2002 wave of closures.

     In 2003 Liberty Ford moved into the store from their previous location in Bedford. I know some people find it odd that a Car Dealer moved into a former Supercenter building, but to me it makes sense. This was a perfectly fine large building with a large parking lot and Auto bays already built. According to a site this is a 160,000 square foot building and is the largest Ford Dealership in America. It even has a Cafe inside (probably the old Kmart Cafe)! Today this store still has much of the Super Kmart look still intact on the exterior. I found a picture that shows the Super Kmart interior is mostly intact as well.

The following photos were taken on May 20, 2012.

Here is the street sign for the former Super Kmart store (is was located where the Liberty Ford sign was. Notice how there is a Petsmart sign underneath. There was a former Petsmart here too; there is a picture of the former Petsmart at the end of the post. Also, notice that there is a former Donato's in the background. There is a closer shot of that restaurant at the end of this post as well.

The former grocery side entrance. The triangle shaped metal design above the doorway was covered-up.

This is was one of the last Super Kmart stores to have a canopy built across the front, the windows are not original to Super Kmart. 

The former apparel side entrance. The former garden center entrance is on the right.

Here is a view of the former Garden center entrance. In this shot part of the auto center is visible.

Here is the former Petsmart I mentioned earlier in this post.
Here is a closer view of the former Donato's that was partially visible in the first photo.

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.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Former Tops Friendly Markets stores in North Olmsted, Ohio

Nicholas Eckhart


This is the first of the two former stores, this one is at 26350 Brookpark Road in North Olmsted, Ohio. This store was built as a Pick -N- Pay grocery store (I am unsure what year it opened). It later became a Finast grocery store in the early 1990s. This store was later renamed Tops Friendly Markets in 1999 after Ahold phased-out the Finast name. In 2002 Tops moved to a new store close by (photographed later in this post). This store reopened as a branch for Remington College shortly after. The original Pick -N- Pay facade is still intact, but Remington made some changes such as adding windows and a new entrance to this store.

The newer Remington College entrance.

This is the second former Top Friendly Markets store in North Olmsted,  Ohio. This store is at 26662 Brookpark Road Extension in North Olmsted, Ohio. This was a 57,357 square foot Tops store built in 2002 to replace the older one photographed before in this post. Sadly, Tops pulled out of Northeastern Ohio in December 2006.  Shortly after this Tops store closed a Sears Outlet store opened in the left part of the store and an Ollie's Bargain Outlet opened in the right part of  the store. Inside the Sears Outlet the interior has been greatly changed, but inside Ollie's the Tops look is still noticeable. Everything about the exterior seems to scream out the fact it was a Tops. A Blockbuster Video used to be located in the empty store at the left side of this photo. The shopping center is currently owned by Brixmor.

Notice this former Tops lobby has a Wall in the middle that separates Sears Outlet  and Oliie's Bargain Outlet

Another shot of this former Tops Friendly Markets store

The Giant Eagle store nearby that was once a competitor to Tops. Since there is not much competition in the area this store often has a packed parking lot and it is one of the Giant Eagle stores that is open 24 hours

Another shot of the North Olmsted Giant Eagle. The red "plug" entrance to a former Circuit City is partly visible to the far left.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Former Giant Tiger / Gaylord's in Lorain, Ohio

Nicholas Eckhart

     This building was built as a 60,000 square foot Giant Tiger discount store (a now defunct chain that was found in Northeastern Ohio) in 1967 at 2001 Elyria Avenue in Lorain, Ohio. Giant Tiger was acquired by Gaylord's in 1968. This store was only operated under the Giant Tiger name for only a year before it was re-branded as Gaylord's. The Gaylord's chain was acquired by Zayre in 1985, but I do not think this store was ever operated as a Zayre. Someone who used to shop here said this store was later operated as a Fisher's Big Wheel, but I could not find any definite proof of that.

     Since its use as a discount store this has been used as Displays Displays Displays Incorporated (now closed). Currently the 6 acre site seems to be in disrepair, but the site (at least part of it) is being used. It appears this building is being used as some type of warehouse or workshop.

     If anyone does have more information about this stores past please comment below or send an email to

The following photos were taken on April 12, 2012

A newer building is built to the left, but the Giant Tiger is to the right.

I am not sure what was here (maybe a Garden Center), but the bricks look like they were not original.

A facade (looks to me like a Fisher's Big Wheel one) that was added later is peeling off and revealing the old brick facade from Giant Tiger.

This style facade was used on several area Fisher's Big Wheel stores, but I am uncertain if this store was ever one.

The closed-up store entrance

Some Displays Displays Displays Inc. signage

I am not sure what is here, but people were going in and out this door while I was here.

An uncovered up part of the Giant Tiger facade

The road sign currently displays "Displays Displays Displays Inc." signage.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Former Sears store in Statesville, North Carolina

Photos by Mike Kalasnik
Description by Nicholas Eckhart

     This is one of the Sears stores affected by the Early 2012 round of Sears Holdings closures. This store's closure is a big negative for the Signal Hill Mall since it means the loss of one of its three anchor stores (the other two are Belk and JCPenny). This store is 94,000 square foot and is located off of Interstate 77 at 1689 East Broad Street in Statesville, North Carolina.
     The store was originally opened as Woolworth's in 1973 as one of the anchors for the Signal Hill Mall. Woolworth's closed in 1992, before siting idly by until Hills moved in in 1995. Hills closed in 1996; just a year after it opened. This store was reopened as a Sears store in 1997 acording to this  press release

     When this Sears opened it was one of the nicer Sears stores with a modern interior and remained nice until its closure. With only 43,000 people living within a 5 miles radius it is not a surprise this mall is not doing so well; Sears is not one of those stores people tend to go to every week or every month for that matter. I personally believe this store was closed since Sears Holdings operate a more-profitable Kmart across the street and did not want two stores across the street from each other.

     Below are some photos taken by Mike Kalasnik of when this store was operating as normal, when it was closing, and now as it sits closed.

Normal Sears Operations pictures (October 2011)

Liquidation Sale Photos (February 2012)

Odd how the blue Sears signage looks white at night.

A close-up of the entrance

Another close-up of the entrance

Notice how many items are left after this store's closing sale was already going on for a month.



Boys clothing

Misses clothing

Misses clothing

Jewery, Womens clothing, and the Entrance

Mens clothing and Sporting goods

Hardware and Sporting Goods

The Sears Services section of the store





Mens clothing

The mall entrance

An advertisement for this store's closed. Notice that the logo used is not the current Sears logo.


Misses clothing

Womens clothing

The walkway to the Optical center

Furniture and Luggage

Sporting goods and Hardware





Womens clothing

Womens clothing

The store Entrance

Liquidation Sale Photos (April 2012)

The faded Sears sign before its removal.

The Sears style entryway

More of the entryway

This photo is from April before the store was closed

The former Optical center

Sears Optical hours

Some more empty aisles

Luggage and Boys clothing

The mostly empty hardware area

Closed Sears photos (April 28, 2012)

The Sears label-scar

At the time this was taken they did not even remove the American Flag yet.

The closed up main entrance.
The all too clear Sears Label-scar

A closed up exterior entrance

The closed up mall entrance

more of the closed up mall entrance

A peak through the grate into the closed store

Another peak through the grate

RIP Sears in Statesville, North Carolina.