Cedar Center South gets a new look
Cedar Center South is undergoing a facelift. The University Heights shopping center, on the south side of Cedar Road, west of Warrensville Center Road, is owned by Inland Real Estate Corporation, which purchased it in the fall of 2013. Inland is renovating the exteriors of all of the stores, with the exception of Whole Foods and CVS.
The renovations began on July 20, and are expected to be complete by mid-November. Inland plans to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony when all of the work is done, but no date had been set at press time.
“We are very excited to enhance the center, and we are very pleased with the cooperation from our tenants and from the city of University Heights,” said Kristi Rankin, senior vice president of Inland.
The renovations are being done by Veteran Development and Construction. Though the center has been in existence since the 19502, no one could say when it was last renovated.
University Heights Mayor Susan K. Infeld said she is happy with the changes. "It updates the look of the area, and it will have a sharp, modern, very clean look.” said Infeld. “It is making it very attractive, and it should draw the eye of any people driving down Cedar. And any beautification is good for the city."
Stores in the section of the shopping center that is being renovated include Dollar Tree, the UPS Store, MotoPhoto, Georgio’s Oven-Fresh Pizza, Tuesday Morning, Third Federal Savings and Loan, O’Rielly’s Pub and First Watch. Construction is limited to the exteriors of the buildings, and encompasses the front and back of each store. According to papers filed with the city of University Heights, Inland is paying $842,000 to cover the cost of the renovation.
All of the stores and restaurants have remained open during construction. Even so, some of the store owners and managers say that construction has had a negative impact on their businesses.
C.J. Handley, of Family Dollar, said that the renovations have "made it look like everything was closed."
"The stores have lost a lot of money," said Sean Vogley, manager of MotoPhoto. "The construction has disrupted all of the businesses here, and, ultimately, I don't think the changes are going to make a huge difference." Once the changes are completed, said Vogley, "It's going to make the area look good."
Inland also owns Cedar Center North, on the north side of Cedar Road, across the street from Cedar Center South. Inland purchased the north shopping center this past spring for $15.4 million.
“We chose to upgrade and renovate this building to add value, enhance physical appearance and boost Cedar Center South’s attraction to customers and retailers alike,” said Rankin. “Cedar Center South is an attractive center for retailers, not just for its soon-to-be new look, but also the impressive tenant lineup and prime location along Cedar Road.”
Rankin said that some retail and office space is available in the shopping center. Anyone interested in leasing space should contact Don Gill, assistant vice president and senior leasing manager for Inland, at 530-954-5656.
James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley.