FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio — Plans to renovate one of three outdated strip malls on Lorain Road in Fairview Park may bring an economic boost to the city.
Leon Sampat, a local architect and owner of L S Architect, bought the strip mall located between West 223rd and West 221st streets last year.
“A real estate agent called me to say, 'Hey, we have this property for sale, are you interested?' and I said, 'Absolutely,'” Sampat explained. “I saw the value in Fairview Park.”
The property houses several businesses, including Preppy Pet and Hylan Dental Care.
“About a third of the property was vacant and we were able to kind of show them some of our visions of the property and they agreed to sign some leases,” Sampat said.
Sampat believes there’s a lack of real estate in Fairview Park due to the outdated buildings. He hopes his $150,000 renovation plan will help the city attract more businesses and developers.
“I think this is one of the last communities that’s affordable to redevelop. Right now you got Westlake and you got Rocky River, which are kind of established. Fairview is just getting established,” he said. “I think this will give a lot more opportunity for businesses to market their business.”
The renovation plan includes doubling the building’s size by adding extending it eight feet, adding new signage, awnings, lighting and new glass to make it more energy efficient.
Sampat hopes to begin construction in the spring.
Mayor Eileen Ann Patten tells News 5 she’s excited about the project.
“As I’m leaving office, this is a great send-off," Patten said.
Patton says the strip mall renovation is important and helpful as the city works to establish a downtown shopping district. She explained two other strip malls on Lorain Road are also in the process of being turned around.
“The whole package is coming together,” Patton said.
In the meantime, businesses like Preppy Pet are looking forward to change. Manager Tracy Spalich says they moved to Fairview Park because of the community’s support of small businesses.
“We got in at a time that there’s changes going on so the community has responded very well to us,” she said.
Spalich says business is good so far, but it wasn’t when they first opened due to the lack of curb appeal.
“The strip needed a lot of work inside and out,” Spalich explained. “There were people that just necessarily went by and didn’t even know we were here.”
She says a modern and updated look will help business.
“It helps us to move forward in a better direction when you’re working with a facility that’s up to date and ready to go," Spalich said.