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Longtime Medina shoe shop owner worried about getting the boot from the city

Porter's Shoe Repair
Posted at 5:55 PM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 19:10:32-04

MEDINA, Ohio — The owners of a longtime Medina shoe repair shop are worried about getting the boot from city.

Porter's Shoe Repair has been serving customers for 64 years out of a 440-square-foot building on West Liberty Street.

Porter's Shoe Repair
Porter's Shoe Repair, open in Medina for decades, may be getting the boot from the city.

The building is owned by the city, but rented to Herb and Phyllis Porter for $300 per month. However, the city has given the Porter family notice that the building with the long history is not part of the future.

"I'm glad to be in Medina. I am, but I just don't want to have to be shoved out," Phyllis Porter said.

Medina received a $1 million grant from the state and added $2.7 million to build a 211-space parking deck just behind the shop.

Mayor Dennis Hanwell said the additional parking will support city workers, downtown businesses and visitors coming to the historic square for activities.

The deck should be completed by May. After that, the city will move forward with a plan to find private developers to construct new businesses and apartments.

"We'd like to have commercial on the lower level and we're hoping for two to three stories of apartments withing walking distance of the downtown," Hanwell said.

But that development would spell the end of the shoe shop which would be torn down.

Porter admits she has talked with the mayor over the years and verbally agreed to give up the shop as she nears retirement, but recently, she changed her mind and would like to stay in the same location for three or four more years. She's also concerned about her customers.

"The people, what would they do? They don't have any place to go because shoe repair is such a dying trade," she said.

Hanwell said the city isn't forcing the the business out of the city. In fact, the the mayor has been looking for other potential buildings in the downtown area.

"I've got six different locations that I personally have to talked to people about to try to help them," Hanwell said. "We do need to move them from this (current) location because we can't build around them."

Porter isn't ruling out moving into another building, but she's worried she couldn't afford a higher rent.

"I want to stay as long as we can, as long as God gives us health and strength," she said.