in works for Beachcliff, Rockport
By Ben Saylor
Published Jan. 30, 2008
could be seeing changes at both Beachcliff Market Square and Rockport
Shopping Center in the near future.
Economic and Community Development Director Kory Koran
reported on both plazas during an economic and community development
update to City Council Jan. 22.
Koran said that approximately 10 individuals from
Madison Marquette, the developer of Beachcliff Market Square, flew
in to visit the center on Jan. 17.
Beachcliff tenants Liberty Books and News, Chico’s,
and White House/Black Market all recently closed. While Koran said
that it was known that the Liberty company went out of business
several months ago, the closure of clothing retailers Chico’s and
White House/Black Market “took everyone by surprise,” including,
he said, management at both locations. Koran said the decision to
close those stores was a corporate one.
“The corporate owners felt that the sales were taking
away from their Crocker Park stores,” Koran said. Both Chico’s and
White House/Black Market have locations at Crocker Park.
Madison Marquette is taking immediate action regarding
the square, Koran said.
“What they have immediately authorized is to build
out all the empty storefronts that are there,” Koran said. The result,
he said, will “change the look of the entire center.”
“Their overall impression of the center is that it
needs quite a bit of improvement as far as aesthetics,” Koran added.
“They’re looking at a way to increase the street presence, the visibility
of Beachcliff.” Koran said Madison Marquette doesn’t like that the
new building at Beachcliff is so low compared to the street, and
that they have hired an architectural firm to try and raise of the
façade of the building.
The two biggest obstacles at Beachcliff, however,
are parking and signage, Koran said. Businesses such as Tomorrows
- a hair salon and Pearl of the Orient are difficult to see from
Detroit Road, Koran said. To this end, Koran said Madison Marquette
is preparing a sign package to present to the city.
Parking is a “huge problem” at the square, Koran said.
“Even with the three stores closed, it’s very difficult
to find a parking place at Beachcliff Market Square,” Koran said.
He added that the lack of parking spaces is discouraging potential
tenants from the square.
To this end, Koran said Madison Marquette will be
immediately paving the old Taylor Motors site. In addition, the
company has “tentatively agreed” to share parking with the nearby
Rocky River United Methodist Church. The company is also “reinvigorating
the acquisition of adjacent properties to create more areas for
parking,” Koran said.
Koran also said that National City Bank is moving
its branch farther down Detroit Road in part of the space currently
occupied by Hollywood Video.
“They’re [Madison Marquette] very excited about reworking
where that exit drive through is,” Koran said. “That has been kind
of a sore spot with them.”
Koran said Madison Marquette plans to have the square
focus on women’s services, pointing out that many of its current
tenants already cater to women. Overall, he said that the company
is “very unhappy with the way the center has turned out.”
Of the 100,000 sq. ft. of space at Beachcliff, 40,000
is currently vacant. The square will be getting a new tenant in
Massage Envy. Koran said Madison Marquette has other potential tenants
looking at the property but could not divulge what they were.
Koran also reported on the status of Rockport Shopping
Center. He said that Goodman Real Estate Services is working on
a plan for the center. The preliminary design Goodman has for Rockport
can be found at http://www.goodmanrealestate.com/property.asp?idProperty=122.
The space where Target formerly sat will hold five 25-30,000 sq.
ft. businesses, Koran said. All of the buildings to the east of
the former Target will be demolished.
“What’s I think the most important and significant
thing is that this is a Goodman Real Estate venture,” Koran told
council. “They’re very well respected. They’ve done many projects.”
Avon Commons is a Goodman project. Koran said that there are tenants
looking at Rockport but that he could not divulge what they are,
although he did say that one of them is a grocery store.
“I’m very optimistic that at least two or three of
these tenants will land at Rockport, and we’ll start to see demolition
very soon,” Koran said.