6/20/2007

Costco Getting Ready

(Toledo, OH) Whatever one thinks of the tax abatements given to Costco to build a new facility in Toledo, I have to admit these people know how to move quickly.

In just over one year the contractors have torn down al the old buildings at the Westgate Shopping Center, built all new commercial strips, and coordinated the relocation and arrival of dozens of merchants. All that is left is the formal opening of Costco, slated for later this summer.

Unfortunately for Toledo, even a medium-sized retail construction project is big news; Rust Belt cities have little to crow about in comparison with places like Washington, DC.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Sheryl said...

I know this isn't timely to your blog, but I just now ran across your website. This isn't the first renovation of this shopping center is it?

I was born in Toledo in the mid-1950s, grow up in Sylvania Township and used to walk to Westgate in the summer. At that time there was also the Colony and Miracle Mile, but Westgate was the only shopping center close enough to walk to. Franklin Mall (on Monroe St.) did not exist. By the way, at that time it was known as Franklin Field (where we would fly kites in the springtime). Franklin Ice Cream store fronted Monroe Street and up the street (toward Sylvania) was the Franklin Drive-In (Theater). Wee-Tee and Putt-Putt (miniature golf) were close by and there was a small amusement park next to Franklin Drive-In.

I don't even recognize the stores you're talking about at Wesgate. The main store at Westgate used to be The Lion Store. There was a also Kresges or Woolworths five and dime (with a lunch counter), a sporting goods store, candy store, Singer Sewing Store, book store, record shop and several womens' and mens' clothing shops.

Although you mention LaSalles, perhaps you're referring to the center that was built later and was sited across the street from Westgate. LaSalles was a stand-alone store and Sears & Roebuck was another stand-alone store (in 1960 Sears carried saddles and tack and live hamsters, gerbils and small turtles).

My brother, my friends and I spent many Saturdays at Westgate. We would make the rounds to most of the stores and always end up eating at MacDonalds (there was outside seating only). We we creatures of habit in that we always ordered a double-cheesburger (quarter pounders hadn't been invented), coke, fries and an apple pie...and yes it didn't cost much more than a dollar.

I remember when the Cinema theater opened, it was historic because it was the first Cinemascope screen in the area.

2:08 AM  

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