Costco opens in Avon Commons

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Fireworks at Avon Commons on Monday, July 3, 2006.

FIRST INTERSTATE DE-ACTIVATES CHESTER CENTRE

Hot Dog Heaven plans location in Avon Commons

Heinen's to host Ben and Jerry's icecream shop

Damon's and Red Robin are coming to Avon Commons

Heinen's slated to open in July.

Heinen's is expected to open July 23, 2003.

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 12-4-02, By Julie A. Short

``Costco ready to open, EB Games joins Commons

AVON -- Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Costco is set to open its doors Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 8:00 a.m.

For those unfamiliar with the Costco brand, the membership warehouse club operates more than 385 locations worldwide, offering a wide selection of merchandise. Costco's warehouses present one of the largest and most exclusive product category selections.

Categories include groceries, candy, appliances, television and media, automotive supplies, tires, toys, hardware, sporting goods, jewelry, watches, cameras, books, house wares, apparel, health and beauty aids, tobacco, furniture, office supplies and office equipment.

The chain is known for carrying top quality national and regional brands with prices below traditional wholesale or retail outlets.

According to Jim Sinegal, President and CEO, "Costco is able to offer lower prices and better values by eliminating virtually all the frills and costs historically associated with conventional wholesalers and retailers. We run a tight operation with extremely low overhead which enables us to pass on dramatic savings to our members." ...

"Costco is a little higher end retailer than BJ's or Sam's. It caters to a more affluent trade community," First Interstate President Mitchell Schneider said. "We believe this is a great complement to the tenant mix at the Commons. It is truly a one-stop shopping location serving all the needs of the community." First Interstate is the developer of Avon Commons.

Open only to members, Costco offers three types of membership: Business, Gold Star (individual) and the Executive membership. Business members qualify by owning or operating a business, and pay an annual fee of $45 to shop for resale, business and personal uses. The fee includes a spouse card.

Business members may purchase up to six additional membership cards at $35 each. Gold Star members pay a $45 annual fee and are available to those individuals that do not own a business. The fee includes a free spouse membership.

The executive Membership in addition to offering all the usual benefits, allows members to purchase a variety of discounted customer services including auto and homeowner insurance, real estate and mortgage services and long distance telephone services. Members also receive a 2% annual reward (up to $500) on most warehouse purchases. The cost of the Executive membership is $100 annually.

Opening last month at the Commons was EB Games, also known as Electronics Boutique. The chain is one of the world's largest specialtly retailers of electronic games. The stores offer video games and PC entertainment software, as well as, video game hardware, PC productivity software, PC accessories, interactive toys and trading cards.

The chain operates 1064 stores in 46 states, Puetro Rico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Sweden and Germany. Averaging 1,200 sq. ft. in size, most stores are located in regional shopping malls.

EB Games introduces, on average, 20 new games titles in its stores and on its web site ( www.EBgames.com) each week. Popular brands include Sega, Sony, PlayStation, and Nintendo.

Electrontics Boutique began in 1977 as a 10'x13' kiosk selling digital watches, calculators and small radios. Located in the King of Prussia Plaza in King of Prussia, Penn, a western suburb of Philadelphia, that small store was the humble origin of the now popular chain of computer software and video games.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 11-20-02, By J.P. SULLIVAN, Morning Journal Writer

``Hot Dog Heaven to move to eastern Lorain County

AVON -- Hot Dog Heaven, the popular downtown Amherst restaurant founded more than 25 years ago, will be expanding its operations into eastern Lorain County sometime early next year.

Owner Jack O'Flanagan said yesterday the restaurant currently is in discussions to open a location in the Avon Commons Shopping Center ...

In recent months, Hot Dog Heaven had been rumored to be moving into Avon Commons in a 1,600-square-foot storefront abutting Caribou Coffee. That fell through when National City Bank took over the property for a new branch banking office.

However, O'Flanagan said Goodman Realty is now steering Hot Dog Heaven towards a narrow 2,000-square-foot facility on the other side of the complex near Pier 1 Imports.

O'Flanagan said he has looked to expand Hot Dog Heaven into eastern Lorain County for more than a year and said the additional parking Avon Commons offers makes a location in the large shopping center appealing ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 12-13-02, By Brad Dicken

``The scoop: Heinen's hosting Ben and Jerry's shop

Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry's will open a Scoop Shop at Avon Commons in May of next year [2003]. CHUCK HUMEL/CHRONICLE

AVON -- ... Heinen's will open its new store at the Avon Commons shopping center in May, and within it will be a Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop.

"It will be inside the Heinen's as a kiosk near the front of the store," said Mitchell Schneider, president of First Interstate Properties Ltd., which owns and operates the Commons.

The grocery store, which is currently being built, will join the line of shops that are rapidly consuming the remaining empty space at the shopping center on Detroit Road just east of State Route 83.

Schneider said his company is negotiating to bring two more restaurants and a furniture store to the shopping center, but that might be it.

"That's about all of the room we have, he said, adding that there may be room for two smaller restaurants to be added at a later date."

Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and the International House of Pancakes, which opened Tuesday [12-10-02], are ... restaurants at the Commons.

IHOP is one of the first such restaurants to open in the state as the pancake giant makes a push to return to Ohio.

"It's part of our entry into the Ohio market," said company spokesman Patrick Lenow. "Avon seems to be a great community to bring our great food to."

Also opening this week was the wholesale warehouse Costco, which is giving away free memberships to its 148,000-square-foot store until Jan. 19 [2003].

"It adds to the tenants we have and adds to the aesthetics by filling in the circle," Schneider said.

First Interstate not only owns the Costco building, but also the space its closest competitor, BJ's Wholesale Club, occupies near the state Route 611 and Interstate 90 interchange. Schneider said the two serve different markets of the wholesale market.

"I hope both do well," he said.

Pier One Imports also recently opened a store at the shopping center.''

Contact Brad Dicken at bdicken@chronicletelegram.com.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 1-8-03, By Mike Ferrari

``Damon's Grill set to fire up the Commons

AVON -- It has been said that patience is a virtue. Restaurant advocates in Avon have had that character trait tested waiting for a large-scale, quality restaurant to open at Avon Commons along Detroit Road.

When the project was first introduced to residents, First Interstate, developers of Avon Commons, touted the unlimited shopping possibilities and they have finally delivered.

Damon's Grill representatives have formally applied to Avon Planning Commission and have submitted preliminary drawings to city hall along with providing the necessary permit applications required by city law ...

According to Bob Nelson, company store construction manager, Damon's representatives have been looking into different areas in Avon and as of Jan. 3 were still in the process of finalizing their lease agreement with First Interstate.

Nelson said that Damon's typically tries to open 20 locations per year and noted the Avon site could be the last of its kind in the entire state. The Avon location is the sixth franchise to open for the company's calendar year that extends from June to June ...

"We are very excited about this opening," Nelson said. "The Cleveland area has been very good to us and we are excited to be coming to the city."

Nelson said a tentative construction schedule has already been established and MAC Construction is expected to begin work on the building as early as Feb. 1. Nelson said the work crew will follow a strict 18-week timeline and a late June [2003] opening is anticipated.

According to their website, Damon's International Inc. founded in 1979, has more than 140 locations worldwide, and is "a leading full-service, casual dining restaurant concept that emphasizes grilled steaks, chicken, seafood, salad and Damon's award-winning ribs."

Each location seats approximately 200 customers.

Prospective patrons of the restaurant can expect to be able to enjoy the company's "clubhouse" that is surrounded by large screen televisions that are broadcasting sporting events along with interactive NTN trivia games.

Nelson said though he is unsure why the real estate department chose Avon as their last Ohio site, but noted that it could have been due to the demographics of the growing city coupled with the I-90 visibility.

Avon Mayor Jim Smith said he is extremely gratified to welcome Damon's to the city.

"I am very, very pleased that they chose to come to the city and to Avon Commons," Smith said. "Our business community and residents will benefit from the company's decision to come to Avon."

Nelson said that Damon's officials have already begun planning a "VIP" opening for the first week of operation and will invite the public for samplings of the food where free meal tickets will be handed out as a way to introduce themselves to Avon residents.

NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 1-10-03, By ANDREA MIGHT, Morning Journal Writer

``Red Robin, Damon's eye Avon

AVON -- Avon residents will soon be eating burgers and ribs at Avon Commons if two popular restaurant chains have their way.

Red Robin Restaurant and Damon's Grill are scheduled to make presentations next week to the Avon Planning Commission on plans for building there.

Damon's, headquartered in Columbus, has nine locations in Northeast Ohio and specializes in ribs, grilled steaks, chicken and seafood, according to Ed Williams, Damon's executive vice president for development.

Red Robin, with about 200 locations, was one of the first of 33 companies to sign on as Avon Commons tenants in October 2000, but the local operator had financial problems. Now the chain is going ahead with plans for the new location.

Mitchell Schneider, president of First Interstate Properties Ltd. and developer of Avon Commons, said the prospect of Damon's coming to Avon is new ...

[Damon's] 6,807-square-foot Avon location will hold about 230 guests and will employ between 120 and 130 when it opens, but the ongoing numbers will include 90 to 100 employees.

The restaurant would cost between $800,000 and $850,000 to build and will include a dining room, bar and clubhouse with four giant screen projection televisions and tiered, theater-style seating ...

Williams hopes the restaurant will open in July 2003 ...

''We've been looking on the west side of Cleveland for the last couple years. We finally settled in on the Avon Commons location,'' Williams said ...

''I think in large part (Cleveland) is very good for our type of venue. We appeal to a wide spectrum of customers,'' he said. ''It's a fun environment.'' ...

A Red Robin spokeswoman didn't return messages requesting comments.

The 6,351-square-foot Avon location will hold 205 guests inside and an additional 32 on an outdoor patio.

Red Robin has won awards for the ''Best Burger'' and ''Best Family Restaurant,'' according to its Web site, www.redrobin.com ''

Contact amight@morningjournal.com

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 3-19-03, By Julie A. Short

``Pet, furniture stores negotiating Commons leases, Heinen's opening pushed back

AVON -- ... Avon Commons leasing agent Randy Goodman confirmed ongoing negotiations to bring Pet Supermarket, Ethan Allen and the Amherst-based Hot Dog Heaven restaurant to Avon.

"We are also working on bringing a small pizza restaurant to finish off the strip with Caribou Coffee," Goodman said. "The pizza shop will be primarily take-out and delivery with a minor seating area. There will also be another restaurant coming next to IHOP ..."

Pet Supermarket is a Florida-based grocery store for pets with locations throughout the south and west. This will be the chain's first appearance in Ohio. The store offers a wide selection of pet food for birds, dogs, cats, reptiles, fish and other small animals. The store will be located next to Pier I Imports ...

Ethan Allen is no stranger to northeast Ohio. Ethan Allen has been in the furniture and decorating business for more than 70 years. The location for the new store will be next to World Market on the east end of the Commons ...

Hot Dog Heaven is a popular Amherst establishment and the Avon store marks the restaurant's first attempt at expansion.

"This has been a year and a half in the making," owner Jack O'Flanagan said. "We've been approached by an outside group for expansion. We decided early on that we would do it ourselves. We fell in love with Avon. We can't wait to be a part of the Commons."

Surrounding communities such as Avon Lake and Westlake are familiar with the restaurant because of its close proximity to Amherst Steele High School.

"We've established a great following of people who come out to Amherst to attend sporting or other events at the high school," O'Flanagan said. "We've got two other young enthusiastic men in John O'Flanagan and Jeff Schneider who will help us in the move."

The restaurant will be double the size of the original Hot Dog Heaven seating approximately 68 patrons in the 2,000 square-foot facility housed within the north strip of the Commons near Caribou Coffee. In addition to hot dogs, the menu consists of chicken strips, chili, hamburgers and the restaurants famous fresh-cut French fries.

"At the Commons location we are going to place more emphasis on ice cream and we will have two soft serve ice cream machines in place," O'Flanagan said. "It's taken a while to hammer out the terms of the lease which we have not yet signed, but we hope to have everything signed as soon as possible so we can finalize the lay-out and design of the store."

O'Flanagan hopes to open the restaurant sometime in June.

Shoppers eagerly awaiting the opening of the Heinen's grocery store will have to wait a little longer. The store, previously scheduled to open in May is now slated to open sometime in July.

"There is no particular reason for the delay," owner Jeff Heinen noted. "It is taking longer than we had anticipated. Hopefully we'll be worth the wait. We don't build stores very often so we are not used to making opening predictions."

According to Goodman, the addition of the stores listed above will finalize the mix of tenants at the Commons. "I wish we had more room," Goodman said. "We are happy with the way the Commons came together."''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 7-2-03, By JENNIFER HICKIN , Morning Journal Writer

``Ethan Allen comes to Avon

AVON -- The newest tenant in Avon Commons, Ethan Allen, could be open in time for the holiday season, according to Mitchell Schneider, the shopping center's developer.

Construction on the home furnishing store is expected to start in the next 60 days, he said.

Right now it is projected to open in December, but ''everything's a projection,'' said Josie Bielmeir, an Ethan Allen spokeswoman. ''It may change tomorrow.''

If the store is not ready to open for the holiday season the grand opening would be pushed back to spring 2004, according to Schneider.

Ethan Allen has store locations in Northeast Ohio including North Olmsted, Strongsville, Akron, Chagrin Falls and Mentor.

Two other tenants that plan to open this summer are Red Robin restaurant and Heinen's grocery store.

Heinen's grocery store is expected to open July 23.

Red Robin, expected to open Aug. 18, was one of the first companies to sign on as an Avon Commons tenant in 2000 ...

First Interstate Properties Ltd., the company developing Avon Commons, is also in talks with a couple of smaller tenants and a company that wants to bring a free-standing restaurant, according to Schneider.

Names of these possible tenants are not being released, but leases are expected to be finalized in the next couple of months, he said.

''By this time next year'' Avon Commons is expected to be at capacity, Schneider said. There is space for three additional restaurants, a bank and a couple of smaller tenants.

Avon Commons opened in 2001.''

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FIRST INTERSTATE DE-ACTIVATES CHESTER CENTRE

Chester Centre site plan

According to the above Chester Centre site plan, First Interstate proposed a shopping center on SR 83 between Chester Rd. and Schneider Court, including the land where the Range now sits. The 189,700 square-foot store shown at the bottom of the plan could house a Lowe's.

Goodman Real Estate Services Group has announced that Chester Center is no longer an active project.

``Chester Centre is a proposed 300,000-square-foot power center in Avon, Ohio ...

This site is situated at the northeast corner of Center Road (State Route 83) and Chester Road, directly across the street from the recently-opened Wal-Mart store. Both Wal-Mart and Chester Centre are on the north side of Interstate 90 just east of the State Route 83 interchange.

This new development will complement the existing Avon Commons Shopping Center located on the south side of Interstate 90 and State Route 83. Avon Commons, at 790,000 square feet, is anchored by Costco, Heinen?s, Target, Kohl's, The Home Depot, Linens-N-Things, Old Navy, Marshalls, Michaels, Cost Plus World Market, Pier 1 Imports, and Ethan Allen.''

Goodman Real Estate Services Group LLC

25333 Cedar Road, Suite 305 Lyndhurst, Ohio 44124

Phone (216) 381-8200 Fax (216) 381-8211

aerial photo 11-05

Aerial view of Avon Commons, November, 2005. Click here for a larger view.

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There will be fireworks at Avon Commons at 9:30 pm on Monday, July 3, 2006.

From Goodman Real Estate Services Group LLC:

25333 Cedar Road, Suite 305 Lyndhurst, Ohio 44124

Phone (216) 381-8200 Fax (216) 381-8211

``Avon Commons is the largest power center in the Cleveland, Ohio, metropolitan area and it is easily accessible from the prime northwest suburban residential communities of Westlake, Bay Village, Rocky River, Avon, and Avon Lake.

This 800,000 square foot shopping center is anchored by Target, Costco, Kohl's, Linens N' Things, Marshalls, Old Navy, Michael's, World Market, Heinen's Supermarket, The Home Depot and Ethan Allen.

Visible from I-90 at the Route 83 interchange and situated in the fast growing City of Avon, this project provides an opportunity to capture customers that have large disposable incomes in an area with enormous growth.''

aerial photo 7-06

Aerial view of Avon Commons, July, 2006 Click here for a larger view.

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