How many of us drive through the intersection of W. 21st and Leavitt Rd countless times during the week, and we just accept the site (sight) that occupies the northwest corner of the area? You could’ve counted me among that group, until about a month ago.
While you can’t tell much from the panorama above, when you get right up close and personal, you’ll see just how far gone the former strip mall really is.
This is pretty indicative of the entire plaza. Boarded up and filthy windows, rust, trash.
This is the first storefront I walked up to, but first, I had to cross this welcome mat.
Built in 1957, Westgate Plaza used to host a grocery store, coin laundry, and other assorted retail establishments. Over the years, one by one, the stores closed, and the building slowly deteriorated.
Searching for “Westgate Plaza”, I found the site listed “For Rent” here, with the minimum divisible storefront being 634 square feet. The rental rate is $8 per square foot per year. Last verified on July 16th, the listing states the following:
Join us as we create a new Westgate Plaza on Lorain, Ohio’s west side.
Located at the intersection of SR 611 and SR 58, this crossroads connects Lorain with Amherst, Port Clinton and other lakefront communities
G West LLC and/or Georg Abakumov, the owner and mail contact, respectively, should probably concentrate on rehabbing or “creating” the new Westgate Plaza before they try to rent it out. Let me show you why:
This is a good representation of the stores in the plaza. Not a single one is ‘move-in ready’, which is what a storefront should be if you’re trying to rent it out. Purchased in August of 1999 for $225,000, the ‘anchor’ tenant advertised is Family Dollar. The only other tenant is….you have to see it to believe it and truly appreciate it:
The reason I don’t see anything happening here is because it’ll be 10 years in just a few weeks that G West has owned this property, and Family Dollar is the biggest move they’ve made to populate the plaza, AND because they are over $20,000 behind on the property taxes.
Does anyone really think they’ve got money to get this place fixed up “to create a new Westgate Plaza”? Yea, me either. Maybe the City could send someone down there to check it out.