After the closing of a GetGo gas station in Bedford, residents there are wondering what's in store for a shopping plaza that sits almost completely empty at one of the city's busiest intersections.
Larry Zilbert has owned Cleveland Jewelry for 29 years and says development at the Meadowbrook Market Square Shopping Plaza at the corner of Rockside and Northfield Roads has never been worse.
"There's no draw to my plaza," Zilbert told WKYC Channel 3's Brandon Simmons. "Like a coffee shop, a pizza shop, a tailor. Nothing to draw them here except empty stores. It hurts me. I've seen Bedford go from a beautiful area to a vast wasteland of stores."
The demise of Meadowbrook started in 2006. That's when Tops Friendly Market moved out. In 2010, Target was shut down. But the most surprising closing was Walmart last year. They left the area after just 8 years in business, leaving a brand-new building behind.
Larry says it wasn't because they weren't busy. "As far as I know it was. That parking lot seemed full. GetGo was always busy. Always. And Walmart was always busy. Packed," he said.
Everyone has theories for the closings, but Bedford City Manager Mike Mallis says it's due to a decline in retail across the country.
The silver lining in all of this is that businesses are re-investing in the area very soon. 2 car dealerships are moving from the Bedford Auto Mile to Meadowbrook. Mazda plans to open what they're calling a 'retail evolution' dealership.
For Larry Zilbert, any business in the area is helpful.
"We need new development, not empty stores."