THE VINDICATOR, YOUNGSTOWN
Fortune Garden restaurant has a year on its lease but may move sooner.
By DON SHILLING
VINDICATOR BUSINESS EDITOR
YOUNGSTOWN -- A restaurant at Belmont Avenue and Gypsy Lane is to be torn down and replaced with a Walgreens drugstore.
The drugstore chain has received a zoning permit from the city to build a new store with a drive-through lane, said Bill D'Avignon, the city's deputy director of planning.
Company officials said they may have to wait a year before construction starts, however, because Fortune Garden restaurant has a lease for the site, D'Avignon said.
Rite Aid has a store just across Gypsy Lane from the proposed Walgreens site.
Lease: Tod Homestead Cemetery, which owns the restaurant property, has signed a lease with a developer who intends to demolish the restaurant and then lease the property to another tenant, said Paul Dutton, a lawyer for the cemetery.
The restaurant's lease requires the cemetery to give it one year's notice of termination, however, he said. The restaurant could move out in less than a year if the developer and restaurant agree on a payment for early termination of the lease, he said.
Dutton said he thinks those negotiations are going on, but officials with the developer, Greystone Group Operations Ltd. of Cleveland, could not be reached for comment.
A restaurant official who would not give his name said the restaurant will be moved to a new location but he wasn't sure where or when. Business has been good at the 11-year-old restaurant, he said.
Dutton said the cemetery, which is just down the street from the restaurant, owns several hundred acres in the area. The restaurant property is the northern edge of its property.
A spokeswoman for Walgreen Co. could not be reached.
Expansion: The Deerfield Ill.-based company has been growing rapidly. Walgreen moved into the Mahoning Valley in 1997 and now has stores in Boardman and Warren.
Nationwide, it has more than 3,100 stores, including more than 400 that were opened during fiscal year 2000, which ended in August.
The company earned $777 million last fiscal year on sales of $21.2 billion.