Renovations under way at former Value City site
By Jamison Cocklin
Renovation work is under- way at 1130 Boardman-Poland Road, site of the former Value City Department Store, which closed in 2008.
An application for a building permit was filed May 1 at the Mahoning County Building Department by Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle. The document details plans for a Good Cents Grocery + More, Giant Eagle’s latest discount option.
The company introduced the Good Cents name last year in Pittsburgh, providing a cross between a conventional and discount grocery store.
It offers a mix of national-brand and private-label groceries at value prices, and it sells items not commonly available at other discount grocery chains such as shampoo and pet food.
But it remains unclear if Giant Eagle will go forward with the plans, even as work continues on both the exterior and interior at the site.
“We are continually evaluating opportunities to expand all of our banners, but we have nothing to confirm regarding a new store in the Youngstown area,” wrote Daniel Donovan, a Giant Eagle spokesman in Pittsburgh, in an email.
Matthew Metzger, another Giant Eagle spokesman in Cleveland, said the company “is reticent to confirm something if it’s not 100 percent. We don’t want to comment on it if it’s not going to happen.”
Workers at the site Friday said they were not sure about how long it would take to renovate the space. A project manager referred a reporter to Mayo & Associates Inc., which owns the building, and Kutlick Realty, which is working on a deal to lease the space.
Calls to both companies were not returned Thursday and Friday.
Giant Eagle’s building-permit application details plans to renovate 53,854 square feet inside the building.
The company has opened similar stores under the Valu King name since 2008. Currently, other than the location in Pittsburgh, there is just one other Good Cents in Eastlake in Lake County.
Giant Eagle’s plans would follow other discount grocers, such as Bottom Dollar Food and Aldi, which have expanded their presence in the area. Bottom Dollar will open two new locations — one in New Castle, Pa., and another in Warren — by this fall.
In the past decade or so, the industry has given rise to a number of discount grocers such as Aldi, Save-A-Lot and Trader Joe’s.
Kutlick Realty lists 1130 Boardman-Poland Road as a “redevelopment” with appeal in the Tiffany Square Shopping Center.
Already, a portion of the large parking lot in front of the building has been blocked by work taking place on the exterior. Many motorists use the lot to bypass a congested intersection at U.S. Route 224 and South Avenue.
Traffic near the site likely will get worse in July when lane restrictions, ramp closures and roadwork are scheduled to begin for a bridge-widening project about a half-mile up the street that’s expected to last two years.