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Apartment Tower Could be Part of Giant Eagle Redevelopment

Brent Warren Brent Warren Apartment Tower Could be Part of Giant Eagle RedevelopmentPhoto by Brent Warren.
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One meeting has been scheduled for tonight and another for next week to discuss the future of the Thurber Village retail plaza in Victorian Village.

The five-acre site, which sits at the southwest corner of Neil and Buttles avenues, is home to an assortment of restaurant and retail offerings, including Spinelli’s Deli, Boston Stoker Coffee Company and a CVS pharmacy. The Giant Eagle grocery store that occupied the largest space in the center closed in 2017.

CASTO, the local developer that owns the property, has scheduled the meetings to “figure out what the future looks like for this property while receiving feedback from the surrounding neighborhoods,” according to a company spokesperson, who stressed that there is no firm redevelopment plan in place for the property, or a timeline for moving forward with any changes.

Tonight’s meeting is with the Harrison West Society (HWS), which would eventually weigh in on any proposal for the site. Because the property sits just outside the boundaries of the Victorian Village Commission, it would not have to go before that board (so, instead of needing the approval of a historic architectural review commission to move forward, a proposal for the site would only have to be brought before the HWS for a non-binding, advisory vote).

The second meeting, which is being publicized by the Short North Civic Association, will take place at the former Giant Eagle store itself on February 26 (from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.).

A description of the meeting on the group’s Facebook page states that “CASTO will use this time to present the historical background associated with the Giant Eagle site, constraints the developer must work within in order to redevelop the center, and to solicit neighborhood feedback.”

Tim Price, HWS President, said that representatives of CASTO have met with the group’s executive committee and given a rough outline of the developer’s thinking for the project. It will likely include retail along Neil Avenue, with apartments either behind or above the storefronts – a residential tower could rise to a height of ten or more stories, but no decisions have yet been made about the exact scale of the project. The redevelopment could also include single family homes or other types of smaller-scale residential units.

One important piece of the puzzle moving forward, he added, is the CVS, which still has 11 years left on its current lease and has indicated a preference for prime frontage in any new development (which likely means a spot right at the corner of Neil and Buttles). In addition to the CVS, CASTO has indicated that some type of grocery store could also be a part of the project.

More information about the two meetings is available on Facebook via the Harrison West Society and the Short North Civic Association.

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