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Monday, June 13, 2016

City View- The Toxic Shopping Center (Garfield Heights, Ohio)


          If something stinks about an entire shopping center closing only a few years after being development, you would not be wrong. City View Center located at Transportation and Interstate 480 outside Cleveland does indeed smell. Opening around spring 2005 with Wal-Mart, Giant Eagle, Dick's Sporting Goods, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Circuit City, A.J. Wright, OfficeMax, and Petsmart, it would be a perfect representation of a big-box shopping destination.

          What went wrong really quick was the fact the center was built on a 40 year old landfill of trash and sewage. The ground would constantly be shifting based on the science and logic of decomposer, although this must of been overlooked, as shortly after the pavement was laid, it began to buckle and crack immediately, and the employees and customers complained of smells of gas leaks, which was be the methane from the excrement breaking down in the soil.

          In 2008, Wal-Mart closed because of an evacuation due to methane gas leaks, power failures, and an unstable foundation right before the holiday shopping season. With the big-box people attraction gone, that left few customers coming back to City View because there were other shopping centers minutes away in Garfield Heights and Steelyard Commons in Cleveland. It just did not make sense why the city let someone build here, it is an unsafe location, but is was empty land, and the city only saw dollar signs. Decade prior, there have been many cancers and illnesses linked to the area, but could not have been placed on what exactly caused them. It was the drainage, the rain and sewage in the soil getting into the ground water than flowed to treatment plants that did not fully filtrate the water that went into neighborhood sinks and showers that caused residents to be fully exposed to poisonous water that linked to brain tumors and several dozen deaths.

          Over the years, several other retailers left, some of the planned stores were never completed in the first place, leaving only rusty frames now. The drainage was never completed leaving large containers laying around the vacant land and orange puddles and rust stains plague the parking lot. Today only the Giant Eagle market and some restaurants still operate, for now, as business cannot last much longer, its a ticking time bomb, there will be forced to leave when the city declared the center to be inhabitable. 

          "Dear. Mr. Fantasy" would have been a good tune to listen to as you view my photos I took over the past week, but "The Ship Is Sinking" by Matt Hauser is way more dramatic and fitting.


Here is the former Wal-Mart.



Here is the former Circuit City, as it was a Bottom Dollar foods for a few years, that chain is defunct as well.


Various small stores.


Former OfficeMax, clearly.


Former Bed, Bath, & Beyond.


Former Jo-Ann Fabrics.


Former A.J. Wright, then Marshall's a few years later before closing in 2013.


Former Dick's Sporting Goods.


Former Petsmart and a store that never became what was planned.


The last remaining store in the strip.




Funny if this was still open.



I could see this old Wal-Mart cracking in half and sinking like the Titanic.



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