By CATERINA GUINTA
After months of walking up ramps and around caution tape, Lodi Station Outlets is near completion.
â€œIt changes by the hour,â€ said Yehuda Metanel, president of Gilad Development Inc., which owns the outlet mall on Avon Lake Road in Harrisville Township.
The grand opening is in less than two weeks and Lisa Chapman, general manager of Lodi Station Outlets, said the new outlet mall involves more than just shopping. Metanel had a vision to make this mall stand out from anything else, she said.
â€œThis was his dream and his vision to create a shopping center with an experience,â€ she said. â€œHe wanted to take it to a new level.â€
Metanel explained the challenge isnâ€™t in coming up with an idea; itâ€™s more about taking an idea and trying to find all the potential problems.
â€œThe concept has been in research and development for years,â€ he said. â€œHow do you interpret the idea? How do you truly make it happen?â€
Renovations at Lodi Station Outlets in Harrisville Township are almost complete. At the center of the complex, done in a turn-of-the-20th-century theme, will be a train for anyone to ride for $2.50. The management group worked with historical societies and railway museums around the region to create an accurate portrait of history. All the walkways will be named after old railways and pictures of historic railways will be placed around the facility. (Shirley Ware | Photo Editor)
Shoppers at Lodi Station Outlets, formerly known as Lodi Prime Outlets under different ownership, will have the chance to step back in time. Some of the architecture was aged, giving it a turn-of-the-20th-century feel, and jugglers, stilt walkers and a shoe-shine man will roam the site. The mall will have its own original soundtrack playing and a group called the Lodi Sensations will play on weekends. Metanel explained all the entertainment will be relevant to the history, but part of the mall will have a contemporary feel to create a combination of new and old.
At the center of Lodi Station Outlets will be a train available for anyone to ride at a cost of $2.50 per person. Tickets can be purchased at a kiosk.
Along with the new attractions comes a history lesson. Chapman and Metanel said they worked with historical societies and railway museums around the region to create an accurate portrait of history. All the walkways will be named after old railways and pictures of historic railways will be placed around the facility.
â€œThis is the first shop of its kind in the U.S.,â€ Chapman said.
Metanel explained Ohio was a good place for this new concept.
â€œThroughout Ohio history there have been many firsts,â€ he said. â€œIt is somewhat relevant to take Ohio â€¦ and again make Ohio where it is all starting again.â€
The grand opening is Aug. 30, but Metanel said the real challenge starts after the opening.
â€œThe easy part is building it, the hard part is keeping fresh and relevant every day,â€ he said.
During the grand opening, the first 500 shoppers will receive a commemorative train whistle. The train itself will cut the ribbon and bands will perform.
On Aug. 29, Lodi Station Outlets will announce its partnership with Childrenâ€™s Miracle Network. Lodi Station will sell CDs of its original soundtrack and all proceeds will go to the charity.
Chapman said she has high hopes for the new mall.
â€œI think itâ€™s going to have a tremendous impact,â€ she said. â€œWe think it will offer something for everyone in the family.â€
â€œI believe it will be a major source of pride to the community,â€ Metanel said.
Lodi Station Outlets is expected to gain new stores, including an Aeropostale Outlet, and they also hope to gain more restaurants for the food court, Chapman said.
Audio Video Interiors
Michael Pope, president of Audio Video Interiors, 2753L Medina Road, Medina Township, recently posed for a close-up on a national magazine cover. In July, the company was featured on CEPro magazine.
Pope said the company landed on the cover for its unique way of custom designing everything before itâ€™s sold. Audio Video Interiors designs and sells customer entertainment systems, music systems and security systems.
â€œWe use a design team and we literally designed the system on paper,â€ he said. â€œ(Then) we explain to the client exactly how itâ€™s going to work.â€
Clients can have their whole system custom-designed to fit their needs, he explained.
Pope said being on the magazine cover is a big honor.
â€œIt was really a big uplifting event for the entire staff,â€ he said.
Audio Video Interiors is having a home remodeling event Aug. 28 from 5 to 9 p.m. Residents are welcome to stop in and ask questions or get advice from the on-hand architect, interior designer and staff.
Guinta may be reached at 330-721-4046 or firstname.lastname@example.org.