July 24, 2016

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Giant Eagle plans expansion in fall

Lisa Hlavinka | The Gazette

MEDINA — Giant Eagle plans to expand in the fall and recently bought out three leases in the adjoining strip to begin that expansion.

A spokesman from Giant Eagle, 870 N. Court St., declined to elaborate on the details of the project, saying the company would release more information in late 2009.

The three stores in the strip, Gimme a Haircut, Maxximum Nails and Dragon Buffet, will all relocate in Medina.

Gimme a Haircut owner John Martino said he was struck with feelings of “déjà vu” when landlords approached him about buying out his lease. In 1998, Finast Friendly Markets also approached him with a similar plan to expand after it bought the former location of Best Products.

Unhappy with the amount Finast offered him and worried that he would lose clientele with the move, Martino held out, even as the parking lot was torn up and looked like a “war zone” while the store did major construction.

“I told them I’m really not interested in leaving, because this is a phenomenal location and at the time, there was nowhere else to go in the city,” he said.

He recently had signed a lease that would not have expired until 2015, when he planned to retire, and held out for more than a year when landlords approached him with Giant Eagle’s intention to buy leases in the strip.

After about a year of negotiating, Martino said he agreed with the price he was offered, with one stipulation.

“Part of the agreement was, I’m glad to accept, but before I sign the paper, I had to find a location within roughly a mile and in the same size footprint we’re in,” he said.

He found that location at 5007 Grande Blvd. in the Grande Shops plaza in Medina Township, where he plans to make about $100,000 worth of renovations.

Owners of Dragon Buffet recently bought Noble Buffet, a Chinese restaurant down the street, 1201 N. Court St. The restaurant will operate under the Noble Buffet name.

Owners of Maxximum Nails declined to comment, but a sign on the door said the nail salon bought Tip Top Nails, 1043 N. Court St.

Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or lhlavinka@ohio.net.