The following items on
Lakewood’s economy were pulled from the Ohio State Auditor’s Report of Lakewood
for the year 2012. For more information on the state of the city, go
to the auditor’s report.
The City’s retail occupancy increased in 2012 for the fifth year in a row, in stark contrast to regional and national trends with Detroit Avenue holding occupancy at more than 90 percent. The City’s population density and lower rents provided a value option for retail growth in addition to the readily available service retail workforce. As Detroit Avenue continues to see new investors and expansion of existing businesses, the City expects that retail occupancy will continue to trend upward in 2013.
The City continues to invest strategically in small business via storefront renovation grants and in 2012 proactively worked with a wider range of business owners to provide design assistance to improve appearance and quality of renovations.
The City’s commercial office sector filled in 2012 more rapidly due major building renovations that took place in 2011. The INA and Bailey Buildings continue to attract tenants and is currently at 90 percent occupancy. Lakewood Center North, the City’s largest office building, saw significant vacancy in recent years due to its unstable ownership status. At the end of 2012, Kowit and Passov acquired the building and will begin renovating office space.
The former Lake Erie Screw site, renamed the Templar Automotive Industrial Complex, continues to be a small industrial business attractor, surpassing 80 percent occupancy. In 2012 two major fitness tenants, Crossfit Birdtown and the Wrestling Factory, took over significant spaces. Omni, the building owners, have been creative in developing flexible space for a variety of tenants and are filling the building by becoming Lakewood’s most diverse mixed use location.
The City launched its new housing strategy in 2012 called Housing Forward. The strategy is a combination of proactive, focused code enforcement and coordinated outreach and education efforts to assist homeowners. As a basis for Housing Forward, the City completed a citywide housing survey that evaluated and ranked the exterior condition of the community’s 13,000 single and two-family homes. As a result of the survey, approximately 1,700 homes were identified as having significant repair need. Through code enforcement, outreach and collaboration with local non-profits, the City was able to motivate improvement to 50 percent of these problem properties. The same strategy is being applied in 2013 with a goal of reducing the remaining challenged properties by 75 percent.