Plans are underway for a new Petitti Garden Centers location in Belden Village, a commercial district in Canton, Ohio, with a goal to open by March 2018.
The Cleveland-based independent garden center, which is No. 3 on the Top 100 Independent Garden Centers list of 2016, has purchased the former location of Grand Slam, a recreation complex that had been closed and for sale for several years. A.J. Petitti, president of Petitti Garden Centers, says the facility in Belden Village presented a chance to expand into a strong retail area.
"We're right in the Belden Village area, and that's just an awesome retail market. It's incredible," Petitti says. "It's an area we've had our eye on for a while, and we found the right opportunity out there. It's actually been an eyesore for the city for a long time, so it's something where we're able to go in and take something that's really not desirable for the city and turn it into something really nice. It should work out really well."
The site comprises roughly 5 acres, including a 30,000-square-foot building to be used to indoor retail.
Although the former site of the Grand Slam recreation complex posed a challenge for other businesses considering it for development, Petitti says the site is a good fit for a garden center.
"It's something that a lot of other developers ... they took a look at it and it was too difficult for them to make it work, so it's something that, as a garden center, should be no problem," he says.
A handful of employees from existing stores will likely be transferred to the Canton location, with the remaining positions filled by new hires, Petitti says. He expects a total staff of around 30 when the location opens.
When launched, the Canton store will be Petitti Garden Centers' ninth and farthest south location. Petitti says he looks forward to having a presence in the strong retail environment of Belden Village.
"I think for us, for what we saw, Belden Village is really the best area for us to be in," he says. "They say Belden is the second best retail market in the state. That's just what people have been telling me. It's strong."
Image: The Avon Petitti Garden Centers location, taken in May 2016 by Michelle Simakis.