Jan 25, 2022

New small box retail stores - between 3,000 and 15,000 square feet that dedicate less than 15% of shelf space to fresh or fresh frozen foods – will be limited in where they can open under new legislation council passed (1-24).

Council unanimously passed restrictions to ban such new stores from being built within two miles of an existing discount store.

The legislation outlines rules and requirements developers who want to build a store must follow, including requiring merchants to disclose shelving and floor plans, as well as outline what types of goods, products, or merchandise to be sold and the general cost of such items. It also lays out steps in terms of cleanliness outside of the stores. (Stores connected to gas stations are exempt.)

The goal of the legislation is to control the proliferation of these stores in Cleveland neighborhoods. Of the 107 such stores in Cuyahoga County, 70 are in Cleveland.

Council had placed a sixth-month moratorium on building small box stores in the city, but it expired on November 1, 2020. The legislation was sponsored by Council Members Brancatelli, Griffin and Kelley.

Most of the small box operations are in poor neighborhoods and often lack general cleaning and maintenance, inside and out. They can become eyesores and places for loitering and litter. Read more about locations and upkeep of current stores in Cleveland.