Whenever you hear anyone talk about real estate, especially retail real estate, the first three words out of their mouths usually are, “location, location, location.” With that in mind, I have begun searching for the perfect location for my cheese shop, A Cheese Shop To Be Named Later*.
Over the years, I have visited the many different and unique neighborhoods located in and around Cleveland. However, now that I am trying to find the perfect location for the shop, mixed with both amazing character and great foot traffic, I am scrutinizing these areas in a completely new way. As a customer, I hold certain viewpoints that may not transfer to a small business owner, which I plan to be. Therefore, I must shed any bias and keep an open mind.
The only thing I know for certain is that I want to be a part of the resurgence of the city of Cleveland. Sure, a suburban location could work, but all of the excitement is in Cleveland so that is where I will be. Beyond that, there is much research to be done.
On previous occasions, I have driven and walked through the University Circle/Uptown area, home of the Cleveland Art Museum, Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Case Western Reserve University, searching for the perfect location for the cheese shop. I was impressed but knew there were so many other places to look throughout Cleveland. Today, I expanded my horizons and drove through Ohio City, Tremont, Gordon Square and Downtown Cleveland, in addition to the University Circle area, keeping my eyes opened for possible locations. (Somehow, through all the driving, I missed the mini-neighborhood of Hingetown, but I know I will be back. And, if you haven’t heard of “The 9,” a hotel and luxury apartment right in the heart of Cleveland, well, then, you haven’t been paying attention.) Each area has their own positives and negatives, especially since I want to find a spot with character and history. I need to balance accessibility with character. Parking with foot traffic. So many different criteria to work through as I choose the location I plan to call home for many years.
I will parse everything I saw today and no doubt visit all of these areas in the future. But, this is a great place to start in turning my dream, a cheese shop specializing in Ohio cheeses, into a reality.
*A Working Name / Header Photo Courtesy of Brent Durken