Left: Little remains of the Westgate Rite Aid; pictures by historymike
(Toledo, OH) While on my way to run errands I drove past the Westgate Village Shopping Center, which is being renovated to accommodate a new Costco store.
Demolition on the old southern wing of the center commenced this week, and crews are wasting little time removing the old structure.
I was able to snap a dozen photos before a patrolling security vehicle approached. I was politely told to vacate the area; I suppose my thick skull was not an adequate substitute for a hard hat.
I am normally a bit saddened by the demolition of an urban landmark, but truth be told this shopping center has seen better days in the past. I miss Boogie Records and Thackeray's Books, but these cherished local institutions were already victims of the growth of - and retail cannibalism by - national chains.
I have a few favorite Westgate businesses that still remian, such as the Coney Island and the Radio Shack. These are open in the west wing of the complex, which can only be reached by the Central Avenue entrance.
If nothing else the reborn Westgate should act as a magnet for commercial development in the Central-Secor area. I just hope that the city and the developers have a plan that will justify the millions given out in tax abatements.