Well OK, I cheated a little this month. I did the north half of the walk yesterday in the cold bright sunshine. The southern half was completed today in the wind and overcast (though at least not the rain we were promised).
At the south end, the Marquee storefront at 2240 Commercial is still vacant (after 4 months). Across the street, 2245 is also still vacant (13 months).
The final open space on the east side of the Drive — 2084, now 2080 — is about to be closed up. After spending about $3m for the two lots, the new owner now has a development application for a single story and quite small space.
I have to admit to both surprise and delight at this. I had assumed a full-block assembly and a high density structure to follow. We’ll wait and see how this develops.
The old bakery site at the back end of Il Mercato is still vacant (after 11 months). Although the reputation of the Strawberry Bakery had allowed it to draw crowds, the actual storefront is out of the way, getting zero passing traffic. It will be a hard ride for a new business getting started there.
Across the street at 1670 Commercial, the Caffe Napoli has been closed for renovations for a few weeks. Their original sign said it would reopen 30 November, but that didn’t happen. Just a brief delay I am sure, although peeking through the window, they are still down to the bare rock and the concrete slab.
The apartments upstairs at 1612 in the Odlin Block are still vacant presumably while renovations continue.
Home Hardware on the corner of Graveley & Commercial has their roof stacked with Christmas trees once again, punctuating the intersection with the powerful aroma of pine.
At 1501 Commercial, long-time site of Blue Bird Beauty Salon, Columbus Travel has moved right in and seem tyo be mor=toring on famously.
On the corner of Kitchener, at 1399 Commercial, Al Basho Restaurant has been shut down, at least temporarily, for a cooking violation.
As I stopped by today, it didn’t seem to deter people going to the newly re-opened Elizabeth’s Bakery at the same location; but it can’t be great marketing for anyone to have a large STOP COOKING notice on your front door.
Elizabeth Bakery’s old spot, at 1303, is still vacant (1 month), with for lease signs in the window, so I guess Andre’s plans, if ever there were such, to expand Renzo’s Cafe into the space they own are on hold at least.
The storefronts at 1340 (9 months), 1268 (30 months), and 1108 Commercial (20 months) are all still vacant, languishing like some ridiculous pout. Why on earth don’t the owners simply lower their rent demands and get what will still be a healthy rental income?
1124 Commercial, which used to be a consignment store before it was Green Party headquarters has immediately morphed back into a thrift store, called Still Fabulous.
The owner of this space seems quite adept at keeping his property rented; some others could learn something perhaps.
What used to be the Marijuana Lifestyle Dispensary above Penelope’s, closed by the City last month, has morphed into Lisa Le Natural Herbal Online Ltd. Can’t imagine what they are selling now.
The ground floor of the old Peg’s building at the corner of Parker is still boarded up. I guess we have to assume they are working away behind the wall. I am surprised there is a still a tenant upstairs.
Nonna’s Sandwiches has finally opened for business at 952. We wish them the best.
Finally, the old Money Mart at 902 is still vacant (7 months) and little sign of Robyn’s expansion yet.
See the entire run of Changes on the Drive posts.