CVS to buy Acme Express in Ravenna

By Micah Panczyk Record-Courier staff writer Published:

CVS Pharmacy will purchase the Acme Express at 610 W. Main St., Ravenna in March _ a transfer whose impact on the pharmacy's East Main Street venture is unclear.

F.W. Albrecht Grocery Co., Acme's parent company, will sell each of its 15 Express stores to CVS, Albrecht representative Sue Guthier said Friday. The sales follow the recent closings of Acme's SuperCenters on East Main Street in Ravenna, Waterloo Road in Akron, and State Road in Cuyahoga Falls.

"Acme is planning to focus its energy on its grocery store business," Guthier said, referring to sale of its convenience-oriented Express stores.

Acme President F. Steven Albrecht could not be reached for comment this morning.

CVS representative Joan Cronin said she did not know if there is a connection between CVS's purchase of Ravenna's Express and the pharmacy's proposal to build a new store at the corner of Pratt and Main streets.

Council approved an ordinance last week to rezone CVS's proposed site from residential to commercial use. The proposal, however, has drawn concern from Council President Kevin Poland and the Ravenna Heritage Association.

The venture could aggravate an existing parking shortage, Poland said previously. The store would consume at least 40, and no more than 45, parking spaces that accommodate overflow parking for Plaza East. Council's planning committee, however, recently approved a parking plan that would recoup 38 of these spaces, however.

In a Dec. 17 letter to Economic Development Director Bob Miller, however, Cimino wrote that Dr. David Lan has failed to meet the terms of a city variance that reduced from 260 to 206 the minimum number of spaces required for the Plaza East, which Lan owns.

"In my opinion, we can't allow CVS to proceed without rectifying the parking problem at the same time," Poland said previously.

The CVS venture would also require either relocation or demolition of Lan's Watkins House at 344 E. Main St. _ the site on which he would build his 38-space lot. As a result, the proposal has drawn concern from the RHA, which is seeking a lot on which to relocate the house, built before the Civil War, according to Alice Kleinhampl of RHA.

The Acme SuperCenter at 1139 E. Main St. closed in December after a nearly 100-year history in the city. Rumors of the closure had circulated since last summer and intensified when several companies selling products to Acme were told to halt distribution at the end of 1997.

Porter's IGA, an independently-owned grocery store in Garrettsville, is reportedly nearing an agreement to lease the former Ravenna SuperCenter from Emmco, the Beachwood-based firms that owns the property. Porter's would open no sooner than April 1, owner Mike Porter said previously.

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