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New businesses flocking to Toledo's Westgate shopping center

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In a matter of months, Westgate lost two of its biggest businesses.

In June 2017, Sears announced it was closing, followed by Elder Beerman in April 2018.

Since then, the market leveled out, and now it's swinging upward.

"Westgate area here - Central, Secor, Sylvania, Monroe, has been a hot bed," said Toledo City Councilman Tom Waniewski.

Road construction isn't the only work being done between Central Ave. and 475.

Krispy Kreme, Chase Bank, liquor stores and Whole Foods are currently being built or days away from opening.

"The variety, the competition, makes all of the retail better," Waniewski said.

With neighborhoods like Sylvania, Ottawa Hills and Old Orchard nearby, there's a plethora of local dollars to tap into.

But what helps Westgate stand from other local business sites is the row of hotels behind the storefronts.

"That has a lot to do with it, because now we're bringing in visitors to the area, and so it's dollars from somewhere else coming into the Toledo area," Waniewski explained.

Most of the businesses moving in are chains - likely something you've heard of before.

"We've got our followers, I mean, we've been here since 1963. So it's an establishment of Toledo, it's basically a landmark," said Sal Tubeileh, owner of Uncle John's Pancake House.

And for local staples like Uncle John's Pancake House, it welcomes the increased business.

"People are worried about, "Hey, it's going to take a piece of the pie," and the way I look at it, it's actually bringing more traffic in this area," Tubeileh said.

It remains to be seen what happens to the skeletons of Elder Beerman and Sears.

But developers already have some ideas in mind.

"So, it becomes a mixed use, it becomes an area that is more than retail. So that's what I think the commercial realtors are pushing," Waniewski explained.

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