by Rich Weiss
Recently, Tremonsters driving along W 14th Street near Fairfield Ave. have been treated to a spectacle: the exterior renovations of the beautiful, historic Olney Gallery building, on the Grace Hospital campus. What’s going on?
According to Andrew Revy, Chief Operating Officer of Constantino’s Market, the answer is his local, family-owned business is planning to install its third Constantino’s grocery store in Tremont’s Olney Gallery. Tremonsters may be familiar with the first two Constantino’s “urban fresh market” locations: downtown, serving the Warehouse District (1278 West 9th St.) and uptown, serving the University Circle neighborhood (11473 Euclid Avenue).
Tremont West Executive Director Cory Riordan explained the Olney Gallery is going through the first of two steps: “Things are progressing. Those three buildings are just utilizing the historic tax credits for exterior rehabilitation at the moment. Constantino’s is doing a secondary facility piece. Historic tax credit is one piece (the historic exterior look), and then Constantino’s will take it from there. There are a lot of moving parts and pieces.”
Riordan added, “Everything is moving concurrently toward completion; there’s no doubt that everything is in process that needs to be – it’s just a timing mechanism. I just got off the phone with the architect for the project and we’re going to the block clubs next month with the final layouts and designs.”
The Tremonster spoke by phone with Revy of Constantino’s Market.
Tremonster: Is it true that Constantino’s Market is interested in the historic Olney Gallery building on W. 14th Street in Tremont?
Revy: Yes, the plans are to open up a Constantino’s there. If everything goes according to plan, then we’re looking at a June 2017 opening. There are preliminary design and floor plan ideas that I’m working toward finalizing, and working with Grace Hospital to finalize things, and securing and finalizing the financials needed, as well. It’s all coming together.
Tremonster: Why is Constantino’s Market interested in Tremont?
Revy: I have a personal affinity for Tremont – I moved in to the neighborhood in October of 1996…I lived in Tremont for 18 years, up to a year and a half ago. My kids were born at metro and we had them going to Merrick House, right up the street, for day care. They were at Merrick House for their full formative years. I’ve long thought that putting a Constantino’s in Tremont would be great…it was always about finding the right time, the right opportunity, and the right spot. The grocery business is tough as it is, but it’s also about location, and it’s also about being able to get the right amenities and the right size for a neighborhood grocery store. For this opportunity, I partnered with Tremont West Development Corporation to secure a grant, and I’ve been working with Grace Hospital for a few years now. They secured tax credits to do the historic renovation not only of the Olney Gallery, but of the other buildings there, as well. It’s all coming together and I’m very excited. The number one desire for Tremont residents is their own grocery store. I think everyone will be happy.
Tremonster: How close are you to finalizing plans for the Olney Gallery?
Revy: The current design for the Olney Gallery of Grace Hospital is an educational center — That’s what the historic tax credits are being used for. Part of the reason it’s still in the planning stage and not finalized for Constantino’s is because we do have to jump through some hoops, including state historic approvals, and there is no construction being planned for quite some time because they’re still completing the construction of the current phase and plan that Grace Hospital has, but certainly, what we are working towards is the very good possibility of putting a Constantino’s there, in the Olney Gallery. There are still some things to dot, things to cross, and things to sharpen, but a very good likelihood exists that Constantino’s Market is going in that spot. But it’s still not certain.
Tremonster: Tremonsters might be familiar with your produce offerings and wine and beer selection, but might not know that you emphasize local sourcing.
Revy: We also do sell a lot of local and regional items at our store – we have over 120 local and regional venders and items we sell. We very much like to promote the local and regional items. Including Tremont’s own Churned – we sell Churned Ice Cream at our stores.
Tremonster: How large is the Constantino’s Market chain?
Revy: We are a small, local, family-owned business, and this would be our third grocery store, and we’re staying in Cleveland. We have the Downtown store, the University Circle store, and now a planned Tremont store, and we’re excited to keep growing in Cleveland; we’re excited to remain a vibrant part of the growth of Cleveland; and we’re excited to be part of another great neighborhood.