Steel beams are literally hovering over the existing Acme Fresh Market store on State Road in Cuyahoga Falls as it undergoes a major renovation.
“It’s pretty amazing to see the new structure rising up and overcoming the old one,” said Jim Trout, Acme executive vice president.
Krumroy Construction of Akron is the general contractor for the project.
The store, which dates to 1949, will be 60 percent larger when completed, going from 30,000 square feet to 52,000 square feet. It will have expanded and new departments, including the bakery, floral, prepared foods, pharmacy and specialty meat case.
The construction has begun in what will be the back of the store. Albrecht Inc., the real estate development unit for Akron-based Acme, has been acquiring nearby property and planning the renovated store for the last 10 years. A former car wash was demolished and the steel structure for the back of the store has been set.
No inside work will be done for a few months while the back of the store is built, said Trout.
“The customers have been extremely tolerant. There is some pain. We had to close the store for a couple of days [a few weeks ago] when we set the posts. Other than that, it’s been business as usual,” said Trout.
It was unusual to close the store, said Trout, but the construction crews were worried with steel beams being lifted over the existing store.
The company does not anticipate closing for any other construction matters, he said.
The parking lot will be resurfaced, so that will put a little bit of pressure on customers, said Trout.
No walls of the old store will be demolished until the new structure has been built and the roof is over the old store, said Trout.
“We’re going to be able to keep the back of the new store open as we transition this thing. The customer will walk right through the old store into the new store and start shopping,” he said.
The grocer hopes to have the project complete by Thanksgiving.
Margo Cherveny, who has been shopping at the State Road Acme for 20 years, said the renovation was sorely needed.
“I just want it to be done, but it’s not too bad,” she said of the construction. Cherveny, who shops at both Acme and Giant Eagle, said she wished Acme had relocated to the Portage Crossing and the Giant Eagle had stayed where it was on Graham Road. Giant Eagle will be anchoring the Portage Crossing retail development with a larger store.