PARMA, Ohio - Pretty soon signs in Parma will change from "Parmatown" to "The Shoppes at Parma" for shoppers looking to spend money in Ohio's seventh largest city.
"Shoppes at Parma? Anything is good. I love it," said George Durinka of Parma.
Mall owner Phillips Edison & Company announced Tuesday the name change. The company's vision is to create a pedestrian-friendly, family-oriented, Main Street-type setting with new shops, restaurants and services.
"We think there can be a rebirth, a real town center, connectivity feel to this area of Parma and that is going to be great for our community," said Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter.
Phillips Edison's Phase One plan is for facade renovations to Parmatown Plaza and a future outbuilding.
Jeremy Kiner, Community Ambassadors co-director, and his fellow volunteers at Pay It Forward Cafe, located inside the mall, have mixed feelings about future mall development.
"Our understanding is that the wing that we are in at Parmatown will be coming down," Kiner said.
Pay It Forward Cafe is a non-profit, outreach group that provides many programs including free meals and free tutoring for students. Volunteers are planning as if a change in the cafe location is imminent.
"We hope that we can remain a part of the facility," said Kiner.
Other shoppers said they believed change is good for the mall.
"I think it will be nice to see the community get out and enjoy something different," said Kelly Durinka of Lakewood.
Phillips Edison presented their Phase One renderings for approval before the Parma Planning Commission on Wednesday.