The Strip, Canton, Ohio
Rather than adopt some sort of pretentiously upscale name (such as, perhaps, The Esplanade, Terraces, Charleton Woods, Somerset Commons, The Greens of Canton, or Beyond the Pale) to belie its retail strip character, The Strip in Canton, Ohio has wholeheartedly embraced its utilitarian commercial nature.
Occupying over 130 acres of rising land overlooking the southbound lanes of Interstate 77 at the Portage Road interchange in this community just south of Akron (and about an hour southeast of Cleveland), The Strip is home to more than 30 ‘power’ retailers, restaurants, theater and associated tenants.
In addition to Lowe’s and a Giant Eagle supermarket, The Strip contains such retail draws as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Old Navy, Borders, Starbucks, Marshall’s, OfficeMax, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Babies R Us within its 800,000 square feet. Its dining options include Panera, Red Robin, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Don Pablo’s, Longhorn Steakhouse, Cold Stone Creamery, Quizno’s, Carrabba’s and Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse, among others. The Strip is the largest development of its kind serving Cleveland’s greater metropolitan area.
The architecture of The Strip gleefully plays to the interstate traffic whizzing by its long frontage (over 1 mile on I-77), with overstated building entrances, colorful exterior wall treatments, and gigantic pole mounted vertical banners punctuating the buildingscape. As a true strip center, however, it also has a severe shortage of greenery; whatever isn’t occupied by structures is paved for parking or access drives. The center’s signage continues the highway interchange theme, with tall and gaudy neon-accented post-and-panel creations that are well at home with the service station and hotel pole signs sprouting from The Strip’s many neighbors along the interstate.
The Strip is a development of Stark Enterprises of Cleveland, Ohio. You can find more information at their website: www.starkenterprises.com.
Author and architect Richard L. (Rick) Zimmerman writes extensively about the architecture and landmarks of Northeastern Ohio. As an architectural expert witness, he also opines regularly on matters of litigation and code compliance. For a sampling of his humor, art, whimsy and cartoons, venture to rickzworld.
You won't be able to miss this retail strip's broad exposure along I-77 (nor the traffic it generates).
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