Amiram Peleg said he plans to do “something nice” with the four parcels he recently bought at Warren Sharon Road and Valley View Drive, the former Valley View Department Store development.
“That’s what we do,” said the owner of Peleg Group, a real estate investment and management company based in Tampa.
Peleg created an entity known as Brookfield Plaza LP to own the four parcels, which total 20½ acres. Those parcels include a warehouse that is the last remnant of Valley View; Sparkle Market; the vacant restaurant building at the corner of Valley View Drive; and the old bank building now occupied by Valley View Antiques.
He paid $600,000. The sale closed June 8.
“We intend to develop it, basically. Right now, we are fixing the roof (of Sparkle),” Peleg said. “Then, we go to fix the warehouse. We are going to convert it to big-box retail. We’re going to develop it to build, maybe, (two) 50,000-60,000 square feet boxes first.”
If that project goes well, he plans to build two or three more buildings.
“Then, develop the whole area; fix the parking lot, fix the grass, landscaping, everything, to make it a nice corner, nice shopping center,” he said.
Peleg said he’s in talks with a Virginia builder, one he has worked with on projects elsewhere, about constructing the retail buildings, and said he could not divulge any of the stores that could locate there.
“Major companies,” he said. “Big names, big names, big names.”
Peleg Group has “15 to 20 shopping centers in the southeast, like, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and now Ohio,” Peleg said.
He said he has pursued the property for about a year, attracted to its setting, size, existing facilities and sale price.
“I’m very happy about this,” he said. “I think this is a good thing for me. I got a good deal.”
Former property owner J.V. Ferrara said he was not privy to the particulars of Peleg’s plans.
“All I know is they’re planning on doing some things that I know will benefit Brookfield,” Ferrara said. “That was one of the reasons that we did what we did, because he’s got the resources and that’s the business he’s in, so it makes more sense that he would do something for the township. I think it will be a very good thing.”
Ferrara’s father, Joe, bought the property in 1958, and developed Valley View Department Store, which was kind of a Walmart before there was a Walmart, with his brother, Sam. The store opened in 1959.
The store initially was 60,000 square feet, but four additions brought the square footage to 126,800, with an additional 36,000 square feet of warehouse space.
Cortland Bank opened its first branch on the site in 1962. Perkins Restaurant built at the corner in 1968, and Ashland Oil opened a gas station at around the same time. The gas station property was sold to Basel and Ilham Ramahi in 2019, and they are building a convenience store with plans to revamp the pumps.
Fazio’s Market opened in 1975.
Valley View closed in 1995, and the building was used as an antique mall until 2007. The building structure deteriorated and Ferrara had it razed in 2009, leaving a large area of concrete and asphalt that many locals considered an eyesore.
“For some time, we’ve been out there trying to sell the property,” Ferrara said. “I felt it’d be better if somebody in the business would take it over that wants to grow the business.”