Talks continue between Clifton grocery & national chains

CLIFTON, OH (FOX19) - As renovation work on the former Clifton IGA drags on, talks continue between the store owner and two grocery chains who have expressed interest in buying the place.

"It's one of the vital cogs of the neighborhood," said Clifton resident Jim Fothergill.

It's a neighborhood that prides itself on the variety of small, independently-owned stores within walking distance. However, local residents are growing more concerned the longer the old IGA remains shuttered.

"My wife and I are afraid that if nothing goes in here, which still seems a possibility, that more stores will fail," added Fothergill.

The store's owner, Steve Goessling has said repeatedly he's committed to the project. However, in May, Goessling told FOX19 he was considering offers from some larger grocery chains.

So how might that affect the project?

"I certainly believe that a national chain would have the resources and the ability to certainly tackle whatever obstacles may come their way," said Mike Anagnostou, owner of Ludlow Wines.

"I've been hearing they're going to open up for the past two years, so that could be an option. I would love it to be an IGA," expressed Candace Collins, resident of Clifton.

"I like buying from local businesses because I'm giving money to the smaller, you know, the little guys. These big corporations, I think, you know, are greedy," said another Clifton resident, Terry Huber.

The renovation project has given Goessling more than his fair share of obstacles. Goessling purchased the former Keller's IGA after it closed in January 2011 but has since faced longstanding challenges to finance the project.

Inside the store, there is evidence that work is being done, including new light fixtures and some ductwork for the air handling system.

A completion date remains unknown at this point. FOX19 repeatedly reached out to Steve Goessling, but he was unavailable for comment on Friday.

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