Panda Express bringing fast-food chain to Steelyard Commons in Cleveland

(Source: Anthony Brancatelli, Cleveland Ward 12 Councilman)
(Source: Anthony Brancatelli, Cleveland Ward 12 Councilman)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Panda Express, the largest Asian segment restaurant chain in the United States, is building a location in the Steelyard Commons shopping center in Cleveland.

The company told Cleveland 19 News said they're anticipating a June opening. The company has other locations around Cleveland, but this is the first one within city limits.

"Panda Express is a large franchise. They're nationally recognized (and) for them to open their first Cleveland store here is important," said Ward 12 Councilman Anthony Brancatelli. "There's over a million dollars invested in building this facility in this location. It's creating close to 20 or 30 jobs I believe is the number we saw."

Brancatelli said investments like this go a long way in selling Cleveland to other businesses and investors. He's especially pleased with the success Steelyard Commons has experienced.

"Since the recession, we're starting to see more interest in that facility. We're starting to see more shoppers. When you go to national trade shows-- when you start seeing square footage being filled up, it does signal to others that this is really a center to be reckon with, "Brancatelli said.

The councilman said Panda Express' blueprints are considerate of its unique location near the Towpath Trail.

"They're designing their facility specifically to enhance the pedestrian and biker experience," Brancatelli said. "So, when you come off the trail, they're putting bike stands in there. They're making it much more pedestrian friendly for this power center."

Last year, AT&T opened a retail location in Steelyard Commons. Currently, Aspire Fitness is working to convert the former Best Buy into a workout facility.

Cleveland residents are noticing the new construction.

"I'm very happy that there's a lot of new development," said Abhinav Goyal, who lives downtown. "That means there's more shops (and) jobs, so overall Cleveland has done a fabulous job."

Brancatelli is hopeful for more ribbon cuttings in the future.

"It's great adaptive use of old industrial land," Brancatelli said.

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