Posted: 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Landmark shopping center coming down

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Forest Park
Don Leet
Forest Park Amusement Park and Race Track, 1950. Photo by Don Leet

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Forest Park photo
Don Leet
Forest Park Amusement Park and Race Track, 1950. Photo by Don Leet

By Steve Bennish

Staff Writer

Forest Park Plaza, the landmark shopping center on North Main Street, will only be a memory when demolition is completed by June, leaving the 50-acre site in Harrison Twp. open for redevelopment.

In its day, Forest Park Plaza was a hot spot for shopping and entertainment. It housed the popular “She” night club and a J.C. Penney outlet, as well as smaller retail shops. Decades earlier, it was the site of an amusement park with a roller coaster.

“In the 1960s through the 1970s, it was the place to be,” said Kris McClintick, assistant administrator for Harrison Twp. “I hear it from everyone who was there.”

Demolition company Regal Recycling, which is tearing the plaza down at no cost for the value of the metal that can be salvaged and sold, began the tear down a month ago, McClintick said.

The township has been discussing demolishing the plaza at 4360 North Main St. with the owner, Forest Park Partners Ltd. in Cleveland, for many years, McClintick said. It was deteriorating and had extensive water damage, McClintick said.

The owners owe back taxes of $215,766 to Montgomery County, but McClintick said they plan to keep the land and redevelop it for business and commercial use.

The effort should be helped by a recently-built road that connects North Main Street to Riverside Drive, McClintick said, paid for in part with tax funds. The new road will allow easier road access for a new development.

A call to Forest Park Partners was not returned Wednesday.

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