We drove down to the old Northgate Plaza in Greece this evening.  Wow, what a difference.  The place has come alive again.  It’s not the old U-shaped plaza anymore.  Wal-Mart has been constructed at the rear of the plaza in the old back parking lot. The arms of the U-shaped plaza have been opened up, and the other stores sit on pad sites flanking Wal-Mart. 

Eric and I both grew up in Greece and spent a lot of time in the old Northgate Plaza as we were growing up.  We haven’t been over that way in quite some time.  We’ve lived in Gates for almost 20 years, and Eric’s Mom moved out of the area when she went into assisted living in 2010.  We really have no reason to go over that way anymore.  We knew in recent years Northgate had gone downhill a lot.  We also knew they were planning a Wal-Mart Supercenter and there was controversy over the construction.  Here is a photo of the old plaza when Big Lots sat at the back. Oddly, I have been unable to locate any pictures from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when Northgate was doing well.

It was a pleasant surprise to hear this week that the new store had opened. Here is a link to the Democrat & Chronicle article about the opening of the store – http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20120814/NEWS01/308100065/Walmart-Northgate-Greece-Dewey

We did not go inside, but we sat in the parking lot and studied the stores and the activity.  It was almost 9:00 p.m. on a Saturday evening, and the store was bustling with lots of cars in the parking lot and more coming and going all the time. Here is a picture before Wal-Mart opened.

We liked that there is a historic marker placed out front along Dewey Avenue that honors the old plaza.  I wish that they had incorporated the old “Northgate” name into the plaza’s signage somehow.  Here are a couple of links about the historic marker – http://www.greecepost.com/latestnews/x1489224993/Historic-Northgate-Plaza-marker-to-be-unveiled and http://greeceny.gov/files/Northgate%20Historical%20Marker(1).pdf

We also noticed that the old Wegmans Britton Road site to the South of Wal-Mart is being put to use again.  The Big Lots that was the main tenant in Northgate the past several years has moved into that plaza.  Hopefully there will soon be other tenants, too.  To the North of Wal-Mart where we used to go to the Dentist on the corner of Dobson Road, they are building a Taco Bell.  The old buildings have been demolished.  If you go to Google Maps and look up 3900 Dewey Avenue, and go to street view and scroll around, you can still see images of the old buildings and the old Northgate plaza.  Things have really changed.  We hope it’s for the better.