Thursday, December 13, 2018 Medina 32°
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Medina ordinance opens up development for restaurants, retail

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MEDINA — City Council’s unanimous passage of an ordinance Tuesday to create a Community Revitalization District is expected to contribute to the entertainment and retail opportunities in the Historic District and the new South Town area.

Medina Economic Development Director Kimberly Marshall said the Community Revitalization District will cover 86.7 contiguous acres in the Historic District and South Town.

Specifically, the designation would allow for an additional 15 Class D5L liquor permits in the area to assist in attracting more full-service restaurants.

“It’s a huge economic development tool to bring in additional restaurants,” Main Street Medina Executive Director Matt Wiederhold said.

He explained that trying to buy a liquor permit on the open market can sometimes cost as much as $20,000 to $40,000. There was one permit available before the creation of the new district, Wiederhold said.

Now, up to 15 permits will hit the market.

The Ohio Division of Liquor Control limits the number of permits any one municipality can have based on the size of the community, but creating specialized districts allows cities to get around the quota.

“(By creating the revitalization district), this gives the city control over who gets a liquor license,” Wiederhold said.

The city will offer liquor licenses for $2,344 within the designated area.

“That automatically saves a new restaurant owner thousands of dollars,” Wiederhold said.

“It goes hand in hand with our expansion. If you want to open a restaurant in South Town, here’s a liquor license.”

Wiederhold said this ordinance will help create more entertainment-style venues in the Historic District and South Town areas.

“Right now, there’s not much to do on a date night, other than going to dinner,” he said.

The city wants to attract a comedy club, a jazz club or other live entertainment venues. One nightclub in the area, Cin Dee’s Place, 232 W. Smith Road, wants to open its doors to live music fans, Wiederhold said.

“They do a lot of shows and concerts,” he said. “It has space and a stage with sound and lights.”

Wiederhold said it’s all about helping with employment, taxes and making improvements to the city.

Last week, Main Street Medina announced plans to enlarge its revitalization district to South Town, an area outlined by South Broadway Street, Lafayette Road/Street, South Huntington Street and West Smith Road.

And recently, the development group Beacon Farmers Exchange LLC, headed by Charles Marshall, announced plans to renovate the historic Medina Farmers Exchange, building 33 apartments, a 128-seat restaurant, and a 3,780-square-foot retail market and butcher shop. The structure at 320 S. Court St. will be part of South Town.

“Main Street’s focus has been the nine-block Historic District,” Wiederhold said. “We’ve talked on and off about expanding the district, increasing programming and membership in Main Street Medina.”

The Historic District ends at Smith Road.

Wiederhold said a renaissance is underway.

“We’re just excited about the possibilities the district expansion presents,” he said.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.
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