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A plan for the future

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MEDINA — The city may get a facelift in part of the proposed Smith Road/Champion Creek redevelopment project.

At a joint meeting of City Council and Planning Commission members on Monday, officials listened to a presentation from two Cleveland-area consulting and engineering firms, City Architecture and Baker Inc., about the potential redevelopment project that would focus on five sites: the former James Lumber, Medina Supply, Medina Farmer’s Exchange, Medina United Methodist Church and Champion Creek.

The redevelopment project, which includes the extension of the Roscoe-Ewing Multi-Purpose Trail, would cost an estimated $53.8 million.

The Medina Farmer's Exchange, as seen from South Broadway Street in Medina, is one of five sites included in the proposed Smith Road/Champion Creek redevelopment plan. (Kaitlin Bushinski / Gazette)

Representatives from Baker and City Architecture discussed how the buildings, all of which are for sale, except Farmer’s Exchange, could be used. If completed, the master plan presented to city officials would create:

-- 39,000 square feet of commercial space.

-- 67 residential units.

-- 30-room boutique hotel.

-- 4.7 acres of parks/green space.

-- 0.68-mile recreational trail.

“It’s really all about rethinking how all of these sites are now and integrating new land uses, new amenities that benefit the city and its residents,” one consultant said.

The first component of the plan to come to fruition may be the extension of the Roscoe-Ewing trail along Champion Creek and into uptown Medina.

Planning Director Greg Hannan, who was not available for comment Tuesday, said in a memo to Council his staff recently submitted an application for a Clean Ohio Trails Grant, which would fund 80 percent of the trail extension project.

The project would cost an estimated $600,000 to extend the multipurpose path two miles, making the entire trail

3.3 miles long. The Roscoe-Ewing trail currently ends at Guilford Boulevard.

The asphalt-paved trail would pick up from Guilford, head west through Nichols Park, and end at South Broadway Street a block south of Public Square.

City officials will not know until September whether they received the grant.

Ward 3 Councilman Mark Kolesar, whose ward figures prominently in the corridor, said he liked the overall idea that was presented Monday, but thought several things could be adjusted through future Planning Commission discussions.

“I’d like to see a little more green space or open space added. Maybe not build out the whole area, maybe save some of those natural woods (along Champion Creek),” Kolesar said Tuesday night.

He said the Roscoe-Ewing trail extension would “play a big role” in redeveloping the area.

Kolesar said another issue was assuring the project did not make property owners such as James Duffy, the owner of the Farmer’s Exchange, feel overrun.

“This guy busts his rear seven days a week to keep his doors open,” Kolesar said. “I don’t want him to feel like we’re pushing him out.”

Kolesar also said a committee is reviewing the corridor as a potential site for a new municipal court, but nothing has been decided.

“There’s a lot of key pieces here to make this happen, but we’re making headway,” he said.

In his memo, Hannan recommended the Planning Commission conduct a public hearing on the proposed project in the near future and formally submit the study to Council for its potential adoption.

The city received a $60,000 Transportation for Livable Communities grant from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency in early 2009 for the study.

Contact Kaitlin Bushinski at (330) 721-4050 or kbushinski@medina-gazette.com.



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