Portage Crossing: Developer Works to Finalize Land Deal, Councilwoman Criticizes Giant Eagle Swap
If all goes as planned, Stark Enterprises will break ground on Portage Crossing this summer, but Councilwoman Carol Klinger is displeased over the plan to move Giant Eagle one block from Graham Road to the new retail center.
On Monday, the Falls City Council approved a measure, 10-1, giving Robert Stark more time to purchase city-owned land for the planned Portage Crossing development.
Stark, owner and CEO of Stark Enterprises, asked for the extension while he finalizes leasing agreements and works to sign on eight to 12 more tenants that will occupy the remaining 10 percent of the outdoor retail center.
As it stands, Menards and Giant Eagle will act as the anchor stores for the 400,000 sq. ft. development, and will be joined by the likes of Michael Symon’s B Spot, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Panera Bread and Pet Supplies Plus.
Of the 11 council members, Carol Klinger was the only one to vote against the time extension measure.
Before the vote, she read a statement voicing both excitement and concern over the project. One of her main criticisms regarded the planned closure of the Graham Road Giant Eagle to make way for the new one at Portage Crossing.
“More than two years ago, we were promised a development that would bring new businesses and jobs to the city,” said Klinger. “Based on that information, we previously approved significant tax reductions for this development, only to learn that we will relocate one of the larger businesses one block.”
Klinger continued saying the proposed Giant Eagle swap will only create a larger burden for taxpayers.
At an April 16 committee meeting, Cuyahoga Falls Director of Development Sue Truby said the city is working with Giant Eagle in finding a solution to avoid another vacant retail space on Graham Road.
Construction of the $60 million Portage Crossing development is set to begin this summer with a spring 2014 completion date.
What's your take on the plan to move Giant Eagle from Graham Road to Portage Crossing?