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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, and Giant Eagle will act as the anchor stores for the 400,000 sq. ft. development, and will be joined by the likes of 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?

Miranda Terry April 26, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Like I said I am excited for the great things this will do for our city but I do hope that the old Giant Eagle gets filled quickly. I heard a rumor about a Giant Eagle distribution center going there... Ok good, not empty. For all we know there is already a plan for the building. I truly just want nothing but great things to come from Portage Crossing. I hope the next focus for our city are the schools and getting them updated. Smile all, it's almost the weekend!
wmfr April 26, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Yea, I know there's so many sides and argurments. At least we're all engaged though. I was just busting your chops Rick =-)
Jack Kelly April 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Aww...I see I hurt some people's feeling because I called some of you out for your CONSTANT negativity regarding this project. The fact is, many people who've been commenting have shown their clueless. You don't need a college degree to figure out BASIC BUSINESS. From the moment that State Rd. was going to come down, everyone kept bashing and complaining that it was never going to be built and so on. And now that it is & many people are eating crow, and an impressive listing of stores -- thus far -- have been released, now people are complaining because there the stores that are coming are not what THEY expected. OH yeah, I'm being "childish." Get the hell over yourselves. This place will bring in more money to the city than State Rd has in a decade-plus. If you don't want to be referred to as clueless, etc., then don't act like it. Easy peasy.
Jack Kelly April 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Do you know how difficult it is to fill a vacant store the size of Tops? Esp. when it was built specifically FOR Tops? Plus, you have a Walmart right across the street. (it could also be very possible that the rent is too high there, too, or there could be other issues w/the center owner, too). The "current" GE shouldn't be that difficult to fill because it's a pretty basic structure, per se. No, I'm not missing any point at all. What people are not doing is seeing the BIGGER picture from all of this. As I've said, once Portage Crossing is up and running, that area is going to become prime. Which is why I don't expect the current GE to be vacant long because that area will become a "draw." And, with the increased traffic on Graham between Rt 8 and State Rd this center will bring, it could benefit that Stow-Falls Center, too.
wmfr April 27, 2012 at 01:59 PM
I love how Jack Kelly uses caps, I can see his face turning red as he types away.

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