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Letter to the Editor: Portage Crossing Set to Change in Size and Scope

The following was submitted by Cuyahoga Falls Development Director Sue Truby.

Updated 6/26/12 at 10:54 a.m.

Editor's note: The Cuyahoga Falls City Council approved a new contract Monday night for ground to be broken on the Portage Crossing development. Under the new deal, Stark Enterprises will pay the city $3.8 million for the 25-acre property with 100 percent of the money being reallocated to the developer. The original deal called for a 75 percent return of funds, but city officials decided to increase the dollar amount to cover infrastructure improvements that need to be made to accommodate some of the larger stores, like

Dear Editor,

As we continue to work with the Stark Enterprises development team, I am pleased to report that the Portage Crossing project continues to expand in scope.  In April, announcements were made of several exciting retailers who have already signed leases for this project.  In an effort to attract yet another large tenant (Menard’s) to the City of Cuyahoga Falls, additional negotiations were required.   As a result, the original contract with the developer was amended and restated to reflect the larger project.  The most notable changes were: 

  • The original project consisted of 279,000 square feet and with the addition of Menard’s and others, it increased to almost 400,000 square feet – an increase of over 40%.
  • The original project was to be constructed in two phases with the outside date of 2015 for the second phase’s groundbreaking.  The new contract states that the entire project will be constructed in one phase.
  • The Cuyahoga Falls School District’s portion of the taxes will increase froma projected $172,000 annually to approximately $348,000 annually. The TIF (Tax Increment Financing) will remain in place until the City is fully reimbursed for their investment in this project.  After the term of the TIF ends, the school district will begin receiving their normal share of real estate taxes which will be over $900,000 per year or almost 500% more than when the former State Road Shopping Center was located on this site.   

The developer’s investment has increased substantially (from $40M to $58M) and the City will be partnering by providing additional public improvements to support the larger project.  These improvements include new traffic signalization, construction of public water, sewer and electric lines, roadway improvements and lighting and landscaping, pedestrian ways, curb cuts and intersection improvements.   The City’s additional financial assistance totals $1,500,000 of which $490,000 comes from federal funding and the remaining portion from cash on hand from the sale of the property. 

When completed, Portage Crossing Market Place will provide approximately 500 new jobs to the area; create new revenue for the school district and the City.  The City’s investment will be recouped in its entirety over time through the TIF payments. And in this economy, we are one of the few communities constructing a new retail center of this magnitude.  What a great, new asset Portage Crossing will be to the State Road corridor!

-Susan L. Truby, Director of Development      

MaryAnne Kolton July 02, 2012 at 05:25 PM
wmfr: Open heart - close mouth. "you DO NOT KNOW ME, so stop with "I've got mine and the hell with everyone else." - I never said that and don't act like I did" "You're saying to open a soup kitchen and medical clinic for the homeless? LOL" "The businesses by the riversquare are not doing the best, that's true." "The reason the other failed in the past is the plaza and store was JUNK". MAK It didn't start out that way. Time will provide answers to your questions. My very best to you. MaryAnne Kolton
Kate Bigam July 02, 2012 at 08:04 PM
I'm torn on how I feel about the Portage Crossing project. While it will be great to have a B-Spot in town, I'm not convinced that this new development, on the whole, will do much for Cuyahoga Falls beyond cost it money. Our city needs a pick-me-up, that much is true, & 500 jobs sounds great in theory, but we have to assume they'll be mostly min-wage jobs or thereabouts. I worry that this will be a beautiful, costly development with cons outweighing pros. I'd rather see investment in the Riverfront area, which was beautifully redone years ago but still remains virtually untrafficked save for events like Rockin' on the River - which cause as many problems (delinquents, trashy people) as they do benefits (money). Cuyahoga Falls is in dire straits economically & reputation-wise, & I fear it's going to take more than a few big-box stores to remedy that.
MaryAnne Kolton July 02, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Kate, I'm somewhat concerned that perhaps the mayor has been mayor too long. I lived in Chicago and know how this kind of power can create problems and corruption. His vision seems clouded by "the way things used to be". Who is it that said "In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve?" The city appears to be racing backward at a rapid rate. If its citizens are happy, so be it. Acme? Really? I wonder if he has ever heard of Costco? The following video shows just how out of touch with reality Mr. Robart really is. http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2011/04/05/cuyahoga-falls-mayor-is-scared-of-goth-kids-piercings
wmfr July 02, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Robart was out of line there. But the Scene is nothing more than a troll paper. I agree Rocking on The River is not really needed here and we can do more with that area, especially since it's close RTE 8
Tom Tucker July 03, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Earl, The only point I've proven is that you really don't know what you're talking about. The money wasn't "given" away. It is $$ the city WILL get back. Let's not forget the investor is ponying up a lot of THEIR OWN money! I swear you people in the Falls should spend more time educating yourselves and less time complaining.
Tom Tucker July 03, 2012 at 01:09 AM
"Talk about uninformed comments..." People who live in glass houses should get dressed in the basement.
John Deike July 03, 2012 at 01:13 AM
The last comment was deleted due to personal attacks. Patch Terms of Use: http://cuyahogafalls.patch.com/terms
John Deike July 03, 2012 at 01:16 AM
The last two comments were deleted due to language and personal attacks. Please keep it constructive, Tom. Patch Terms of Use: http://cuyahogafalls.patch.com/terms
John Deike July 03, 2012 at 01:18 AM
The last comment was deleted due to personal attacks. Patch Terms of Use: http://cuyahogafalls.patch.com/terms
MaryAnne Kolton July 06, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Re: LACK OF VISION BY CITY PLANNERS "Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Sears, the Container Store and Best Buy are turning their stores into extensions of their own online operations, the paper reports. These retailers are stepping up efforts to add online return centers, pickup locations, free shipping outlets, payment booths and even drive-through customer service centers for online sales to their brick-and-mortar buildings, the Times report said. The news comes as retailers report tepid sales numbers, particularly at big-box retailers. A report Thursday showed shoppers reduced spending in June in the face of a deteriorating economy. Results from the likes of Costco, Target and Macy’s missed estimates." NYT
MaryAnne Kolton July 06, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Re: LACK OF VISION BY CITY PLANNERS "...should move away from strip-mall locations where many...stores are currently located. These locations are seeing declining foot traffic...NYT
wmfr July 06, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Oh boy, lol - none of those stores are opening in p-crossings and there's no general theme that's applies to every city, every retail outlet etc... When it boils down to foot traffic. Why do you continue to post the same things over and over?
MaryAnne Kolton July 06, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Here's an idea! Why can't we make something out of all the vacant retail places in CF instead of building new retail space that will be vacant in five years??? an abandoned Wal-Mart building becomes a sweet library: http://www.good.is/post/discarded-by-walmart-a-box-store-becomes-a-thriving-library-in-a-texas-town/
wmfr July 06, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Can you provide me the winning lottery numbers for tonight's drawing since you can predict he future? They wonder why some bloggers are mean to other's on here but geeez,,,,When you see iilogical posts time and time again it's hard not to come across as negative towards others.
MaryAnne Kolton July 06, 2012 at 09:13 PM
@wmfr seriously wondering if you have given any thought to what should happen to all the vacant, abandoned and for lease sites in CF? If you have a solution, why don't you share it with us?
wmfr July 06, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Yea, kick out section 8 housing and make those people flee the city and attract actual tax payers by forcing the apts owners to actual have to market toward working adults and enforce buliding and sign codes to make the owners of vacant retail space and to step it up and improve properties. That should attract business owners large and small.
wmfr July 06, 2012 at 09:23 PM
If you're a resident in the city Maryanne, the mayor will meet with anyone 1 on 1 to discuss concerns with citizens. Why don't you scedule a meeting with his office and provide him your ideas / opinions. I am being serious, he meets with the residents.
Tom Tucker July 06, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Why don't you ask THOSE PROPERTY OWNERS who are responsible for those "vacant retail places" what THEY are doing. It's not the city's responsibility.
Kate Bigam July 07, 2012 at 04:11 AM
I'm not somewhat concerned; I'm just CONCERNED. I agree that Mayor Robart has definitely been mayor for too long. Our city could use some fresh visioning!
Kate Bigam July 07, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Unless he knows in advance that he doesn't like what you'll have to say. Just ask Shane & Coty May!
MaryAnne Kolton July 07, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Mr. Robart knows who I am and exactly how I feel. But, I'm afraid Kate is right. He only has time for the people who agree with him. He like things here just the way they are.
wmfr July 07, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Figured a cop out response.
Earl Elevant July 07, 2012 at 07:31 AM
Actually, Tom, to be technically correct, the $13 million land was given away for nothing. Thanks for clearing that up.
Earl Elevant July 07, 2012 at 07:32 AM
Then please Tom, go down the stairs.
Earl Elevant July 07, 2012 at 07:36 AM
It sure was the city's responsibility to throw money at the owners of the vacant State Road Shopping Center--or so you seem to say in your other posts. You support it now, but you don't support it for the future. Logic was never your strong point, was it?
Earl Elevant July 07, 2012 at 07:36 AM
Welcome to Falls Politics 101.
Wanda Minor July 07, 2012 at 09:01 AM
Kick out Section 8? And you would do this how? How do you "force" a free citizen of the US to do as you suggest? The only part of your post that is feasible is enforcing the building code. LMAO! Obviously you and Robart think a lot alike. Bully people to get what you want. "Force" your wonderful idea's on anyone that doesn't conform to your vision for the city.
Wanda Minor July 07, 2012 at 09:21 AM
Now allow me to translate the above statement for people that don't understand the language of lip service; If you're a peasant, the mayor will meet with you and hear you out. If you are there to laud him on his latest delusion of grandeur, he will reward you with a committee appointment or public award or certificate. If, on the other hand, you are there to complain, or you want to change a policy, procedure or process, you will be scolded for opening your big mouth, berated for having the gall to question his savvy business sense, intrinsic administrative skills and frugal spending. Why don't you schedule a meeting with His Honor and provide him with a reason to tell you why you don't know your a** from a hole in the ground. I am being serious, he takes these attitudes with residents. Translated and transcribed by Wanda Minor, fluent in Lip Service, BS, and Talking out your A**. Also licensed in reading between the lines and defining fine print.
John Deike July 07, 2012 at 02:37 PM
The last comment was deleted because it violated Patch's Terms of Use. http://cuyahogafalls.patch.com/terms
wmfr July 07, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Yawwwwwwn..........Very lame response.

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