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Visions for Vacancies: Rick Case Honda

Patch is asking readers: What type of business would you like to see at the long-vacant State Road site?

At least one member thinks the former Rick Case Honda dealership property makes for a sad welcome to motorists entering the city on State Road.

"It's the first thing you see as you cross the high-level bridge into the city," said Carol Klinger, an at-large council member. "Getting something (new) in there would be a great improvement."

The 1.59-acre Rick Case property is located at 1559 State Road and includes a 14,682-square-foot building constructed in 1971 and renovated in 1995, according to the website showcase.com.

The website suggests that the "highest and best" use for the property would be another auto dealership or an automotive trade school, but that there are also conversion opportunities for offices, retail or a physician' s clinic.

The State Road Redevelopment and Retail Analysis Master Plan prepared for the city in 2006 by BBP & Associates of Annapolis, MD, stated that the former car dealership property “could be redeveloped as a mixed use project taking advantage of the city’s new mixed use district.”

Patch wants to know what kind of business you think would make a good fit for the former car dealership. What do you think would find success in the storefront? Tell us in the comments section below!

Geoffrey Watson June 06, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Rick Case started out in that building selling bikes. That might be a good place to sell bikes, motorcycles or scooters again. Another use might be to turn it back into a used auto dealer. My wife was just saying last week that she is surprised something hasn't gone back in there.
Linda Overfield June 06, 2012 at 02:03 PM
We tried to buy the building in 2006, but the city and community development put many road blocks in our way, they were not willing to work with us on this project. We even had a architect draw up plans and we would have made this building an asset to the community. I guess we were just not big enough for them. So there it sits.
Betty Douglas June 06, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Tear it down and put in a garden and some park benches.
Troy McClure June 06, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Now THERE is a story waiting to be told.
Troy McClure June 06, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I would say tear it down as well, and then have it marketed for sale. But, it is essentially up to whomever owns that property -- not the city.
Rachel June 06, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Can we ask what you wanted to open there and if you were able to go elsewhere? Just curious.
Earl Elevant June 06, 2012 at 05:01 PM
The city should: Buy it for 6x what it's worth, sell it to a developer for peanuts, turn around and give back most of the purchase price, tear down the building & make it a field, have businesses from up to two whole blocks away commit to moving there, and leave it undeveloped for years. If only I could think of a name for this project... Maybe...Portage Crossing South?
Earl Elevant June 06, 2012 at 05:02 PM
At least the bike thieves from Akron wouldn't have far to come into the Falls before they found one to steal.
Marc Hodge June 06, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Earl. You are clueless. Would love to know your genius idea for State Road and the superspeed timeline you would have it completed.
Dave Hamner June 06, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I think the highest/bext use is as a church or mission base such as YWAM Akron. That is what I'd want to see entering Cuyahoga Falls. It would produce no taxes, but would enrich the community in ways that matter more than dollars. If not that, it would make a pretty cool and different bed and breakfast. Dave Hamner
Earl Elevant June 07, 2012 at 03:59 AM
We'll start by saying I wouldn't overpay for the property by any amount. Then, we'll go on to say that, within a year, ground would have been broken (if, in fact, there were actually stores lining up to occupy the place like has been dumped in the Kool Aid you've obviously consumed). I wouldn't have given the purchase price back to the person who bought it. Are you really saying that you're happy with being out $13 million on a field for three years and counting, with the main anchor being an existing store that's moving two blocks and getting a huge tax break by doing so? Do you work for the city or the developer?
Marc Hodge June 07, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Just tired of people who are never happy with anything. There was never going to be a Trader Joe's like everyone wanted (why I don't know). I think the anchors are fine and the restaurants are great. Ideally, no, Giant Eagle wouldn't be moving but it is. Anticipate it to be very nice. I am confident the city will backfill the old Giant Eagle in due time. Within a year you'd have broken ground? Gimme a break. That's ignorant in today's economic environment. Sure it took longer than anyone would have liked but even that field looks better than the disgusting State Road Plaza. That field probably is generating just as much tax revenue than a vacant strip mall with deadbeat owners.
Earl Elevant June 07, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Heh. And *you* talk about ignorance... If the people want Trader Joe's, who are you to mock them? If Giant Eagle owns the property on Graham Rd, who's to say that they're ever going to part with the property? (Unless the city pays them 6x what it's worth, which, given their track record, could actually happen...) And, it's ignorant to open any retail in this economy. Yet the city and you want to do it. Why is it the people with blinders on always try to portray others as ignorant? You're worse than anyone else I've seen. But, I guess the Falls didn't get to the bad place where we are without lemmings like you. And, with regard to the tax revenue: How long will it take us to get back to even? 20 years? 30? The old State Road Shopping Center didn't cost us anything. This place has cost us probably $20 million at this point and it's nothing more than a vacant field. Lemmings with blinders. Ain't it great.
Susan Fisher June 19, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Earl, you are very close on the actual amount....

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