STRONGSVILLE – The city of Strongsville Planning Commission gave a favorable recommendation by a 6-0 vote to the rezoning of land at 17800 Royalton Road from GB (General Business) to R-RS (Restaurant-Recreational Services) at its Aug. 24 meeting.
The property was the former home of Medical Mutual. The 125,000-square-foot building and associated 21.478-acre parcel was recently purchased by Somera Road, Inc., a private equity group out of New York City.
Plans are for Somera to split the parcel into six separate businesses, including restaurants.
Somera Road submitted a rezoning application to the city of Strongsville on June 21 to rezone the front acreage (8.759 acres) to GB.
After discussing the project with potential end users in the market, Somera Road submitted an amended application on July 11 to rezone 5.792 acres to GB and 3.6657 acres to R-RS, which would include the east side of the drive.
Mayor Thomas Perciak pointed to the need to generate income tax for the city from the office building prior to the vote.
“We have an office building that is now vacant and not generating any income for this community. The developer has promised to put $6 million into that building and bring over 600 jobs,” said the mayor. “Today it’s not just a matter of putting up a building and thinking people are going to come. You need attractions like restaurants to keep people coming. The developer has done extensive studies on the area, which includes the six surrounding suburbs. Strongsville is the most vibrant of all of them. The only way this continues to make sense is to have the retail up front.”
Ward 1 Councilman Michael Daymut, who also is council representative to planning commission, hosted an informational event for residents of the Ledgewood Homeowners Association on Aug. 22 to address concerns abut the proposed development of the site.
There was a commitment from the developer to address buffering.
“The buffering with the office building is somewhat lax. The developer indicated they are going to enhance that with mounding and trees,” Daymut said. “There is a problem with drainage in Ledgewood. They are going to expand their detention area and leave all the trees that are there now.”
Traffic congestion is also a concern for residents, although Daymut feels it will not be a major issue.
“There is no entrance onto residential streets. This is self-contained to traffic coming off (state Route) 82,” he said.
The rezoning will now go to city council for a vote, probably at its Nov. 6 meeting.