Northwood breaks ground on the Enclave's Main Street

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Northwood broke ground on The Enclave project, Northwest Ohio’s first “Age-in-Place” mixed use neighborhood.
        The groundbreaking on May 14, located at the footprint of the former Woodville Mall, was for the first phase of the “Main Street” portion of the project, according to Glenn Grisdale, of Reveille LTD, a planning and economic development firm hired by Northwood.
        The city recently hired Vernon Nagel, Inc. as the general contractor.
        “The second phase is simply a North-South road that will go back deeper into the site,” said Grisdale. “We’re getting ready to work on a construction estimate for that right now so we can start that stage of the project, maybe with the same contractor, Vernon Nagel. But of course, we’ll have to bid that out. We’re thinking the North-South road will come sometime in the fall.”
        The first phase of Main Street, which will start on May 24, is expected to be completed in September or October, said Grisdale.
         “That seems pretty quick,” said Grisdale.
        The project includes the installation of water, sewer, sidewalks, street trees, lighting, a bridge and a retention pond, said Grisdale.
        “It is the first step in this whole process,” said City Administrator Bob Anderson. “It is the most important thing we’ve done so far.”
Senior living
        In attendance were members of Northwood City Council, the Northwood school board, Wood County Commissioners, developers, and other business and government officials. Also at the event was a national senior living provider who plans 170,000-square-feet of facilities that will provide independent living, assisted living, and memory care services. Due to the high cost of building materials, the $30 million project will likely be scaled down, said Grisdale.
        “Because of construction costs and the costs of lumber, they are doing new estimates to figure out if they can maybe take some square footage out of the units to bring the estimate down,” he said.
        Also at the groundbreaking event was the developer of a new residential subdivision.
        “It will be on 20 acres. We’re going to be firming up that relationship this week,” said Grisdale.
        Plans call for 200-250 semi-custom built, one-story homes with maintenance-free amenities.
        “A portion of it will front on the water. They are going to have a water feature in the center of the site. And it will be well linked to the 1.5 miles of walking trails that go around the entire 120 acre footprint of The Enclave. The houses will be between 1,400 and 1,700-square-feet. They are going to sell like hotcakes. They anticipate they will all be sold within 90 days,” he said.
        The subdivision will be able to tap into the first phase of Main Street as it is being constructed. “They will go in before anything else,” he said.
Community center
         Five acres at the site will be dedicated to the construction of the Northwood Civic and Recreation Center. The state capital budget last year included a $1 million grant for its construction.
        “We’re anticipating having this designed and framed up to the point where the city can go to bid to bring a contractor on board sometime in the late fall/winter timeframe. Based upon the grant agreement that the city has with the State of Ohio, we have to have this built by the end of 2022,” he said.
        “We are also in negotiations with a medical provider to have space on that footprint,” he added.
        The “Age-in-Place” concept is a throwback to a time when neighborhoods were within walking distance of stores, theaters, restaurants and other amenities, he said.
        “You don’t have to drive to get there. Everything is right there,” he said. “That’s what we envision for The Enclave. Someone could come to this footprint, young in their career, and move into a multi-family development or apartment complex. Then that young professional might work at one of the 4,000 new jobs that are on the radar in the next few years. They get a promotion, then get married. Maybe they will want to move into a larger single family footprint and end up staying there. As they get older, they may need to be in an independent living situation that has some medical care on site. Later, they may need to go into an assisted living facility. Everything is all right there, one footprint, all integrated with walking amenities. It’s all well linked with other activities that are born in the community center and born from the commercial aspects on the Main Street, which will include shopping and dining.”


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