Northwood’s Economic Development Committee is looking into making an outparcel off Curtis Road more attractive for future economic development.
“It’s been there a long time,” said Councilman Dave Gallaher, chairman of the committee. He brought up the matter at a council meeting on Jan. 4.
“It’s a nice location. You have to ask why it isn’t being developed, in spite of the economy. Is there something we can do to help that process along?” said Gallaher after the meeting.
The parcel is between Appleby’s Restaurant and I-280 on Curtis Road.
“As I understand it, part of the reason that makes it difficult to develop is that there’s a private road that’s never been deeded over to the city,” Gallaher said at the meeting. “Because of that, it doesn’t get police and city maintenance. I don’t know if that’s the reason there’s not more action as far as economic development. There’s probably a hundred other reasons. But it certainly can’t help it.”
Gallaher planned to meet with Administrator Dennis Recker to arrange a meeting with property owners in the area “and see what it takes to take down that hurdle.”
“I’m not exactly sure how it would affect the city. But down the road at some point, if they were willing to deed those roads over to the city, that might make it a little bit better looking to someone to build a business there,” said Gallaher.
“Part of the reason it was left that way,” City Attorney Brian Ballenger said at the meeting, “is because the size of the lots would actually be changed by moving the road. There had to be some ability to change that.”
Gallaher said he wasn’t as concerned about Meijer Drive as he was about an access road that goes through an empty field to a nearby hotel.
Gallaher said one of the biggest projects in the city is when it developed a road for Alcoa on the west side, off Oregon Road.
“That was quite an undertaking. It’s paid for itself many times over, I think,” he said. “That’s my feeling on this. If we can identify a way to make that property more desirable for development, we may be able to invest in our own future.”
Councilman Randy Kozina said an outparcel at Menards may also have to be looked at.
“If you do Meijer’s, you’d have to do Menards, too,” he said.
“If there could be an arrangement that could be worked out, I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it,” said Gallaher. “I’m not sure just because we do one, we automatically have to do the other. Let’s work on one and we’ll see what comes up. But that property is just sitting there, and if that is the hurdle that is slowing it down from being developed, then we should address that this year and see if we might be able to make something happen.”
“It makes sense,” said Mayor Mark Stoner. “I guess we’d have time to have an engineer look at that.”
Also at the meeting:
• Council unanimously elected Ed Schimmel, 33, for council president. Schimmel is serving his first term on council. The president runs committee of the whole meetings, and dictates what’s on the agenda for those meetings.
Schimmel, an attorney with the law firm Hizer & Schimmel, has lived in Northwood most of his life.
He graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree in political science, and graduated from the University of Toledo Law School in 2003.