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Portage Crossing still progressing in Cuyahoga Falls

3/28/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Numerous issues are being resolved, so the sale of the former State Road Shopping Center site soon could be finalized, said Cuyahoga Falls Community Development Director Susan Truby.

The city administration was asked to provide an update on the proposed Portage Crossing retail development before the close of the March 25 Cuyahoga Falls City Council meeting.

Before Stark Enterprises can close on its agreement to purchase acreage on State Road and Portage Trail to construct Portage Crossing, there are several legal and environmental issues that must be resolved, Truby explained.

In addition, Pizza Hut now will be staying on site, so this has an impact on the development, she added.

Truby told Council she expects the pending issues to be resolved in the “next several weeks,” and the closing to take place shortly thereafter.

She reported the retail component of the project is “going well.”

In April 2012, city officials announced Portage Crossing would be anchored on the south side of the development by Giant Eagle and feature a Michael Symon’s B Spot Restaurant, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera Bread, Pet Supplies Plus and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. Several weeks later, officials announced the other anchor tenant would be Menards, a hardware chain store.

However, Menards no longer will be part of Portage Crossing, as enough space was not available for the retailer, city officials explained. Mayor Don Robart has said Menards may locate elsewhere in the city, however.

Truby confirmed Cinemark USA Inc. has expressed an interest in constructing a theater in Portage Crossing.

The city purchased the State Road Shopping Center for $10.2 million in 2008 and demolished it in 2009. Since then, the city has been working with Stark Enterprises on the sale of the property for the construction of Portage Crossing.

The project has evolved over the years. Truby has said Portage Crossing would be a unique, state-of-the-art development and would not resemble a common strip mall.

Stark Enterprises initially planned to close on the sale of the land by March 31, 2012, and break ground shortly thereafter.

Since that time, the closing has been delayed several times, with an exact date for the closing still not determined, according to city officials.

Also during the meeting, Council approved legislation authorizing the issuance of an encroachment permit to Cole CK Portfolio I LLC for the purpose of installing and operating a private sanitary force main sewer in Portage Crossing Extension.

Council also adopted an ordinance enacting a new section of codified ordinances to address the disposition and recycling of electronic waste.

Additionally March 25, Council introduced legislation that would approve:

  • the preliminary plat of the Boulder Estates Subdivision, Phase 3, located in the Northampton Planning District and situated west of State Road at Seasons Road;
  • a contract, without competitive bidding, with the Valley Fire District for the sale of a fire truck no longer needed by the city; and
  • the Community Development Block Grant Annual Action Plan for fiscal year 2013.

Council will hold its next committee meetings April 1 and a regular meeting April 8, both beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St.

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