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Liquor licenses to pour into Portage Crossing development

10/31/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Getting a license to sell liquor will be quicker for businesses locating in the future Portage Crossing development on the land of the former State Road Shopping Center.

At the Oct. 28 regular meeting, Cuyahoga Falls City Council unanimously approved designating a community entertainment district at the Portage Crossing site.

Council agreed to excuse Councilwoman Carrie Hummel Snyder (D-at large) from the vote, as her father, Jim Hummel, owns the Silver Swan, a bar and restaurant in the Falls. It would be a conflict of interest for her, Councilman Jerry James (D-Ward 7) explained.

According to state law, a development must contain at least 20 acres to be classified as a community entertainment district.

City officials said Portage Crossing consists of 26 acres of space for retail and restaurants.

City officials have said the community entertainment district label would allow up to five D5J liquor licenses to be issued to Portage Crossing establishments seeking to sell beer, wine and spirits daily until 2:30 a.m.

At least four restaurants, including BurgerFi and possibly Aladdin’s, are set to locate in Portage Crossing, and these establishments could include full bars, city officials reported.

Community Development Director Susan Truby said the developer, Stark Enterprises, could better market Portage Crossing to potential restaurants with the community entertainment district in place.

City officials said the community entertainment district would allow businesses to obtain a permit for significantly less financially and much speedier than if the district did not exist at all.

Also during the meeting, a Finance Committee meeting was held to discuss three pieces of legislation that later were approved.

Council adopted ordinances providing for the issuance and sale of notes:

  • in the principal amount of $6 million, in anticipation of the issuance of bonds, for the purpose of paying a portion of the costs of constructing a community recreation center and acquiring real estate and interest in real estate;
  • in the principal amount of $750,000 in anticipation of the issuance of bonds for the purpose of constructing improvements to portions of State Road and Portage Trail, including, where necessary, constructing or replacing sidewalks and curbs, installing water and sewer lines, constructing turning lanes, installing traffic signals and lighting, and all related improvements; and
  • in the principal amount of $725,000, in anticipation of the issuance of bonds, for the purpose of paying costs of constructing waterlines in Graham Road, together with all appurtenances.

Before the meeting’s close, Councilman Jeff Iula (R-at large) publicly congratulated Mayor Don Robart on becoming a first-time grandfather to twins last week.

Council will hold committee meetings Nov. 4 and a regular meeting Nov. 11, both beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St.

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