BEACHWOOD, Ohio — The city council on Monday (November 21) approved a development contract with local developer Chad Kertesz. This paved the way for a complete redevelopment of the former DoubleTree by Hilton hotel site (3663 Park East Drive).
A 7-0 vote in favor of the deal allows Kertesz’s My Place, LLC to move forward with an estimated $200 million plan to clear the hotel from the site and build four new buildings to redevelop it. .
New construction includes an apartment building on the east side of the property adjacent to I-271. An office building above retail on the northwest corner of the site, along Park East Drive. His two-story retail pavilion, also on Park East Drive, just south of the office building. A boutique hotel on the southwest portion of the property also faces Park East Drive.
There is also a large public space in the middle. This space is suitable for outdoor programming.
Also during the meeting, the Council approved, without objection, a new zoning classification and the rezoning of 10 acres of land at 3663 Park East to that new classification, known as U-4C. U-4C is an integrated mixed-use, multifamily, office, retail, and recreational business district. The property was classified as U-9, or Motor Service. That meant serving his local I-271 drivers by providing motels and gas stations.
After the meeting, a delighted Kertesz said he could now start working on the project. The project has been under discussion for more than a year of his, and in August it was completely overhauled from its original plans.
“We’ve got approval and we’re going to race now,” Kertesz said after Monday’s meeting. The next step, which begins with the demolition of the hotel building, could begin within the next month.
“Since the original plan, we are now going to demolish all the buildings on the site and start with all new construction,” he said.
The new plan increased the project’s original estimated cost of $125 million to about $75 million. Much of that cost increase can be attributed to the inclusion of underground parking in the new plans.The original plan called for a sufficient amount of surface parking
Mayor Justin Berns met with Kertesz in August and told him: The old plan had no city council support. Barnes told the developer that the council would likely approve the plan only if the hotel was demolished and construction began on cleared land with a reduced above-ground parking lot.
Initially, Kertesz sought to convert the DoubleTree Hotel building into 181 luxury condominiums and build one new building to house 151 high-quality apartment units, office space and ground floor retail/restaurant space.
Commenting on the new zoning classification, city planner George Smerrigan said: A mixture of residences, offices and shops.
“The other thing is that this was the first planned development in Beechwood and they will change the plots to match the plan. In this case, we’re rezoning to a specific plan, and we’ve never done that before.”
At the beginning of Monday’s council meeting, Burns said: I am honored to have worked with him. He has been very receptive to administrative demands. We suggested in early August that he should tear down the existing building and clean up the place and build something transformative. I believe that is what is in front of Congress tonight.
electric car charger
The city will soon have its first electric car charger installed on the grounds near the Beechwood Family Aquatic Center on the west side of City Hall. About 18 months ago, Beachwood received a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to partially pay for his $34,759 cost. One station with two chargers will be installed.
The council voted 5-2 on Monday to advance the charger. City Councilman Mike Bercons and City Council Speaker Alec Isaacson voted against the bill over concerns that the city would need to win the multiple bids it received to install the chargers. Burkons and Isaacson agree that the city needs a charger.
There has been talk of delaying the vote to see if more bids can be obtained, but City Councilman June Taylor said the city has many residents with electric cars, and Beachwood said that sooner or later it will be necessary to move on to the project.
“At this point[the city]is not leading charging stations, so we want to move forward,” she said. “Other cities are ahead of us.”
Taylor said residents would like more charging stations to be installed on the Beechwood Place mall grounds for convenience while shopping.
Finance director Larry Heiser said Beachwood paid $12,628 for Chargepoint’s Duelport charging stations. The Ohio EPA grant totaled $15,000. Another grant may be on the horizon, Heiser said, and public-private partnerships could add charging stations near aquatic centers and on private property such as malls.
A charger near the aquatic entry could be installed within the next month. The chargers are expected to be used in the city’s vehicles, and its council will set a fee structure for use by residents and non-residents.
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