Home News Crocker Park developer, Westlake wrangle over site

Crocker Park developer, Westlake wrangle over site

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Bigness was designed, with a few exceptions, to be a small downtown with a network of streets servicing the shops below five and six stories tall, Westlake. has defined most of Crocker Park, a 120-acre mixed-use project.

A small grassy lot facing Crocker Road, opposite three Crocker Park buildings, including the American Greeting headquarters, was envisioned as the site of a six-story building. However, Cleveland developer Stark Enterprises wants part of the lot to house an Erie Bank branch, designed to look like a two-story building. Although there is surface parking available, most of Crocker Park is urban model parking on the street or in the parking lot.

Looking back at development plans drawn up 20 years ago when Crocker Park was in the design phase, both the Westlake City Planning Commission and the Westlake City Council, at another summer session, announced measures to move the bank branch forward. was unanimously rejected.

Stark Enterprises and CP Land, an investor group that owns the land, sued to overturn the Cuyahoga County General Court’s ruling. The case, assigned to Judge Joan Sinenberg, is in preliminary stages.

Stark and CP Land have asked the courts to intervene in administrative appeals, but that is not the only place to resolve the issue.

Westlake’s general counsel, Michael Maloney, said in a telephone interview that lawyers for the city and Crocker Park, sometimes joined by Stark Enterprises CEO Ezra Stark, are looking for a solution. rice field.

“So far, they’ve been fruitful,” Maloney said. “The city has a stronger and better legal basis. The plan was done well. The council followed the plan’s recommendations. There was no good reason to change the original development plan.” Nonetheless, we have a strong interest in a solution.Without some kind of agreement, you will be left behind in a vacant lot that no one wants.”

Attorney John Slugter, who is leading three Tucker Ellis attorneys in the case, said in court documents that the city considered the developer’s demands “unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and unsupportable.” No,” he said.

Complaints filed against Stark and CP Land say the court is competent under Ohio law to give developers what they want.

In Westlake, the City Council may approve or reject the City Planning Commission’s recommendations. Developers and landowners made a strong effort to do just that at the May 18 council meeting.

According to a video of the meeting posted on the city’s website, Slagter called the planning commission’s actions “shocking”. I have made it clear that

The video also shows the rationale for the big turnaround. Ezra Stark did not return her three calls regarding this matter by 3pm on Thursday, October 13th.

During the course of the session, several members stated that the Bank of Erie’s plans were a dramatic change from the “original vision” of Crocker Park, allowing Crocker Park but not elsewhere in the suburbs. I noticed a dramatic dilution of the density that I didn’t get.

The plan calls for a 2,300-square-foot building on the site across from American Greetings, which would likely be as tall as a two-story building. The bank is also serviced by the flat car park next to it.

“We don’t have a six-story tenant. This is our tenant,” said Christopher Payne, Stark’s tenancy coordination director. He said there are multiple examples of one-story buildings the city has already cleared, from the Cheesecake Factory on the north side of Crocker Park, or on the other side, to two restaurants and a financial services building.

Additionally, Payne said the city would treat banks looking for Crocker Park differently than it has treated other banks in the city. I pointed out that it’s already on the other side of Crocker Road from Crocker Park.

Steve Coven, Executive Vice President of Asset Management at Stark, said in a session: .The office world has changed.I don’t think many companies are in a position to say he needs to go ahead with a six-story office building.Retail has staffing issues and omnichannel Transitioning, so the pool of usual suspects has shrunk. ”

This incident may mean more than what happened to the bank.

Crocker has one more commercial and apartment space left. This may be shaped by the results of the current problem. It can also detract from city ordinances designed to form long-term, major mixed-use projects.

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