By Jeff Gallatin

North Olmsted

City officials are proposing altering a legal judgement in order to provide a 10-year tax abatement for a $14.4 million Aloft hotel and restaurant project on property near the Moen headquarters.

Under terms of a proposal scheduled to be considered by City Council at its regular meeting last night, a legal judgement for the land located south of Interstate 480 on State Route 252 would be altered to allow for the construction of an Aloft hotel and as/yet undetermined restaurant on the site. Prior to the new legislation, the property had been designated by the legal judgement as being for office use only. The judgement had been entered in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court as part of a 1988 settlement between Developers Diversified Inc. and the city of North Olmsted.

A previous move in 1992 had allowed for the modification of the parcel to allow for the development of the Moen headquarters facility.

Project developers BIW Properties has been working with the city the last two years on the proposed project.

City Council’s Building Zoning and Development committee unanimously recommended the proposal to the full City Council.

“According to the application, the total investment for the proposed project would be approximately $14.4 million,” North Olmsted Planning and Development Director Kim Wenger said. “In addition, the proposed project is expected to result in the creation 24 to 28 total jobs with an associated annual payroll of $790,000 in the first year of operation (in 2017).

“The City has reviewed the application and associated project documents and determined that a CRA exemption is warranted for the proposed project. The City is preparing to advance legislation to authorize a CRA Agreement for 50 percent, 10-year exemption.”

North Olmsted economic development consultant Greg Myers said during the committee session, there would be large economic benefits even with an abatement agreement.

“The City of North Olmsted is expected to receive nearly $4 of net new taxes for every dollar of City property tax abated through the proposed CRA incentives,” Myers said after the meeting. “The (North Olmsted) schools are expected to receive nearly $1.67 million of net new tax revenues over the term of the proposed CRA exemption.”

Mayor Kevin Kennedy said the project will be a nice addition to the area.

“It will be a nice complement to Moen and help future development in that area,” he said.

Council officials said prior to last night’s meeting the project was likely to pass.

“It’s a good project that would bring jobs to the area as well as good long-term development of some vacant land,” Paul Schumann, chairman of city council’s BZD committee said.

“It’s a pretty hip and modern hotel and should attract some good business, particularly being located near the airport and major roadways,” Schumann said. “As soon as (law Director) Michael (Gareau Jr.) has everything ready I think council will give it final approval. Everybody has been working real hard to get this done.”

Paul Barker, the senior member of council, lauded Aloft hotels.

“I stayed in one on a trip out west and thought it was a great place,” he said. “It’s the type that if Moen has people coming into its headquarters, they could stay there. When I looked into it, they also always place a good restaurant near it, so this fits in.”

Wenger noted that Aloft already has hotels in downtown Cleveland and in Beachwood in the eastern suburbs. She said by placing one in North Olmsted, Aloft would fill it’s need for a western suburban location and likely wouldn’t build any others in Northern Ohio.

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