Development at former Woodville Mall site taking shape
A once-thriving area of Northwood is destined for a rebirth after several years of stagnation.
The city is working with Bowling Green-based Reveille, a planning and economic development agency, to bring a mixed-use development to 120 acres formerly occupied by the Woodville Mall. Plans call for office space, smaller commercial buildings and retail, and housing for families and seniors.
Northwood conducted a market study and held community meetings, and the “age-in-place” concept was the most popular.
“Northwood has very few new residential families or new starts,” City Administrator Bob Anderson said. “The city is doing very well because of the businesses, especially on the I-75 corridor, but we want to start attracting new residents. We’ve been close to 5,200 for a decade and we’re looking for more. That means new housing.”
Other uses for the property — which will be known as The Enclave — presented to the public at community meetings were industrial and recreational.
Amazon, NSG, and First Solar all built new facilities in the area, and Walgreens expanded its nearby distribution center. Reveille President Glenn Grisdale said those projects are creating 4,000 jobs, and Northwood hopes to attract the people filling them.
“A certain portion of the residential development can be abated 100 percent up to 15 years,” Mr. Grisdale said. “This is a huge incentive to the property owner. If they put in a $225,000 home they could see $6,000 in tax savings for 15 years. That’s unlike anything in northwest Ohio.”
Mr. Grisdale said the city and Northwood Schools worked together to iron out the tax deal. There will also be a tax increment finance district where 100 percent of certain real estate taxes go back into the site to pay for public amenities.
Plans also call for plenty of senior living, including assisted and independent living, and memory care senior living. Mr. Anderson said he hopes the abundance of senior living attracts an emergency care facility or doctor’s offices.
He said the commercial space could be prime for a bank, and the retail space would not be occupied by big box stores.
“We’re working with a couple of developers and we may end up with multiple,” Mr. Anderson said. “We’re working with some home builders. We have solicited a senior living company and I expect the senior living company by April to have a formal agreement done.”
The estimated price of the development is $30 million. Northwood spent years completing zoning and finalizing other elements to make the property site-ready by the time investors and developers visited.
“Folks have said they wanted a downtown feel and place for a farmers market and things like that,” Mr. Anderson said. “The retail component would be an area providing for additional commercial services of neighborhood and regional approach. 200,000 square feet of senior living. When you put that together with walking trails and paths, someone can move in, find a place in their 20s, and maybe migrate throughout the site.”
The mall closed in 2011 and was demolished in 2014. The city purchased the property and removed 800,000 square feet of asbestos from remaining structures.
Mr. Anderson said new construction could start as soon as next spring.
Posted By: The Toledo Blade on September 10, 2020. For more information, please click here to read the source article.
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