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Pandemic delays Cherry Street development

To great fanfare last June, Mercy Health announced that it would continue to revitalize the Cherry Street Corridor by building a mixed-use development on Cherry Street in partnership with local commercial real estate firm NAI Harmon Group.

Unfortunately, the announcement was all that has happened thus far.

The partners had hoped to complete the development by the end of this year. An empty lot was to be the site of at least eighty apartments, three to five storefronts, and an unknown quantity of office space.

Matt Sapara, Mercy Health’s vice president of regional development and operations, said the project is not dead. Rather, it has faced a setback due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We continue to work on it. But our biggest problem was COVID,” Sapara said.

The vice president said Mercy Health had enacted internal policies that didn’t allow for contractors on its property because of pandemic protocols.

“We’re just now getting to the point where we’re back into the planning process. I’m optimistic it’ll move forward this year. Unfortunately, this all is still contingent on what happens with COVID,” he said.

As a teaching hospital with a robust residency program, Mercy Health officials envisioned that medical professionals in need of easy access to the hospital would quickly snap up the apartments in the mixed-used development.

Harmon was chosen as a development partner because of its ability to bring mixed-use projects to fruition.  Mr. Sapara said the health and safety protocols delaying the project “were designed to protect everyone and they did and we’re grateful for those.  “But at the end of the day, COVID is really the culprit here,” he added.

Mercy and Harmon continue to discuss the project at least twice a month and both are anxious to break ground and start the project.  Mr. Sapara said he believes ground-breaking could occur yet this summer. “The need for residency is still strong. And one of the signs that has changed is the banking climate is better,” said.

Harmon will be responsible for the development, construction, and eventual renting of the parcel. Its track record is strong with the redevelopment of the Overland Industrial Park and a section of Levis Commons in Perrysburg.

The new development eventually will fill a parcel bordered by Cherry St., Sherman St., Mayville Pl., and Page St. The parcel now consists of an empty grassy field and a mostly empty asphalt parking lot.


Posted By: The Blade on April 13, 2021.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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