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Strongsville voters approve GetGo on Ohio 82 for Giant Eagle

November 13, 2018

Strongsville voters approve GetGo on Ohio 82 for Giant Eagle

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio -- Giant Eagle isn’t sure when it will start construction of a new GetGo Café + Market at the northwest corner of Ohio 82 and Webster Road.

Voters made the project possible Nov. 6 when they approved Issue 103 -- a rezoning of about 31.5 acres at Ohio 82 and Webster -- for Giant Eagle. The next step is for the grocery store chain to present a site plan to the city’s Planning Commission for approval.

The GetGo project will also involve transferring most of the site -- about 23.9 acres -- to Cleveland Metroparks’ Mill Stream Run Reservation, which is directly west of the proposed gas station and store.

“There is still much work to be done before construction would begin on this potential project,” Dan Donovan, Giant Eagle spokesman, told cleveland.com in an email. “We look forward to continuing our conversations with the city in order to bring this project to life.

“At this time, we do not have a definitive timeline for the proposed project,” Donovan said.

According to unofficial results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, Issue 103 passed citywide with 54 percent of the vote, or 9,799 to 8,245.

The issue also had to pass in Ward 1, where the proposed GetGo site is located. There, Issue 103 passed with 52 percent of the vote, or 2,164 to 2,009.

“We are excited about the opportunity to bring another high-quality, fresh-foods offering to Strongsville,” Donovan said. “We thank our partners at Metroparks, the City of Strongsville and those living in and around Strongsville for their support.

“We take our responsibility to have a positive contribution in our communities seriously and are honored to be part of a project that would maintain important green space (in the Metroparks),” Donovan said.

Before City Council placed the rezoning on the ballot in July, about 10 residents who live near the intersection expressed concerns about the project, especially regarding additional traffic a GetGo might generate.

Donovan said Giant Eagle aims to be a positive influence in the neighborhood and city.

“We will work to address specific concerns in accordance with the city’s requirements,” Donovan said. “We appreciate all feedback on our store operations and will continue to listen to those in Strongsville who may have concerns.”

The rezoning was complicated, because the proposed GetGo site consists of four lots of various sizes and zoning classifications.

Two smaller lots, together measuring about 1.75 acres, are owned by Lori F. Catanzarite and Michael Catanzarite, part of the family that owns Pat Catan’s Arts and Craft Stores.

Two larger lots, together measuring nearly 30 acres, are owned by Spirnak Family LP. Both lots contain single-family homes.

A lot containing Hofer’s Auto Service, at the very corner of Ohio 82 and Webster, and an isolated residential lot containing a home -- on Ohio 82 near the Metroparks’ Valley Parkway – were not part of the rezoning.

Brent Painter, Strongsville’s economic development director, said Giant Eagle will purchase Hofer’s if the GetGo project proceeds.

Donovan said the Hofer’s property would be converted to green space “to allow for a soft transition between the proposed GetGo and surrounding area.”

The GetGo would stand close to Ohio 82, directly west of Hofer’s. Giant Eagle would create a new lot, measuring about 3.2 acres, for the service station, and rezone most of the lot from a local-business district to motorist-service district, which permits gas stations.

Under the city charter, council can rezone that specific area on its own, without voter approval, because the rezoning would involve business districts only. Voter approval is needed only for rezonings of residential property.

In July, Councilman Matt Schonhut said council would not rezone the business-district portions unless the residential rezonings first cleared the November ballot.

Giant Eagle would like to add a relatively thin strip of residential land to the rear of its proposed GetGo lot. That is the part that required voter approval.

Meanwhile, the rest of the 31 1/2 acres -- land to the north and west of the proposed GetGo -- will become a public-facilities district and part of the Metroparks’ Mill Stream Run Reservation.

Most of the land earmarked for the Metroparks is residential, so voters had to approve the rezoning to public facilities. A thin, bowling-alley lot near Valley Parkway is commercial, so council could rezone that property on its own, and is expected to do so now that Issue 103 has passed.

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