STOW -- A senior residential development planned on Allen Road could be a financial boon, especially for the school district.
Thomas Finley, a partner in Beachwood-based developer Omni Senior Living, said it is estimated that the development is a $25 million to $29 million project that would raise more than $500,000 in property taxes, plus a payroll that will be more than $2 million, which would result in more than $40,000 in employee withholding taxes for the city based on the city's 2 percent tax rate.
According to the Summit County Fiscal Office's online property tax calculator, such a development would generate between $620,000 and $720,000 in new property tax revenue annually, including nearly $400,000 to about $460,000 for the Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools and about $83,000 to nearly $100,000 for the city. The remainder would go to the county, the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library and the Summit Metro Parks. Summit County Deputy Fiscal Officer Sarah Hegnauer said the fiscal office's tax settlement department determined the figures are "factual."
Council unanimously approved a site plan June 8 for the 148-unit development. Also approved was a variance allowing a circular drive to be built less than 10 feet from the north property line and a conditional zoning certificate to allow the project be built in the I-1 limited industrial zoning district.
Mark Fritz, the school district's director of operations, said the additional revenue would be welcome.
"Obviously the district can use funding to help maintain buildings and to provide educational materials for the kids and support for the staff and the teachers," said Fritz. "With the state cuts [to public schools] all the time and the federal cuts, this money will help."
Finley said Omni hopes to have the property cleared and graded by the end of this year and start construction during the first three months of 2018.
The development will also be just north of Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons practice and across the street from the Cleveland Clinic-Akron General Wellness Center. The wellness center is at 4300 Allen Road.
Finley said the development will provide a full range of services for seniors no matter their needs. A 142-unit main building will include 82 independent living and 42 assisted living units and an 18-bed memory care section.
In addition, six independent living villas are planned to the east, near Hudson Drive.
"It sounds like a great project," Council President Mike Rasor told Finley during the planning committee meeting. "We're glad you're bringing it to Stow."
Finley said during City Council's June 8 planning committee meeting that his company conducted a marketing survey indicating that the development planned on 8 acres across the street from the Akron-General Wellness Center promises to be a success.
"We're excited that the marketing survey says this is great, it's going to serve the Stow community and the overall community in general," said Finley.
"What a great project," Councilor John Pribonic, who serves as planning committee chairman. told Finley. "We're very pleased to have you here and also, too, I think the location fits very nicely with the surrounding areas."
"It will be an age-in-place continuum care," said Finley, adding "that continuum of care in a long-term community, I think, is important to the residents and to a successful development."
There will be access to the development from both Allen Road and Hudson Drive and a circulation drive around the entire site will provide access to the main building from the north and south. Stormwater management will be accommodated through the use of detention basins and underground storage.
Finley also said the project is the first of what Omni hopes will eventually be three phases. He said Omni is negotiating to purchase a 1.7-acre parcel behind the eye clinic for 10 additional independent living villas as the second phase.
"The marketing report says there is a high demand for that type of building in the area," he said.
For the third phase, he said, Omni is negotiating to purchase an additional 4.5 acres to the north, but what would be built there would depend on future demand.
The city's planning commission approved the site plan and variance in late May. City Planning Director Rob Kurtz said the planning commission's approval was contingent upon the city's building and engineering department approving construction and stormwater management plans; an emergency access drive for fire department vehicles be widened and extended into a courtyard of the main building; the city arborist approving landscape plans; and Omni securing agreements from nearby property owners to provide additional parking if needed for holidays and other special occasions.
Kurtz said the 99 spaces planned parking spaces is more than the 97 spaces required under city ordinances, but Finley said there are times, Mother's Day and Christmas in particular, when there can be a lot of visitors.
In January, Council approved two ordinances related to the project. One changed the zoning of the property from I-2 industrial to I-1 limited industrial and the other allows assisted living facilities as a conditional use within the I-1 limited industrial districts.
City officials said at the time that rezoning the property to I-1 was fitting because both the Cleveland Clinic-Akron General and Northeast Ohio Eye Surgeons properties are also zoned I-1.
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