RAVENNA — The Portage County Regional Planning Commission has unanimously approved plans to subdivide the approximate 132-acre former Maplecrest Golf Course in Brimfield into smaller parcels. The commission met Wednesday.

Dan DeHoff, CEO of DeHoff Development Co., said the approval means he may now sell some of the property for development as a Menards home improvement store and a Meijer grocery and department store. “The project we have … has the ability to really be a game changer for Brimfield and for Portage County,” DeHoff promises. What’s envisioned is 54 acres of retail and 70 acres of industrial development off Tallmadge Road across from The Cascades of Brimfield. “This is a big milestone for us,” agrees Rich Costin, a principal with Lemmon Development.

As approved this afternoon, Todd Peetz, director of the Portage County Regional Planning Commission, said seven lots totaling 116-plus acres will be created and a new road, Maplecrest Parkway, will be platted off Cascade and Tallmadge roads. Lots 1-5 will be commercial and lots 6 and 7 will be industrial. Lots 1, 2 and 3 are less than 5 acres in size and located on Tallmadge Road. Menards is proposed for lot 4, about 20 acres in size, while a Meijer store will be constructed on lot 5, a 25-acre parcel. The Menards and Meijer will be situated behind the lots on Tallmadge Road. Lot 6 is proposed to be 5.5 acres and lot 7.58 acres.

DeHoff said the plat approval will allow him to begin work on public improvements like widening Tallmadge Road, including acceleration and deceleration lanes along with dedicated through lanes, and redoing the traffic signal at the entrance to the road into the proposed commercial development. “We’re ready to go,” DeHoff told the Record-Courier earlier this week. Costin said he anticipates a preconstruction meeting regarding the public improvements to take place by week’s end.

DeHoff said he “has tenants secured for most of the outlots”; however, he declined to announce who the outlot users will be. “I can tell you we have great tenants that are similar to the Chipotle across the street and the Panera across the street,” he said. “I have a coffee company coming too — a good one. I’m bringing new tenants to the market and if it wasn’t for Menards and Meijer, they wouldn’t be looking at the market.” DeHoff said it is critical to have the right tenant mix to ensure the long-term success of a shopping center. He also said The Marketplace at Maplecrest, as the development will be known, will help bring business to The Cascades shopping center across the street.

“If I’m a resident out there, they’re going to have a whole new lifestyle with the (Marketplace at Maplecrest) shopping center out there that I’m pretty excited for them for,” DeHoff said.

As of Wednesday, DeHoff reported he had no prospective tenants for the industrial portion of the development. JobsOhio, a Columbus-based economic development agency, will be involved in helping DeHoff secure tenants and market the property, he said.  “The stars have aligned for that area to land some pretty nice prospects in the industrial part,” DeHoff stated.

The developer has requested the creation of a Tax Increment Finance District, or TIF, with bonds being sold to generate money to make infrastructure improvements to the site. Under the proposal, Brimfield Township and the Field School District would benefit from payments made by the developer in lieu of property taxes until the bonds are paid off. At press time, the Brimfield Township trustees were continuing to consider the TIF and Field Superintendent David Heflinger declined to comment "until the Board votes on a formal agreement.” 

Tallmadge would also benefit due to a Joint Economic Development District it has with the township, and Portage County will benefit from increased revenue from a sales tax.

Reporter Ellin Walsh can be reached at 330-541-9419, ewalsh@recordpub.com or @EllinWalsh_RPC.

Reporter Matthew Merchant contributed to this story.