Summit County Executive Russ Pry has announced the award of a $250,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation Division of Jobs and Commerce for road improvements in the village of Boston Heights in support of a project that will retain 274 jobs and create more than 500 jobs. The 774 jobs are associated with construction of the Arhaus World Headquarters, Costco Warehouse and Bass Pro Outdoor World on Hines Hill Road.

Due to the proximity of the site to Route 8 and the Ohio Turnpike, the area is a highly desirable site for retailers looking to draw from a regional customer base, officials said in an Aug. 10 press release. Under the plan, Hines Hill Road will be widened from two lanes to a three- and four-lane road with turn lanes, traffic signal, and other safety improvements to handle increased traffic, especially truck traffic.

Construction is already underway on the Hines Hill Road improvements.

Arhaus is currently under construction with a completion date in November. Costco and Bass Pro are planning to start construction in September. While Costco is planning to open later this year, Bass Pro expects to open in September, 2016.

The grant was arranged through the year-old Summit County Transportation Improvement District, which was created to foster intergovernmental and public-private cooperation to facilitate infrastructure improvements which result in job creation or job retention. A Transportation Improvement District can plan, construct and improve highways, roads, bridges, interchanges and accompanying capital improvements and developments throughout the county and across political subdivisions.

The SCTID has an independent board of directors consisting of five voting members, County Council President and Board Chairman; Ilene Shapiro, Connie Krauss, Summit County Department of Community and Economic Development Director, Summit County Engineer Al Brubaker; AMATS Director Jason Segedy, and Dan Rice, Director, Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition and two non-voting members who are residents of Summit County, Deborah Walsh and Joe Masich.

"Boston Heights is a relatively small community with a third of the village located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park," Pry stated in the release. "The park is beautiful, however, it greatly limits opportunities for the village to grow its tax base by bringing in new jobs. This grant will aid in improvements to Hines Hill Road that will serve the development that results in more than 700 jobs for the area."

Ilene Shapiro, SCTID Board Chair and Summit County Council president, said this is the first grant the district is awarding.

"With only 1,300 residents, the village would have a very difficult time affording the estimated $1.86 million cost of the road project on its own," she said. "We are pleased the SCTID was awarded the maximum grant for its very first project. The SCTID is a great development tool and we hope that this project is only the beginning of the positive impact the SCTID can bring to Summit County."