Hudson readies second try to sell $1.1 million Boston Mills Road parcel

ERIC MAROTTA Editor
This proposed site plan, part of the city's purchase agreement with Fleet HQ Partners LLC, shows three building sites on the 45-acre property north of Boston Mills Road. The two larger building sites would be for approximately 80,000 square-foot buildings, while the third building would measure 7,200 square feet.

After a land sale to one developer fell through this spring, the city has made a deal with a company that would have been a party to the initial deal, according to city officials.

Council last week had a first reading of legislation that would authorize entering into a purchase and sale agreement with Fleet HQ Partners, LLC for approximately 45 acres of land located at West Executive Parkway and Boston Mills Road.

The property, opposite the River Oaks subdivision a few thousand feet east of Route 8, was purchased by the city through the Summit County Land Bank in 2018 for $70,800 and the city is selling it for $1.1 million.

The city had in January reached an agreement to sell the property to Premier Commercial Realty Inc., which in turn was planning to sell part of the property to Fleet HQ for an office building, but Premier backed out of the deal over concerns about the large proportion of the land that was unbuildable due to wetlands, according to city spokesperson Jodi Roberts.

“Around mid March, COVID-19 was heating up and Premier notified us that they would not continue their due diligence on the land. They suggested wetlands issues as the cause,” Roberts said. 

About 25 acres of the lot is considered wetland, leaving 20 buildable acres.

Roberts said city officials then approached Fleet HQ about purchasing the land directly from the city.

“Negotiations moved swiftly and the company agreed to buy the entire parcel. Essentially the same agreement we had with Premiere,” she said.

Plans in January were for the money to go into the city’s general fund for “future public road improvement projects.”

According to a proposed site plan that is part of the city's purchase agreement with Fleet HQ Partners LLC, three buildings would be constructed on the 45-acre property, starting with a 43,000-square-foot office building for Fleet Response.

Fleet Response is an Independence-based firm that provides claims management, accident management, driver safety training, subrogation and other services to companies that self-insure physical damage to truck and automotive fleets, specialty insurers seeking outsourced support, and delivery contract services.

The company would bring 177 jobs to town initially, with occupancy planned for August, 2021. Its building could be expanded to more than 80,000 square feet at some future time.

The site plan shows two other building sites, an 80,000-square-foot building with 320 parking spaces and a 7,200-square-foot building with 38 parking spaces.

A second reading of the new legislation was scheduled for July 28.

In May 2017, council approved entering an agreement with the Summit County Land Reutilization Corp. (Land Bank) to purchase the 45-acre lot, along with two other vacant, delinquent parcels of land, at a combined total cost of $76,000.

The other two parcels are on Post Lane and Valley View Road next to the Ohio Turnpike. Plans were for the city to use them for a stormwater management pond.

The Land Bank purchases delinquent parcels of land, cleans up any liens or title issues with the property, and sells them to the local municipality “to encourage better use and revitalization of these neglected properties,” according to a city news release.

Eric Marotta can be reached at emarotta@recordpub.com