June 27, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Chippewa Lake resort, hotel project gets $2.5M in stimulus

MEDINA — County commissioners allo­cated an additional $2.5 million in low-inter­est, federal stimulus-backed bonds Monday to the resort and hotel project planned at the site of the old Chippewa Lake Amusement Park.

The county received permission from the state last week to allocate the Recovery Zone Bonds, which originally were part of a share meant for a Brunswick retail project known as Brunswick Marketplace.

Last year, Ohio received about $1 billion in Recovery Zone Bonds created by the American Recovery and Investment Act. The bonds were divided among the state’s counties and larger cities. Medina County was given $22 million to distrib­ute.

Brunswick Marketplace received $16 million of those bonds.

The developers of the proj­ect, Osborne Capital Group, wrote the Ohio Department of Development in August, explaining it wouldn’t be able to meet the deadline of Dec. 31 to sell the bonds and start the project. The state subsequently decided the project would be ineligible for the bonds.

Lance Osborne of Osborne Capital said last month he expects to find financing for the project and break ground next spring or summer. The $114 million project will host several retailers near the Interstate 71-state Route 303 interchange.

Osborne said there is still a possibility the state will extend the deadline for remaining Recovery Zone Bonds and his company will have another opportunity to apply.

In the meantime, the group that’s planning the Chippewa Landing resort project at the old amusement park asked for some of the money Osborne Capital won’t receive. Gary Sills of Chippewa Partners sent a let­ter to county commissioners asking them to allocate $2.5 million of the $16 million to his project instead of send­ing it back to the state.

Chippewa Partners previ­ously received $29 million in Recovery Zone bonds from the state, but originally asked for $55 million. Sills said the additional money will take away some pressure to find third-party financing.

Sills said last month that Chippewa Partners plans to start building the hotel and conference center as soon as the bonds close.

Contact Maria Kacik Kula at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@medina-gazette.com.