October 21, 2014

Medina
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Imagine Medina targets downtown development

MEDINA — “What properties in and around the Downtown should be targeted for development or redevelopment over the next 10 years?”

“What types of new developments, services, or entertainment options would you like to see in the Downtown?”

Those are two questions being asked of city residents on a new website created for Imagine Medina, a project aimed at coming up with a long-range plan to development downtown.

Imagine Medina is asking residents for suggestions for long-term economic development of the downtown area. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

Imagine Medina is asking residents for suggestions for long-term economic development of the downtown area. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

Kimberly Rice, the city’s economic development director, said Imagine Medina will focus on areas downtown that are vacant or underutilized.

“This project will help achieve a number of community goals and objectives,” Rice said. “Specifically, the plan will establish a refined vision for downtown, define the market context and potential, and identify the opportunity for new catalyst projects that will generate new city revenue while enhancing the character and brand of the community.”

Last year, the city hired OHM Advisors to assist in the planning process, Danter Co. to perform a detailed market assessment and IceMiller to identify specific redevelopment proposals.

The public is invited to participate at the Imagine Medina website: imaginemedina.mindmixer.com.

In addition to a comment section, the website features an interactive map that allows participants to show where they would like to see redevelopment proposals.

Among the sites discussed is the Farmers Exchange building on South Court Street.

“The Farmer’s Exchange should be repurposed as a meeting point for all things foodie, chefs, gardening and backyard farming,” wrote a commenter who identified herself as Amanda H.

Another idea pitched is upscale apartments and condos.

“I believe that there is a market for traditional townhome properties in the uptown area, based upon 1880s design, with a stacked floor plan, and parking on the backside,” Matt W. wrote.

Those involved with the Imagine Medina project had their first meeting Feb. 12 and discussed potential sites.

The next meeting will 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, when the Danter Co. will present its market assessment.

A public open house is scheduled for March 27 at City Hall to consider draft plan concepts.

More meetings are set for April 9, May 7 and June 9.

Rice said final plans are expected to be presented to City Council by July.

Contact David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or dknox@medina-gazette.com.