July 23, 2016

Mostly sunny

Land annexed for business development in Wadsworth

WADSWORTH TWP. — The city of Wadsworth is annexing 280 acres of township land after the owners asked for help in luring businesses to the area.

Medina County commissioners approved the annexation petition Tuesday after attorney Trina Devanney presented it with other documents that showed both the city and township approved the annexation.

The land is bordered by Mt. Eaton Road and the Akron-Barberton Railway tracks to the east and west and by Seville and Wall roads to the north and south.

“This is such a unique piece of property,” said Lynda Bowers of the real estate firm Allen & Hartzell, in Wadsworth, which is representing the land owners.

“It’s large enough to accommodate good-sized clean businesses, the kind of businesses we want and the kind of jobs we want to bring in,” Bowers said.
The property is owned by Stone Brothers and PJS Properties of Wadsworth Township, PJS is a Wadsworth Township farming company owned by Phil and Jennifer Stone. Stone Brothers is owned by their sons.

Phil Stone said they own a total of 400 acres but only about 140 of it is good for farming.

He said the deal will leave the former Wadsworth Brick Yard property zoned residential-industrial, but provide city utility services the township can’t.

Wadsworth will provide police service as well as phone, cable, electric, water gas and sewer and sanitation.

The proposal is a Type-2 annexation, which allows for dual jurisdiction between the township and city and leaves the property subject to the township’s property taxes.

“This is really what a Type-2 annexation is all about,” Bowers said. “It allows two entities to do together what neither could do alone. Under the old annexation, there are winners and losers, but under Type-2, both win.”

Bowers said that after the Type-2 law was passed 10 years ago, the first annexation of that kind happened in Lafayette Township, where she is a trustee. There, the Creative Housing Equine Therapy Facility was opened, funded partially by a grant from the Ohio Department of Development. The property shares jurisdiction between the township and Medina city.

Stone said city officials have told him they are ready to provide services immediately for any business that comes in.

The wait may not be long.

Stone said some companies already have shown interest in the property, including one that has a purchase option on part of it.

That company, an unnamed business from Wadsworth, was considering leaving the area because it had expansion plans the city and township could not accommodate. Now, Stone said, the company will stay in town.

Stone said he also would like to see some open space or park areas, and perhaps an indoor sports complex in years to come. Commercial development also could bring needed services to the area.

He said there is no gas station in the area now and they are already talking to several convenience store and service station chains.

Stone said any commercial-industrial business that locates there also will provide immediate relief for homeowners by contributing more to schools.

“We just think this would be great for Wadsworth Schools and the whole community as far as the tax base goes,” he said.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.