By Victor Milani
August 7th (petition filing date) and November 5th (general election) are two important dates for politicians this fall for the 2019 election. It should be interesting to see who files, or just smiles when the deadline comes near. The Mayor’ s seat in both Northfield Village and Macedonia are up for election this fall.
It’s funny how people in Macedonia still don’t grasp the concept that the city of Macedonia can not discriminate against any business, fast food, retail or light industrial that meets building and code standards. It’s reasonable to understand most people prefer diversity in the business entering into town. Barnes and Noble, Whole Foods. Trader Joes, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Swenson’s are just a few of the venues that residents usually ask for. Swenson’s at one time was looking at Northfield Village as a site, and then opted for possibilities in Macedonia. That might still come to fruition. The complaint heard on this site and social media about ”just another fast food burger or pizza joint” does have merit.
Macedonia maintains the Western Reserve appearance (brick and approved architecture) motif to a consistent standard. IHOP wants to build in Macedonia, but is currently in negotiations because of the color of their roof, and architecture. Mayor Molnar has said that there is less than a 10% change of it getting approved. The KFC had to change building plans many times before it gained approval. Macedonia’s stringent architectural codes are sometimes a deterrent to some business entering town. Many business have franchise guidelines that are not brick oriented (Western Reserve), and wont change their franchise appearance just to appease Macedonia building codes. Former Mayor Joe Migliorini raised the bar while he held office demanding the Western Reserve look be adhered to. Mayor Molnar wants to maintain the Western Reserve look as well.
The question usually asked is why doesn’t Northfield Village get the residual business that doesn’t conform in Macedonia. In my opinion, once the Hard Rock (now MGM) was built, landowners of vacant land (and the Plaza) got illusions of grandeur on the price of their property, The per square foot price in the Plaza is less than the going rate in Macedonia. However the appearance of the Plaza has left much to be desired. And many B and C retail business that used to come to Northfield, currently go to Macedonia, even though they pay a higher per square foot price. The cost differential they maintain is that Macedonia has a higher car count, which is true.
The price that people ask for on their buildings or land many times in Northfield is not realistic. Building and land owners in Northfield Village on Rt.8 maintain that Northfield Village, with it’s new found millions of dollars in revenues from MGM, can do more to the Rt. 8 corridor to help enhance their property. They maintain that 14 hanging baskets hung from poles last year isn’t nearly enough! Mayor Jesse Nehez points out the new signage coming into town, and new light signals on Ledge and Rt.8. (last year) and Houghton Road (this year) were improvements. Several sewer and infrastructure projects have been completed as well. A new sign ordinance was implemented to give business owners ten years to change the new guidelines dealing with the signage. An overlay plan that was presented to business owners last year, has not had any effect to date. The real change in appearance on Rt.8 could occur if the utility lines on Rt.8 could be buried underground at an astronomical cost of $20 million dollars. I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
You can’t tell or determine to someone what the value or price of their property should be. But concerning the non activity of new business on Rt. 8, perhaps it’s time for a price adjustment on vacant Rt. 8 buildings, land and the Plaza. I know Mayor Nehez has been calling prospective business ‘s (Swenson’s for one) to come to town, with little luck. You can only lead a horse to water, (Northfield Village) but you can’t make him drink. Unless it’s at Northfield Park!
One last shout out. The Issue #3 school levy is a continuing levy. This means the Board of Education WILL NOT be asking again every four or five years. This will be permanent, as is overall our annual increases in running our households, or business.