A new McDonald’s in Brimfield Township debuted this summer.
Rubber City McDonald’s built a new restaurant diagonally from its existing store in Brimfield Township on state Route 43.
Owner-operator John Blickle said he always knew the original location was a bad one for access to and from the road. So he arranged a land swap with Akron-based commercial real-estate developer Schipper Group, which was building its new Brimfield Crossings retail and office development.
The new McDonald’s is at a new traffic light. It opened about a month ago and recently celebrated its grand opening.
Now Blickle can look ahead to proposed changes coming to South Main Street and South Broadway in Akron. A recent announcement by the Ohio Department of Transportation gave details of a $96.4 million plan to reshape an Interstate 76/77 interchange there.
Blickle said the changes would be a “home run” for a future McDonald’s planned nearby.
But first, he has to wait to find out the timeline for the project.
The aggressive construction plan includes buying and razing many commercial buildings and some homes to make way for expanded and reconfigured ramps and roads.
The expressway would eventually be closer to Blickle’s property slated for a new McDonald’s, which fronts Broadway, South Main and Thornton streets. Rubber City McDonald’s purchased the land from the former Church of the Good Shepherd in 2011.
Construction for the proposed project could begin in the spring of 2015 and take two to three years.
Blickle said in an interview this week that if the restaurant can operate during the construction period, he would like to build and open as soon as possible. However, if it appears it would be too difficult for customers to get to the store during construction, his plans could wait until 2015 or 2016.
The new restaurant would replace a drive-through-only location at Wolf Ledges and I-76/77.
Last December, the westbound entrance ramp of I-76/77 at Wolf Ledges closed for safety reasons. The ramp closing means motorists traveling west have to travel a little farther on side roads to get back on the interstate.
Ultimately, the Wolf Ledges ramp is scheduled to close completely as part of the ODOT project. But Blickle said he doesn’t think he will be without a McDonald’s at one of the locations.
“They’ve committed to everybody that those exits are going to stay open until the replacements are available on Main Street,” he said.
Until more is known about the plans, Blickle said adjacent property to the proposed McDonald’s is no longer for sale. The retailer Family Dollar had been in discussions with Rubber City McDonald’s for the site, but decided against locating there.
Blickle is excited about the future prospects there “because of the access to the expressway. It’s also a main thoroughfare into and out of downtown.”
Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.