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Cuyahoga Falls council to consider three development projects

By Gina Mace
Special to the Beacon Journal

CUYAHOGA FALLS: When City Council meets tonight for the last time in 2013, members are expected to vote on legislation related to three development projects.

The council will decide whether to approve the site plan for LA Fitness. The California-based chain plans to build a 45,000-square-foot health and fitness club at Portage Crossing.

Cuyahoga Falls council members raised some concerns in September, when LA Fitness was named as a potential tenant, that its presence could affect the Natatorium negatively.

The Natatorium “is the bright eye of the neighborhood, and I can’t understand how LA Fitness will fit into the facility,” Ward 7 Councilman Jerry James said at that time. “And [the Natatorium] is still being paid on.”

Administration officials have said the two fitness facilities cater to different demographics and can coexist.

The council also will decide whether to sell 0.06 acres at the north end of the Front Street Mall to River Falls Property II, LLC, for $5,000.

The land is adjacent to the office building that houses Hibachi Japan Steak House. The developer wants to add an outside entrance and patio to the restaurant.

The third piece of legislation, if approved, would give Falls River Group LLC and Testa Enterprises a 50 percent, 15-year property tax abatement worth $1.5 million on a mixed-use building, similar to the Watermark, on the east side of Front Street.

Paul Testa said the abatement would allow him to charge less to businesses and residents who buy or rent the 28 condominiums or 18,000 square feet of retail space in the building that would be called River Walk.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Natatorium.

Gina Mace can be reached at


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