Gina Mace
Ohio.com correspondent

CUYAHOGA FALLS: The date the city was to turn over ownership of the former State Road Shopping Center to a Cleveland developer has been extended because of a proposed zoning change.


Stark Enterprises was expected to close July 31 on 29 acres of State Road property the company is purchasing from the city. Council voted 10-to-1 to approve the request of Cuyahoga Falls development director Sue Truby by extending the the closing date to Oct. 31, to allow for a public hearing necessary before a zoning change.


The developer is asking that the former State Road shopping center property be rezoned from mixed use to commercial. Planning director Fred Guerra said the property was zoned mixed use to allow commercial and residential development.


"After 2008, the housing market changed," Guerra said. "Stark Enterprises realized that the (Portage Crossing) should be all retail."


As plans for Mennard's and Giant Eagle, the two anchor tenants, weave through the planning process, it became apparent that the current zoning will not work for the Portage Crossing development.


"There would be too many modifications to make a 100,000 square foot building function as mixed use," Guerra said.


That doesn't mean that residential development is out of the question for the State Road corridor in the future.


"Long term, if it is rezoned, (Stark) can build the best development he can," Guerra said. "Then we can move forward with mixed use (development) on State Road."


A public hearing on the zoning change is scheduled for Sept. 10, after Council returns from a month-long break.