Akron City Council has given the city its blessing to enter into what it agrees is a win-win land deal for the city.
Council Monday night passed an ordinance which authorizes the city to purchase property for a local McDonald's restaurant franchise owner and essentially hold the place for two years while the company decides whether expanding is in its best interest.
Council believes the city is exposed to minimal risk because it is purchasing the 1.21 acre South Main Street property with $263,000 from Rubber City McDonald's LLC. If by April of 2012 the company decides not to acquire the property - currently occupied by fire protection company Brakefire Inc. - the city will return the money with no interest earned.
The opportunity arose to expand the restaurant at the property, at 963-991 S. Main St., when Brakefire announced plans to sell the property and relocate to the Springfield Township Joint Economic Development District, or JEDD.
"Rubber City may expand its eatery to South Main Street to add an eat-in dining room and increase the number of employees, and it presently does not have enough land," said Linda Omobien, Council's Economic Development and Job Creation Committee Chair. "This is an opportunity for us to keep jobs and tax revenue in Akron and assist another business moving into one of our JEDD's."
Even if the city is left with the land, Omobien (At Large) said the city still has a prime location to attract other opportunities for future development and job creation. The proposed site for expansion is positioned half-way between planned development projects at South Main and Mill Streets, and the new Firestone Technical Center in Firestone Park.
"It could be a win-win situation. The worst thing that could happen is the city could be stuck with the land," Omobien said. "Even so, we'll have a prime piece of property, at a prime location right off the expressway that we acquired with absolutely no interest."
Akron plans to complete the purchase within a month. If Rubber City McDonald's decides to build a new location to add to its current 22 area stores, the city will transfer the property to the company after April 30, 2010.