The Stow-Kent Shopping Plaza could become the site of a new mixed-use housing for those over 55, commercial and retail properties.
Citing the partially empty plaza off of Rt. 59 as a "major concern for many years" in her city, Stow Mayor Sara Drew says the city's now considering acting upon recommendations from a study conducted a few years ago-- by enacting a change in zoning by creating an overlay district.
"We are moving forward on some possible plans to take a look at redevelopment options," Drew said.
Burton Carol Management LLC, owns and operates various properties across Northeast Ohio, including the Stow-Kent plaza. President and CEO Rob Risman oversees the company, which formerly owned the State Road Shopping Center off of State Road in Cuyahoga Falls, now known as Portage Crossing.
Drew says conversations with Risman as of late, have been positive.
"It's been one of my primary goals to have that re-developed and turned into something that's an asset to the community instead of a detriment," Drew said.
The city's feasibility study is underway to determine what "works" for the location in terms of percentage of retail, commercial and housing.
"It would likely involve multi-family buildings, apartments, in some design," Rob Kuntz said, city planning director.
While there's no firm plans in place, he says it's likely the study could call for a larger commercial component for the 35-acre space.
"It may be that there's a lower percentage of retail, it's certainly a likely outcome," he said.
Kuntz describe's Stow's retail vacancy rate as slightly lower in comparison to other towns within the Akron region.
Currently, the plaza boasts a Fitworks and retailers Big Lots and Macy's.