The announcement by the Lorain County Growth Partnership of the redevelopment of the Cleveland Quarries property by Industrial Realty Group (IRG), LLC is just the latest investment in Lorain County’s economic future in 2007.
This $500 million development is located on nearly 900 acres of former industrial zoned land in Amherst Township, South Amherst Village and Brownhelm Township.
IRG President and Senior Managing Partner Stuart Lichter made the announcement in late December at Lorain County Community College’s John A. Spitzer Conference Center. LCCC is a member of the Lorain County Growth Partnership.
“This half billion dollar project equates to job creation in Lorain County that will benefit the entire community. Stuart Lichter believes in Lorain County and our future, and this infusion of millions of dollars sends a resounding signal that we are building on the positive momentum demonstrated throughout 2007,” said Lorain County Administrator Jim Cordes.
This project builds on the job growth throughout the past year with more than 1,200 new jobs created in Lorain County, according to Lorain County Commissioner Ted Kalo. The economic impact to the communities of Lorain County is estimated at least to be an additional $500 to 600 million. The investment expenditures stimulate the regional economy primarily through construction expenditures whereby, the money spent provides the wages paid to local construction workers and provides income to vendors for purchases of materials equipment, supplies and services. In addition, for the entire construction phase, the new investment will support a range of 1000 to 2000 equivalent positions during the construction phase.
Lichter’s plans for the Quarries will feature 1,150 residential units along with a hotel/lodge, marina, and equestrian center with trails and other amenities. The equestrian center will feature indoor and outdoor show rings. The residential units will include detached single-family homes, townhouses, farm estate lots with private stables, cluster homes, and marina-based condominiums. The area will also feature nearly 20 miles of rustic trails that will provide separate horse trails and pedestrian hiking areas. Other amenities planned will include a trap and skeet club, a swimming beach area, small craft marina and water related recreational activities.
The development plan envisions blending the built environment into nature. All structures including the lodge will have a rustic appearance. Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired homes will be constructed of glass, wood and local quarried sandstone materials. “The natural landscape will dominate this development not the built structures,” Lichter said. Nearly 700 acres off undeveloped areas will serve as the residents’ backyard. He praised the natural state of the various quarries, with their natural foliage, and exposed sandstone outcropping dotting the landscape. “The natural beauty is impossible to duplicate,” he said.
Phase I construction is expected to begin in 2008. Lorain County Commissioner Betty Blair lauded IRG’s decision to develop the project and commented that the county’s vision to create the infrastructure at the quarries was a major factor in Lichter’s decision to invest here. Lichter applauded the three local communities planning and zoning foresight and the vision of the Lorain County Commissioners in recognizing the tremendous asset that Lorain County has with the quarries and its commitment to the infrastructure that makes it attractive for development.
IRG continues to make significant investments in Lorain County and the Northeast Ohio region. IRG also acquires the Cleveland Quarries, which has been relocated to Vermilion. The Cleveland Quarries operation will be involved in providing quarried stone for the development project, as IRG plans to double the current output of the stone company. IRG’s other investment in Lorain County is the former Ford plant on Baumhart Road, which it purchased one year ago. That facility offers companies space for redevelopment.
Lorain County Commissioner Lori Kokoski emphasized that IRG’s plans to develop the quarry is yet another positive step for Lorain County’s future, and it exemplifies the collaborations across community lines with local the governments in South Amherst Village, Amherst Township, and Brownhelm Township. This is a tremendous advancement of our community.
Northeast Ohio has also benefited from other Lichter’s commitment to enhancing the region’s economy. In November 2007, IRG unveiled plans for the Goodyear plant in Akron and saved 3,000 jobs from moving away from the area.
IRG has specialized in the redevelopment and adaptive reuse of excess corporate real estate and manufacturing facilities, closed military and government facilities, underutilized corporate campuses, industrial parks, and large vacant buildings. With a portfolio of over 50 million square feet within 70 projects across the United States, IRG is among the largest private owners of commercial and industrial properties in the country and is widely recognized as one of the leaders in repositioning under-performing assets through adaptive reuse. Lichter owns and controls in excess of 50,000,000 square feet of real estate through IRG and affiliated companies.