If a proposal to build 19 luxury townhomes on three Sloane Avenue properties moves forward, the new homeowners could be eligible for some assistance from the city.
Lakewood City Council paved the way Monday to make 13 parcels of land along the Rocky River a “community reinvestment area.”
The new distinction means that potential developments could qualify for tax abatements.
That would include recent plans from Abode Living, a development team interested in demolishing three homes in the 1300 block of Sloane Avenue to make way for the proposed Metro Townhomes.
The plans were given the green light at last week's Architectural Board of Review meeting.
But in order to designate an area as a CRA, the city would need the OK from the Ohio Department of Development, as well as the Lakewood School Board.
“We’ve still got a bunch of steps to through, but we’re working on it,” said Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development. “But we think it’s important — it’s an important development tool for that area along the river. Those are coveted properties.”
Ward 3 city councilman Shawn Juris said the incentive is aimed at benefiting future residents of the area, who could be eligible for tax abatements should they qualify.
The decision will ultimately be left to the city administration.
"I suppose that the developer is the first in line as these projects begin, however the developer doesn't really receive any direct benefit from the city — our new or relocated resident does," Juris said.
Most recently, the city designated both the Rockport Square and Rosewood developments as CRAs.
The CRA would include 13 parcels of land on the Lakewood side of the Rocky River, including the stalled Cliffs Project.
“It’s a having an expanded and creative tool kit,” Siley said. “We’re willing to at least investigate. The city doesn’t have to give tax abatements in the CRA, but it means we can if the project is right.
“The idea behind establishing the CRA was to position ourselves should the right development come our way.”
Andrew Brickman from Abode Living — the developer responsible for the upscale Eleven River homes in Rocky River — said recently that if all goes according to plan, work could begin on the Metro Townhomes project in the spring of 2012.