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Economic Development Update from Mayor Brubaker

May 20, 2024

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Did you know Mayor Kevin Brubaker posts to Facebook each week? These posts aim to update the community on the latest activities in City Hall and offer Elyrians the chance to interact with Mayor Brubaker in a casual setting. They are published each Friday or Saturday and usually include a detailed account of the Mayor’s activities the week prior, or occasionally an open letter to the community on a single topic. Below is a recent post from Mayor Brubaker regarding Economic Development. If you haven’t done so already, visit our Facebook page and be sure to click ‘like’ or ‘follow.’ And remember, all Elyrians are welcome to attend City Council and Committee meetings for more detailed updates and information regarding the entire City of Elyria.

(May 3rd, 2024) From the Mayor’s Office:

Good evening, Elyria! This week’s update will be a bit different, and much longer (sorry!). I have a lot to say about what’s next for Downtown. But first, we had some big news on the economic development in other areas of town this week which brought lots of good comments and questions. With these developments affecting all of us, I’d like to take some time to respond and hopefully share some good information.

As you know, the City announced a partnership to build 422 homes and commercial spaces at Reaser Pointe Crossing. A few days later the Port Authority announced that ICP will purchase the Mall and begin a massive redevelopment project, funding in place. These announcements follow our efforts to launch a new hotel, new senior housing, an activity center, and new manufacturing and industrial expansion. These are historic investments for our community now running in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

I’m extremely proud of my team, the public servants working day in and day out to pull together these projects, and the relationships we have developed have been critical to making it all happen. But, what do these projects really mean to you? What do these investments mean to all of us?
First, new homes mean additional funding for our schools. This is great news for anyone raising kids here in Elyria. New homes also bring in additional revenue to the City, which means increased funding for our parks, our streets, our sanitation needs, and just about any other City service you can think of. In other words, those new homes on the other side of Elyria mean more funding for the schools, the services, and the neighborhoods right where you live.

It also means we retain more residents in addition to attracting new residents. With new homes being built here, the Elyrians that are ready to sell their current home and buy new no longer have to look outside of Elyria to do so. This means their investment stays right here in our community, and it also frees up their previous home to those who are looking to purchase. The effects of these home developments are far reaching, and the benefits can be found in neighborhoods far from the actual new construction.

Of course it’s a similar story with the mall redevelopment, the new hotel, the manufacturing expansions, the new senior activities center, etc. But looking at these commercial spaces we see a critical additional benefit: jobs. Hundreds of jobs. High-skilled jobs. Entry-level jobs. Jobs for those seeking part-time work and jobs for those launching their careers. All this in addition to the construction jobs needed to build the infrastructure and the actual buildings themselves. And remember, all these jobs also mean additional revenue to the City, which means additional funding for your parks and streets and City services.
This is an historical moment for Elyria. We haven’t seen this level of investment and growth in our community for a very long time. But it’s not enough. When I asked for your vote last fall I told you I will be focusing on the economic development of Chestnut Commons, the Mall area, and Downtown. With the first two points of this plan now in development, it’s time for a shift in focus.
Like many Elyrians, the Downtown area holds a special place in my heart. Many of us remember a much busier downtown and a square bustling with folks coming and going to shops and eateries. We want to see the downtown refreshed and revitalized, not just because it’s good for the business owners but it’s good for all of us – just like all those new homes and industry developments. A refreshed Downtown will also bring benefits to every single Elyrian.
I can share with you the roof has been completed at Forge 417. The Shoppes on Broad project has entered into the architectural review phase. Three commercial spaces on Broad were just made available for rent for the first time in years. A new plant store is coming to East Ave near Broad. A new pop-up shop has been open for a week in City Hall, the first of many in what I hope to be yet another launchpad for small businesses downtown. The new Italian restaurant is absolutely delicious and Erie Coffee and the Foundry are doing great. New concert dates have been added for the Square this summer.
These are the first steps. There is much to be done, but I don’t want to wait. And I don’t want you to wait, either. Come downtown and enjoy yourself. Grab a coffee. Browse the vintage clothes. Have lunch. Go for a walk. Enjoy a picnic in the park. Let the kids run around the grass along the courthouse. Take some photos of the flowers or the historic buildings. Share them with your friends. Try the Italian place. Stroll over to the Library and check out the growing list of activities for all ages. Take in the history of the place. Walk a block to the East Falls and have a seat for a moment.
In other words, we don’t have to wait to enjoy our Downtown. We can enjoy it today and we can all watch it grow, together. The more we do so, the more businesses take notice.
In the coming weeks and months my administration will be laser-focussed on Downtown Revitalization. Like the housing developments, the mixed-use development on Reaser Pointe, the new buildings going up around the mall, and the mall-redevelopment itself, we will make this happen. I invite you to come with us.
Stay tuned.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you! I promise to return to the shorter updates next week. Have a great Friday and a fantastic weekend.
Take care,
-Mayor Brubaker