There won't be a better deal for Oakwood

As property owners living within 200 feet of the Oakwood development, we would like to weigh in regarding the development of Oakwood Commons.

Obviously, we would love to have the entire Oakwood Country Club property turned over to parkland. However, we believe that is not a realistic option. The First Interstate deal, before the communities of South Euclid and Cleveland Heights, will turn over nearly half of the property to our communities as permanent green space. We believe that it is in the best interest of both cities to take the proposal because there is never going to be a better deal on the table.

We don’t believe there will ever be enough private donations to compete with private developers. In addition, if this deal fails, another big-box developer may “scorch and burn” the entire property, similar to the proposed WalMart proposal in the 1990s. As well, a housing developer may patiently wait for the current housing slump to rebound and propose a housing development over the entirety of the property, with no rezoning required.

We, too, have concerns (increased traffic on Warrensville, traffic cutting through the residential streets of the Bexley Park neighborhood, how to access the park), and do not believe this area needs another big-box development. However, the developer obviously believes that the project will be successful at that location, and has made some interesting proposals to make it an innovative and forward-thinking center. We believe that our efforts should be collectively focused on ensuring that First Interstate fulfills its pledges and make this the best development possible. Most important is the promise to create new parkland on property that can be used by all of us.

As South Euclid homeowners, whose property will be greatly affected by the Cleveland Heights portion of the development, we urge our Heights neighbors to work with South Euclid to guarantee that First Interstate fulfills its environmental proposals and to make Oakwood Commons the best development possible.

Marc and Peggy Hull

Harwood Road, South Euclid

Marc Hull is a member of the South Euclid Architectural Review Board

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Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 10:14 AM, 03.01.2011