August 25, 2015 [Grant Segall, The Plain Dealer]
BEREA, Ohio — A Speedway with room for semi-trailer trucks should rise in Berea’s North End and three nearby city-owned buildings will come down soon in hopes of further development in that area.
After winning a long legal battle against Berea, Speedway has razed the old Toth Buick and gotten a construction permit for a station on the site.
The Speedway should rise soon on the southeast corner of the diagonal intersection of Sheldon Road and North Rocky River Drive near Front Street. It will have some bays big enough for semis. Speedway, based in Enon in downstate Ohio, owns about 2,760 stations in 22 states.
In 2012, the Berea Planning Commission voted 5-2 against Speedway’s proposal, fearing traffic from the semis. Speedway sued in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, where Judge Shirley Strickland Saffold upheld the city. Then a three-judge appeals panel unanimously reversed her. City maneuvers delayed construction a while, but the Ohio Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
Speedway officials Monday declined to comment on plans for the Berea station.
Meanwhile, the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp., better known as the Cuyahoga Land Bank, plans to raze the three buildings for the city, which owns more than 12 acres there and seeks a private developer for it.
Cuyahoga County will pay the land bank $300,000 to demolish the last three buildings standing on city-owned land in the North End: the former Palker Automotive, Mid-City Tire and Automotive Creations. The land bank has razed two other city-owned buildings there in past years.
Matt Madzy, the city’s economic development director, says the land bank has begun testing the three remaining buildings and should raze them in the next couple of weeks.
Despite the semis, Madzy says the North End, which is near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, rail lines, interstates 71 and 480, the I-X Exposition Center and the Cleveland Browns’ headquarters, should still attract developers.