If everything goes to plan Garfield Heights' court, jail and police headquarters will be moving to a new building at the City View complex, the much-maligned shopping center built on a landfill that, in its early years, was beset by methane leaks and Ohio EPA actions.
That's what mayor Vic Collova said in his state of the city speech earlier this month. "We're going to see some interesting things happening there," he said, referencing tentative plans to move the court and jail to the site.
In a followup call with Scene this week, Collova confirmed the city will be meeting at the end of February with "our bond people and financial consultants" to try and put together the money to make it happen.
"If we could do it, we're probably talking 18 months down the road, not to start, but to complete it," Collova said. "The EPA has said the site is completely fine, and our fire department is out there testing all the time, and as long as the (methane) monitoring system is maintained and controlled... there's been a lot of misconception about the methane. We have Giant Eagle there, selling food, and there's no way the health department or EPA would allow that to happen if there was an issue."
City View has languished after tenants, including Wal-Mart, closed up shop, and a series of lawsuits,
which have since been settled.
As for the Bridgeview site next door, control of that long-dormant site, distressed and vacant after the financial crash, was transferred last year to Craig Realty Group. The company cut a $4 million check last year to the city to help fund the about $6 million cost of widening Transportation Boulevard. "They didn't do it because they want Garfield Heights to have a new bridge," Collova said in his speech.
"They have a project going with the old Bridgeview site, they have a plan," Collova told Scene. "The plan isn't set in stone so there's not a lot that can be said, but ODOT knows about the project they're talking about and, before that can be completed, the ramps and bridges would have to be widened. They have a lot of vendors, nobody for sure, but there's a lot of activity and we're receiving calls, the new owners are receiving calls, and I do anticipate something happening." Plans for an outlet shopping center fell through last year.
Collova said the current jail/courts building, older and plagued by maintenance problems, would be torn down and the land sold.