Beachwood to Revitalize Old Commerce Park

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor With the growth of the healthcare, retail and service businesses and the decline of the manufacturing sector, Beachwood’s Commerce Park has gone from being an active industrial center to a district struggling with old, tired buildings. But [...]

With the growth of the healthcare, retail and service businesses and the decline of the manufacturing sector, Beachwood’s Commerce Park has gone from being an active industrial center to a district struggling with old, tired buildings. But the city is dedicated to reviving the area.

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At a meeting on Jan. 26, the city’s planning commission recommended that Beachwood rezone much of the 190-acre park to open up redevelopment opportunities in the old industrial district. Revised zoning would permit owners to replace obsolete buildings with new, taller ones, adapted to market needs and attractive to new tenants such as retailers, restaurants, doctors’ offices and medical companies.

Commerce Park is a key employment center. With 83 buildings and a combined total floor area of just under 3 million square feet, it was originally established in the 1960s as an industrial/warehousing area of primarily owner-occupied facilities.

For almost a year now, the city has been conducting studies and crafting plans for the site. Filling empty spaces and replacing outdated buildings would provide important tax revenues. Keeping businesses and attracting new companies is also important. To do so, the city needs to provide housing for young professionals.

Some companies have bought land and already made plans. Mark Munsell and the NRP Group want to demolish the Commerce Park I, II and III office buildings to make way for high-end apartments that are expected to have the most expensive rents in the suburb. On Jan. 26, the city’s planning and zoning commission also voted in favor of a rezoning for the $40 million-plus project, which would include approximately 340 apartments and a swimming pool.

Beachwood is considering offering incentives to help investors fix up their properties and reward companies that create jobs. The revitalization of the 1960s-era business park would surely provide important economic growth for the East Side suburb.