Stark Proposes Expansion of Crocker Park Mixed-Use Complex in Westlake

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor Stark Enterprises is currently in negotiations with the city of Westlake to approve an updated Crocker Park master plan for expanding the retail, residential and commercial center. The updated plan would expand the project to 3 [...]

Stark Enterprises is currently in negotiations with the city of Westlake to approve an updated Crocker Park master plan for expanding the retail, residential and commercial center. The updated plan would expand the project to 3 million square feet, more than twice the current size of stores, restaurants, apartments and homes along the west side of Crocker Road.

Crocker Park was built in 2004 and encompasses the equivalent of 12 city blocks. The mixed-use town center includes 800,000 square feet of retail, 500,000 square feet of residential and 100,000 square feet of Class A office space. The existing retail space is 99 percent leased, while 98 percent of the office space is occupied and the 216-unit apartment complex is filled to capacity. Crocker Park attracts approximately 20 million visitors each year.

Plans for the more than $100 million expansion include a seven-story office building connected to another six-story building for American Greetings’ offices, along with three four- to five-story garages, a hotel, more stores and restaurants and even a bowling alley. It would significantly increase tax revenues for Cuyahoga County and is expected to create more than 3,000 new jobs.

However, area residents are concerned about living next to tall office buildings instead of a housing development as well as the potential for traffic jams. A study predicts that if Stark Enterprises builds and fills all 3 million square feet, rush-hour traffic in and out of Crocker Park could nearly triple by 2030.

In order to reduce congestion along Clemens, the city plans to build a split bypass at Crocker and Clemens roads and add another lane to the I-90 westbound ramp onto Crocker Road. That project would cost $5 million, with $2.5 million coming from federal safety funds. The job could start in 2012 or 2013 and would take a single construction season.