Land at Whitney-Pearl Sold, Clearing Way for Development

Restaurant, gas station already eyeing vacant property

WXZ Development Inc., which has already proposed building an  restaurant and a Sheetz gas station at the corner of Whitney and Pearl roads, is a step closer to breaking ground.

The vacant 17 acres, which has been tied up in bankruptcy and foreclosure for years, was sold Tuesday at a sheriff's auction.

Old National Bank of Evansville, IN was the sole bidder, paying the minimum price of $3,333,334 for the land.

"Old National Bank will be the owner, but WXZ will be the preferred developer," Strongsville Economic Development Director Brent Painter said. "They've been in partnership."

WXZ will take over the long-in-coming development at Pearl and Whitney roads, picking up where the Toledo-based Timberstone development group left off when it ran into financial obstacles and bowed out in 2009.

The formal sale will give the bank and Fairview Park-based WXZ control of the land.

Painter said WXZ is expected to get started on the rezoning process as soon as possible.

The land is currently zoned general business and would have to be rezoned to restaurant-recreational for O'Charley's and to motorist services for Sheetz. 

"It sounds like they're really ready to go forward," Painter said.

So far, two businesses have been proposed for the property.

The Nashville, TN-based O'Charley's is seeking to construct a 6,400-square-foot eatery that would seat about 200 on the other side of the access road from .

If things go smoothly, the company could break ground in the summer and open four months later, architect Kim Phillips said.

Sheetz would closer to the corner of Whitney and Pearl.

About two dozen residents at a meeting in January welcomed O'Charley's, which would include a patio and an extensive menu. They were less enthusiastic about Sheetz, with some saying the station would put the nearby out of business.

"We should start seeing some activity in the area soon," Painter said. "The sale today was a step toward development there."

In 2005, residents were promised a major retail project, to be called Renaissance Park, that would include a grocery store and a mix of other retail and restaurants by original developer David Lewanski, who said he had commitments from Lowe's, Bed Bath & Beyond and Circuit City to locate there.

Lowe's and  have been constructed so far. Circuit City is out of business, and  built a store at the Plaza at SouthPark.

When Lewanski left, Timberstone proposed a multi-phased project that would include smaller retail stores, restaurants and office space. 

Timberstone's other Strongsville project, a Kindercare on an outlot at , was . 


Scott Gray May 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM
O'Charley's maybe, not really familiar with them. But Sheetz, I would much rather look at vacant land
Nick America May 30, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Richard May 31, 2012 at 02:29 AM
I am an O'Charley's fan. Glad to welcome them to Strongsville! They have the BEST salsa of any restaurant around.
T. Toriano June 03, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I find it interesting that The City of Strongsville used our tax dollars to sue Home Depot, in order to put in "the ring road" between Wal-Mart and Lowe's. The city's reasoning was: that were to many accidents on Pearl Road and Whitney due the increased traffic caused by drivers moving between Home Depot and Lowe's. Now, suddenly, the city is in favor of a Sheetz gas station, which will certainly cause many more traffic problems than the alleged ones they sued Home Depot over. I wonder why city officals changed their minds. Did they waste our tax dollars on the Home Depot lawsuit (and subsequent appeal)? Or is it possible that they are getting their pockets lined by the Sheetz Developers? Strongsville residents should be demanding answers.
tom m June 03, 2012 at 02:02 PM
PARANOID PARANOID .... the only people in all of strongsville who DID NOT want that ring road built was home depot ...now go back to your crayons and your 9/11 conspiracy web sites and leave the sane people alone P.S. we did land on the moon
Mark June 03, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Really "Tom M"? The only people in Stongsville who did not want the ring road built was Home Depot??? I'm sorry "Tom M" but you sure as hell dont speak for me, and attacking people without stating facts makes it seem like you are actually in on the shady business that seems to be happening....IE, get your own crayons you pathetic, immature child.
T. Toriano June 03, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Tom: I have stated the facts, as they have actually occured. And, all you can do is attack with insults. Who should go back to their crayons? As long as people like you live in this country, government officials will remain unaccountable. You would rather attack another person, than have an honest and decent conversation about our different opinions.
tom m June 03, 2012 at 02:42 PM
really ok mark since you did not want the ring please tell what us what you have against it
tom m June 03, 2012 at 02:52 PM
actually you have stated no facts since your claim of "the city is in favor of a Sheetz gas station, which will certainly cause many more traffic problems than the alleged ones they sued Home Depot over" which is false since the lawsuit was over 3 years old and the 90,000 was sitting in an escrow account all that time you also stated "Or is it possible that they are getting their pockets lined by the Sheetz Developers" so what you are saying is that 3 years are sheetz bribed the city to put a ring road in so they could on land that was for Renaissance Park that went bankrupt so get your facts straight before stating the city is taking bribes paranoid citizen
T. Toriano June 03, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Tom: Your last comments to me make no sense. Also, please note that I did not STATE that pockets were being lined. I asked a question, as all informed citizens should do. You continued insults "paranoid citizen" show me that you are not capable of inteligent conversation. And, as a result, I will not dignify your rants with any futher responses.
joe simonton June 03, 2012 at 03:35 PM
your comment of the possibility of the city lining their pockets comes across as stupid, since tom was correct that land was meant for another project when the road was first planned
T. Toriano June 03, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Joe: You are confusing the issue. The city said the ring road was needed due to traffic concerns. Now thay have done an about face on behalf of Sheetz. WHY? What has changed? And why is my question "STUPID"? I will not dignify any more insults with a response. People who feel the need to substitute insults for facts, and twist my words, are not worth my effort. Have a lovely day.
tom m June 03, 2012 at 04:06 PM
here is what you said >>>Or is it possible that they are getting their pockets lined by the Sheetz Developers? you tossed it out there about a project that was started years before sheetz wanted to even come here and yes the ring road helps cut traffic by keeping a lot of cars off pearl road as will the road also help when sheetz is built
joe simonton June 03, 2012 at 04:28 PM
really when are you going to start stating facts ??? tell the truth, you are one of the locals who do not want a sheetz near their house, and you are drumming up suggestions of bribes to stir an empty pot
T. Toriano June 03, 2012 at 04:41 PM
I just discovered that Joe and Tom are considered to be "trolls", who post comments on websites just to cause arguements. Thay really don't have anything meaningful to say. They just love to insult someone else's opinion. These two take the attention off of the real discussion with their antics. Just take a look at their other posts on The Patch. Someone should monitor and sensor them.
joe simonton June 03, 2012 at 05:28 PM
you mean censure ????? why im not the one saying that the city is possibly getting their pockets lined by the Sheetz Developers (enjoy your new gas station)
lyn June 03, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Seriously? Are there people commenting here who think that there should be no future development at the north end of Strongsville? Or that the city does not want any more development on the north section of Pearl unless "they are getting their pockets lined"? Really? In a city of 45,000 a gas station like Sheetz is most definitely needed at that end, especially on Pearl, a major road in the city near retail properties and I-71.. Be realistic and quit complaining.
lyn June 03, 2012 at 11:42 PM
So why aren't you upset with Home Depot for costing the city money on such a dumb issue? There was no good reason to not put in the road, except for competition - which they feared. And, what does going to a gas station have to do with lessening the traffic going between 2 stores? You are really grasping at straws to not have a Sheetz there. Get over it.
O'leary July 05, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Are they building the Sheetz next to O'Charley's?
Debbie Palmer July 05, 2012 at 11:31 AM
O'leary, the Sheetz issue hasn't been decided yet.


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