Cafaro Co. moving forward with development project near Eastwood Mall

Staff report


A handful of companies are interested in establishing a facility in the Cafaro Co.’s Enterprise Park location off of state Route 46 near Sam’s Club, including Mercy Health, which has a “strong interest” in using it to expand St. Joseph Warren Hospital in Warren.

Joe Bell, Cafaro Co. spokesman, said it’s still early in discussions, but Mercy Health occupying part of the roughly 50-acre location is contingent on the Cafaro Co. applying for permits with agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency.

There are no signed agreements, and it “takes time to complete a land deal,” but the Cafaro Co. hopes construction can begin “sometime in 2019,” Bell said.

Late last week, residents near the proposed development received notices from the Army Corps of the proposed environmental impacts of the project, such as discharging fill into 15.44 acres of forested wetland and 1,727 feet of unnamed tributaries of Mosquito Creek.

The notice says the project would include construction of a medical office building, medical educational center, assisted living and memory-care facility, office building, mid-rise apartment building, doctor’s office building and a building for St. Joe’s.

The roughly 50 acres for the proposed project is about half of the land the Cafaro Co. owns there, Bell said. It’s the same property the Cafaro Co. proposed for construction of a second North American headquarters for Amazon last year.

The closest landmarks to the proposed site are Sam’s Club and a dead-end road beside Sam’s called Mall River Road. It is also at the end of Hiram Place, a short street just south of Sam’s Club.

Darlene St. George, Howland Township administrator, said township officials had a conversation with a development consultant working with the Cafaro Co. “months ago,” but that has been the extent of the township’s involvement.

She said the Enterprise Park property and residential streets Hiram Place, Kenyon Drive and Dawson Drive are all zoned the same way as the land on which the Sam’s Club is located. The residents successfully petitioned the township to change the zoning years ago, she said.