Development ramping up in Boardman
By Jessica Hardin
The township is holding tightly to its reputation as a retail hub despite residents’ concerns more development contributes to flooding issues.
After the devastating May 28 rainfall, some affected residents advocated for a moratorium on new township development.
But, if anything, plans for development have ramped up – even though sales tax goes to Mahoning County, not the township.
A 157,000-square-foot Meijer store is in the works for the intersection of Lockwood Boulevard and U.S. Route 224.
A 7.64-acre plot of land north of Rulli Bros. on South Avenue was recently purchased by RCJR Holdings Ltd., whose sole active member is Robert Feldman, owner of Boardman Subaru.
Sheetz will take the place of the former fire station at the corner of Southern Boulevard and Route 224, and Mission BBQ is being built across the street from Chik-Fil-A on Route 224.
Trustees have assured residents the effect on flooding will be neutral, because incoming businesses will be required to include stormwater retention.
As residents continue to pack trustee meetings, township trustees voted to increase required parking lot green space from 10 to 15 percent.
New development accompanies new businesses popping up in former stores.
Party Place is now open in the former PetCo on Route 224. A Spirit Halloween store has popped up where the Toys ‘R’ Us was next door.
Ace Hardware opened in Boardman Plaza, and a storage company is taking the place of the former Hobby Lobby next to the Giant Eagle on Route 224. Tennessee-based seafood restaurant Storming Crab is replacing Smokey Bones on South Avenue. Johnny’s restaurant is moving farther north on Market Street to the plaza that contained Harbor Pets.
Still vacant are that former JoAnn Fabrics store at the corner of Market Street, a spot in the Boardman Plaza next to Planet Fitness and the building across the street from the former fire station.
The township also eagerly awaits promised changes at Southern Park Mall.
Washington Prime Group, the company that owns the mall, applied July 10 to demolish the former Sears Auto Repair Center.
Redevelopment plans involve green space for outdoor events and exterior-facing retail, dining and entertainment.
Washington Prime Group has scheduled a Community Day at Southern Park Mall on Sept. 7.