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Projects on land near Bass Pro, casino advance

Rossford and the NAI Harmon Group are moving forward with a pair of projects expected to bring jobs and millions of dollars to the city.

The firm closed Monday on 87 acres of land adjacent to Bass Pro in the Crossroads area. The Harmon Business Park was purchased for $1.6 million. 

Plans for the $75 million project were announced last summer and include warehouse, distribution, and light-manufacturing space.

“The elected leaders in Rossford and Wood County demonstrated, once again, how development can flourish when everyone works together,” NAI Harmon President Ed Harmon said.

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Dallas Paul, a partner and managing broker at NAI Harmon, discusses the Rossford Entertainment District in June.

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NAI Harmon’s other project in town is the Rossford Entertainment District near Hollywood Casino. The district — expected to cost as much as $85 million — will include restaurants, retail shops, and a hotel. The retail and restaurant complex will be connected to the casino by an aerial gondola.

Construction on the business park was scheduled to begin in late 2016, but developers ran into wetlands issues. NAI Harmon development agent Stephanie Kuhlman said protected plants grew into craters left from the demolition of the failed amphitheater and arena project, which took about three months to remove and delayed the proceedings.

“When the EPA and Army Corps get involved, you’re kind of shut down at that point,” she said. “We’re looking to regroup quickly.”

Ms. Kuhlman said construction will begin this spring. She has had discussions with several potential tenants, and one has committed. The company is seeking at least 10 users for the 750,000-square-foot facility.

Shovels are also scheduled to hit the ground in the spring for the Rossford Entertainment District. City Council is discussing legislation to finalize details before construction begins.

“I couldn’t be happier with their involvement and investment in our great city,” Rossford Mayor Neil MacKinnon said. “They’re very smart and civic-minded. They’re all about everybody winning.”

An ordinance was introduced Monday to enter into an agreement with A.H. Rossford Holdings LLC. The deal states the developer will cover the cost of a new road to the entertainment district. 

Rossford has a similar agreement in place with the Ohio Department of Transportation for construction of the I-75 expansion and new access road. Both need to be approved by council.

Council is holding a special meeting Jan. 16 to further discuss these developments and provide details.

Contact Jay Skebba at: jskebba@theblade.com, 419-376-9414, or on Twitter @JaySkebbaBlade.

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