Sunday, Jul 15, 2018
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Rossford to partner with architectural firm on development plan

Rossford is moving forward with major plans for economic development.

City council unanimously approved a contract Monday night with Dallas-based O’Brien Architects to form a master plan for the city. The contract is for $496,489, with tax increment finance funds paying for 96 percent of the cost.

Mayor Neil MacKinnon has long advocated for development in town.

“We have a lot of roads we need fixed and projects we want added,” Mayor MacKinnon said. “The only way to do that is to grow ourselves into prosperity. This is going to be great for our entire city.”

Councilman Robert Ruse has asked for a master plan several times over the years. He said voting yes and waiving the second and third readings of the resolution gave him “heartburn” because of how much money was being spent.

“Hopefully we're doing the right thing for the good of the community,” Mr. Ruse said.

Council heard a lengthy presentation from O'Brien earlier this month. Vice President Mick Granlund walked through mixed-use developments his firm completed for clients such as Warren Buffett and the Dallas Cowboys.

The deal states O'Brien would work with Gateway Planning, also based in Dallas, and Toledo's Poggemeyer Design Group. Parties involved envision a mix of retail, office, residential, and industrial spaces.

The master plan would be the first of its kind in Rossford since the 1970s. The plan covers the entire city, although emphasis will be placed on the Crossroads area.

Bass Pro Shops opened in 2007 in the Crossroads, and the city is trying to build up the area. The $75 million Harmon Business Park opened in the area last year.

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

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