November 22, 2014

Elyria
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Council OKs AMCOR deal, renewal plan

LORAIN — Council unanimously passed an ordinance approving the city’s ninth urban renewal area and an agreement with a business that had objected to its inclusion in the plan area.

The Downtown Urban Renewal Area encompasses 45 acres that stretches between the Black River and Broadway from East Erie Avenue south to the overpass.

American Metal Chemical Corp. (AMCOR) hired a law firm to protest having nine of its 11 parcels labeled “blighted” as part of a required blight study. AMCOR wanted out of the plan area altogether.

The agreement with the city states it will not exercise its powers of eminent domain to take AMCOR’s property, nor will it rezone the property unless AMCOR requests it.

The city agrees to extend Ninth Street to give AMCOR street access and AMCOR agrees to correct code violations.

“This agreement can be replicated so other businesses in the area who are interested have a model they can follow when working with the city,” said Don Romancak, chief planner with the Community Development Department.

Having the plan itself approved by Council puts an end to a process that has lasted for nearly a year.

“Even though it took as long as it did, I’m glad we finally reached an agreement with one of the members of our business community,” said Service Director Robert Gilchrist.

Urban renewal areas are eligible for tax incremental financing, which allows municipalities to direct property taxes to a specific area targeted for redevelopment.

“We’re happy we can move forward with the Downtown Urban Renewal Plan and offer additional incentives for businesses to locate in the downtown area,” Mayor Tony Krasienko said. “Lorain is an aged urban city, and when you have to compete with cities like Avon and Westlake, which can offer identical tax incentives as the city of Lorain, you have to find additional ways to bring business into our city.”

Contact Alicia Castelli at 329-7144 or acastelli@chroniclet.com.