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City and schools working on public-private effort to redevelop Parma's mall

August 15, 2013 

Erin Gadd, PCSD 440-885-2307/440-292-6004
Jeannie Roberts (440) 885-8181 

Schools adopt agreement with developer at board meeting

PARMA – The City of Parma and the Parma School District are working with Phillips Edison & Co. on a public-private effort on the nearly $70 million redevelopment of the Shoppes at Parma.

City and schools officials said the redevelopment is essential in helping spur economic growth and opportunity, important for the long-term health of both Parma and its school system. Phillips Edison acquired the former Parmatown Mall and Shopping Center last year and estimated the redevelopment would create about 700 construction jobs and, when completed, could mean 2,000 retail and office jobs over the next decade.

"As the seventh-largest city in the state, it's important we harness this opportunity and help create a destination point not only with a thriving mall but with all of the community assets we have in this Ridge-Day Drive corridor – Parma Community General Hospital, Byers Field, City Hall, and new state-of-the-art Cuyahoga Community Public Library," Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter said.

Moreover, said Superintendent Jeff Graham, the redevelopment is critical for the school district's future. As property valuations have fallen throughout the area, so has funding for the schools. "The redevelopment effort at the Shoppes at Parma is critical for stabilizing economic growth and securing property values," Graham said.

To help support the mall's redevelopment, the city and schools have been working with Phillips Edison on a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) package to allow the developer to recover the increase in property values created by a project to help finance a portion of the project.

Legislation must be passed by Parma City Council and signed by the mayor to allow for the TIF. An ordinance will be introduced today for first reading. However, as part of its on-going negotiations with Phillips Edison, Parma officials indicated a development agreement first had to be reached with the schools before TIF legislation moved forward.

Monday night, the PCSD school board approved a development agreement reached with Phillips Edison. Under the agreement, PCSD will receive an upfront payment of $2.35 million to help offset and recognize potential future tax losses as a result of the TIF package.

DeGeeter said the city is pleased the schools reached the development agreement with Phillips Edison. "In our on-going negotiations, reaching an agreement with the schools was one of the city's top conditions for supporting a TIF because our community is only as strong as our schools," he said.

With Phillips Edison's strong national reputation and track record, the administration believes the company's redevelopment efforts will spur growth and opportunity, DeGeeter said. The city is continuing to negotiate with Phillips Edison on a development agreement and is hopeful it can be reached soon, he said.