Elyria is also more business friendly. For the first time in our history we have a new Economic Development Plan, a new Elyria Community Improvement Corporation, a more flexible Design Review Process; and new business development incentive programs – all to help us better attract, retain and expand businesses and create new jobs. And while we have seen a few set-backs (Bendix), we are also seeing results: 200 new jobs created in 2014 and an additional 135 in process with at least four new businesses coming to Elyria in 2015, as well as several business expansions (for detail see State of City at www.cityofelyria.org).
You will see major business projects moving forward on Broad Street, the Midway Mall area and Chestnut Commons. A new restaurant will replace the run-down bars and the majority of the other dilapidated buildings between Elyria Municipal Court and its current site. An investor has purchased four of the largest and most challenged buildings downtown and has plans to renovate and lease them. The City and County are working together to expand transportation services offered out of the Lorain County Transportation and Community Center – including more bus, transit and passenger rail. A new CourtYard by Marriot Hotel will be built in the Midway area and a new Medical Building and Commercial Retail buildings are going up in Chestnut Commons.
Thanks largely to government grants, Elyria has completed or started over $46 million of infrastructure improvements since I took office. Among them: the Midway area SR57-49th Street Bridge reconfiguration; the Ford Road Bridge; improvements on 39 streets and 6 major roadways; the current replacement of Middle Avenue; the repair of over 4,000 feet of sanitary sewers; water main replacements in the areas of Eastern Heights, St. Judes and Furnace Street and more. Grants leveraged by the City also made possible over $2 million of improvements in Cascade Park and even more improvements are coming with the City’s new 50-year Lease Agreement with the Lorain County MetroParks that started this year.