The joint work session between Beachwood City Council and the Planning & Zoning Commission was more about preparation than action.
GGP, the parent company of Beachwood Place Mall, will expand the retail hub in the coming months, but in order to do so, the city will need to make zoning text and map modifications.
Speaking on behalf of GGP, Jim Heller of Cleveland-based ka architects said there was no timetable or specific plan for for the expansion just yet. Leaving options open, he said the important part was that a 5.6-acre section of Richmond Road — from George Ziegler Drive to the southern property line of La Place — is rezoned from residential to the U-4B shopping center classification.
"We want to bring good, quality tenants to expand the mall and bring that much more solidarity to the future of Beachwood Place," Heller said.
GGP has purchased the remaining lots on the strip in question, and city planner George Smerigan agreed that there wouldn't be much use in keeping that area zoned under a residential classification.
The mall additions could be interior-exterior expansions, most likely restaurants, Heller said. Other new tenants could be housed in two-story expansions.
"How we assemble these together is yet to be seen," he said.
GGP has no official expansion plan to present to council yet, but Heller said the zoning change would help the company in its effort to attract tenants. He stressed that point because companies like GGP are operating in an atmosphere where "retailers are wooed." He said Beachwood has already missed out on four retailers "you would have loved to have had here."
He declined to identify the retailers, but said they would be announcing openings at in other eastern suburbs this fall.