Report Suggests Commerce Park Redevelopment

Vacancy rate is high; area designed to house industries that have seen a sharp decline in Beachwood

Major changes to Commerce Park are necessary to keep it a competitive business space, according to a study conducted by the city.

In fact, the study suggests that the area, which has housed warehouse, manufacturing and wholesaling businesses since its inception, be redeveloped to accommodate residential, retail and service or governmental and institutional office space.

The preliminary results of the study, released in March, assert that the area suffers because it was built to accommodate industrial, warehouse and wholesale businesses. Its buildings and zoning codes support that today, though this industry has seen a sharp decline in Beachwood since the 1960s and 1970s, when the area was developed.

Between 1997 and 2007, Beachwood saw a 23 percent decline in the number of manufacturers and a 44 percent decline in its number of wholesalers.

But 72 percent of the buildings in the district are one of two types built specifically for manufacturing, warehousing and wholesaling operations. The report states that the vacancy rate is high in both industrial- and office-style buildings in Commerce Park and across the city.

But with the recent development of Eaton, Euclid Clinic and the proximity of Cuyahoga Community College, Beachwood stands to attract a whole new class of businesses.

To redevelop the area for another use, however, many changes would be necessary, like adding parking, better access to Harvard Road, conducting extensive remodeling to the buildings and rezoning.

Beachwood’s economic development efforts have been in transition since November, when the city

“In recent months, we have paused to evaluate our approach to business retention, expansion and recruitment,” said Mayor Merle Gorden in a press release announcing the new team.

He added, “This is the right time to look at how we remain a competitive, leading business center, not only in Ohio but throughout the Midwest.”

The Commerce Park Area Revitalization Study was conducted on 190 acres of land along Chagrin Boulevard between Green Road and the First Catholic Ladies Slovak Association and south to the Chagrin Highlands. 

Steve Rosen May 20, 2011 at 06:56 PM
I have a friend, BHS alum, who in two weeks is moving the company he started a few years back, from Beachwood to Bedford, after being unable to find suitable space here. Putting a road from Mercantile or Highpoint to Harvard would be good, but it is not was is causing the slow exodus of business from the area. That is a factor of many things. One of the complaints I hear from non-Beachwood people is Chagrin Blvd is too busy. The city is once again, updating the traffic system on Chagrin, that may make it better, though it is never that bad now. According to the article, 28% of the space is used as office, non-warehouse. What it does not tell us is the vacancy rate of either category. How does Beachwood compare to like cities in these categories? I wonder if this money will be recouped in additional development after the report is paid for. The money spent could have eliminated the need to increase the Aquatic Center pass rate for the year. It also could have restored Family Fun Day, based on the savings numbers we were told last year. I don't think it should be made into residential space. I think that would be unwise. And we do not need one more government building off of the tax role in the area.


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