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The purpose of the development is to take underutilized properties in a high-demand area (i.e., Hudson Public Power, salt dome, school bus garage) and add office and housing that will support the retail center. This will boost economic vitality and create a live-work-play environment that is in demand regionally and nationally. Putting a City Hall or Recreation Center on the property would defeat the purpose, simply switching out one tax exempt property for another. Visit our Get the Fact publication for more information.
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Downtown Phase II has been the vision of City leaders – and residents – for many years. It was born out of the 1995 Comprehensive Plan to restore industrial sites in downtown Hudson and return it to its economic prominence. Completed in 2004, Phase I transformed the Morse Controls site into First and Main with retail, office, housing and green space. Building on the success of First and Main, Downtown Phase II will revitalize the remaining 20 acres of industrial properties (Windstream, Hudson Public Power and School Bus Garage) into Class A office space and housing for empty nesters and young professionals.
With Downtown Phase II, people can live, work, and play downtown. The offices and homes built on the property will bring in new tax revenues for the City and the Hudson schools, and it will bring new customers to support the current downtown stores and restaurants.
Here's what's planned for Downtown Phase II:
For more information, visit Project Description.
On January 22, 2019, Hudson City Council passed a resolution authorizing placing an issue for an advisory election on the May 7, 2019 ballot. Like the "advisory election" that was held for First and Main,Issue 11 seeks the opinion of the voters of Hudson on whether the City should continue with the redevelopment of the Downtown Phase II area. The question to be put to voters will be whether to continue with the redevelopment of the Downtown Phase II area as a public and private development, subject to final approval by the Architectural and Historic Board of Review and City Council. A "yes" vote is in support of continuing the Downtown Phase II process. A "no" vote would be against continuing with Downtown Phase II. Learn more about the ballot issue...
As part of planning for Downtown Phase II, traffic impact studies were performed that examined current traffic conditions and what might be anticipated after Downtown Phase II. Any traffic impacts will be offset through using smart signal technology that uses cameras to monitor traffic in real-time and adjust the signals to help keep traffic flowing, as well as traffic calming and other methods. For more information, visit Traffic.
The City is committed to maintaining the look and feel of the Western Reserve architecture and character of the downtown. The First and Main Development (Phase I) overcame unique challenges as the project was directly abutting the National Register Historic District. The Phase II project requires the same attention to design to ensure the final project looks and feels a part of the downtown.The same care and scrutiny that went into First and Main will be taken in the design of Downtown Phase II to ensure it maintains the quality and character of the community and our architectural standards.
As a public and private development, most of the project will be paid for by the developer. The City's costs would be recouped through Tax Increment Financing (TIF), which means that the costs will be covered by the new income taxes generated by the new jobs that the project will create, as well as land sale proceeds and tax revenues from the new jobs generated by the project. A TIF also will generate new property tax revenues from the new homes to be built in the project that will benefit the Hudson Schools.
This is the same TIF method that was used to build First and Main. With First and Main, the developer paid for the majority of the project costs and owns most of the land, and the City's portion was paid for by a TIF. Built in 2004, First and Main CIty costs have already been recouped and paid for through the TIF.
The project is projected to generate an additional $1.900,000 in property taxes annually through the new homes, and an additional $700,000 to $1,000,000 annually in income tax generated through the new jobs created in the office space.
Every development project in Hudson must adhere to the City's strict regulations that require storm water management to be incorporated into the design of the development. These regulations will require post development run-off rates to be less than the existing rates prior to development. Additionally, the existing site is currently home to multiple light industrial uses established decades ago. We are thoroughly examining the storm water needs of the development to ensure that whatever is build adheres to our strict standards.
The City created a parking committee, comprised of City staff, downtown merchants and other key individuals to study parking concerns in the current downtown area and the future needs for the development. A formal parking study was performed, and it was determined that Downtown Phase II would include a 300-space parking structure to serve the needs of the new offices proposed in the development. The structure will be located at the end of Clinton Street at Morse Road and will be hidden, tucked behind and in between the office buildings being proposed in that location. The structure would be designed to blend with the architecture of the new development and the surrounding neighborhoods, similar to was was done in the First and Main area.
The parking structure is illustrated in purple below. The blue buildings are offices.
No, there will be no income or property tax increases as a result of Downtown Phase II.
Tax Increment FInancing (TIF) allows the City to borrow the money to pay for the City's portion of the project and pay it back over the course of 20 years using the new income and/or property taxes generated by the new offices and homes in the project. That way, the City does not have to use current general fund money to pay off the note. A TIF was used for Phase I - First and Main, and the borrowed amount has already been paid back through the increased income property tax revenues generated by the stores and homes in the project.
Lots of rumors are flying about Section 8 housing in Downtown Phase II, so let’s look at the facts.
First, the 30-unit apartment complex with lease rates above market value has been removed from the Downtown Phase II plan at Council’s direction.
There are two types of federally subsidized (Section 8) housing programs, none of which are feasible for Hudson. There are only six government-funded housing complexes in Summit County; none in Hudson. This will not be a government-funded or subsidized housing development.
The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) (commonly called Section 8) helps low income households with rental assistance through vouchers. This voucher program follows the individual, not a specific housing development. Anyone could use an HCVP voucher to lease/rent any property in Hudson provided they meet both the program eligibility requirements and can qualify for the lease rates, which in Hudson tend to be higher than average.
To be eligible for an HCVP voucher, an individual’s income must be below $23,450 per year, and under $33,450 for a family of four. Eligibility for vouchers is narrow and there is a waiting list to get into the program.
The housing rates for Downtown Phase II are at market rate or higher. Anticipated purchase prices range from $285,000 to over $450,000, and anticipated leases for the condominium flats (if they are leased rather than sold) would be $2,100 to $2,400 or more a month.
Even at the lowest purchase/lease rates, an individual or family whose income met the low-income thresholds of the program, would not qualify to lease these above-market-price units based on their income.
For more about the housing options in Downtown Phase II visit: https://www.hudson.oh.us/1059/Housing.
The City has secured the right of first refusal for the one-acre 94 Owen Brown parcel as part of the agreement to purchase four acres, including Windstream's 100 Owen Brown building, which is now being demolished. The right of first refusal means Windstream cannot sell it to anyone else without offering it to the City of Hudson first. We have worked in partnership with Windstream from the very beginning, and they are working to relocate the operations in that building to other locations. Windstream understands and is acceptable with their property being identified and discussed as part of the development plan. The City has intentionally held off on further discussions regarding the potential purchase until the pending community vote in May.
The proposed commercial building that would be located at 94 Owen Brown would be constructed in a later phase of the project. The city does not anticipate construction starting on the office building in the initial phases, which gives Windstream time to finish its consolidation. Council has been involved in this strategy, as has the developer and Windstream. We are all partners moving in the same direction.