Brimfield planning new $50 million town center

Amanda Garrett

Brimfield Township is planning a new town center, which township officials hope will make Brimfield a unique destination.

The visual concept plan, which was endorsed by Township Trustees March 6, will include medical offices, a daycare center, nursing homes, a lighting district and bike and walking trails.

The new town center will be a multi-year project, zoning inspector Dick Messner said. If everything goes according to plan, the first phases of the project will begin when the widening of state Route 43 is complete and will take between 10 and 20 years to finish.

The new town center will help Brimfield contain growth and keep the rural nature of the community, township trustee Sue Fields said.

“We’re trying to plan for the future and not let the future creep up on us,” she said.

The new center will cost “around $50 million in today’s dollars,” Messner said. Funding will come from state and federal grants or from companies that want to develop on the acreage. The township has received a $2,000 grant with another $2,000 to come from the Smart Growth Foundation to continue research on the project.

The project was designed by Kent State’s Urban Design Center. Project manager Paul Vernon said the center’s mission is to make Brimfield a unique place to visit or live.

“We want Brimfield to feel like a specific place with a specific identity,” he said.

The designers tried to make the project match the nearby architecture, he said.

“We were respectful of some of the older housing nearby,” he said. “We used natural materials to make the buildings look significant and strong. We added strong architectural details like pitched roofs to make the buildings look substantial.”

The new town center will cover 596,300 acres and will include an elementary school and a town square. Altercare of Ravenna Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Care has already bought 7,000 square feet of space, and Robinson Memorial Hospital is looking into building a facility in the center, Messner said.

The plan also includes green space for parks and connections to hiking and biking trails, including a connection to the Mogadore Reservoir Park, Vernon said.

The visual concept also calls for the existing town plaza to undergo renovation, Vernon said.

“We added height and more details to give the shopping center greater visibility,” he said. “Right now you can’t really tell there’s a shopping center there.”

Fields said the new town center will help contain growth for future generations.

“I’ll be in my 80s when the town center is finished,” she said. “I’m doing this for my great-grandchildren, so they have a future and a good community to live in.”

Contact public affairs reporter Amanda Garrett at [email protected].