By Kevin Kelley
Following the lead of the city’s Planning Commission a week earlier, Westlake City Council approved several plans related to the construction of the American Greetings headquarters at Crocker Park Sept. 6.
All council members, save Ward 5 Councilman Michael O’Donnell, voted in favor of the Crocker Park plans. O’Donnell, an employee of American Greetings, abstained, as he has for all legislation associated with the card maker’s move to Westlake from Brooklyn.
A revised preliminary development plan supercedes one approved by the planning commission and council in February. Development plans for three parking garages and the building plan for American Greetings’ new corporate headquarters at Crocker Park were also approved.
Numerous conditions were tacked onto the plans by planning commission members in order to address concerns of neighbors and the city’s Planning and Economic Development Department.
In addition, Ohio Sen. Tom Patton announced last week that the State Controlling Board has released $1,250,000 in Legacy Grant funds to help fund the construction of the American Greetings headquarters facility and related parking and infrastructure improvements.
The money issued is the second of two $1,250,000 installments, the Republican state senator noted. The $2,500,000 total fulfills the commitment made by the state government during the negotiations that kept American Greetings in Ohio.
“American Greetings was founded in Cuyahoga County, and it belongs in Cuyahoga County,” Patton said in a statement. “This is a worthy investment that is retaining jobs for more than 1,700 workers. That is 1,700 families with a more secure future.”
No date has been set for the groundbreaking of the American Greetings headquarters, said Westlake planning Director Bob Parry. More preliminary work needs to be done, and bonds need to be issued, he said.