Broadview Heights Council opposes proposed Goodwill donation centre/store

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BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio – A North Carolina developer wants to build a Goodwill donation center and retail store on Broadview Road just south of Ohio 82but the members of the city council have sworn to stop the project.

Piedmont Cos. Inc. of Lincoln, North Carolina, would build the 12,600 square foot Goodwill Center on a vacant 3 acre lot on the west side of Broadview, just north of the new Discount Drug Mart.

However, Piedmont and Goodwill need planning commission and city council approval first – and that prospect seems uncertain at best.

Council Chairman Robert Boldt told a Piedmont representative in February that Goodwill is a good company that gives back to the community, but the store/donation center is not downtown-owned.

Other council members agreed, saying Goodwill should relocate elsewhere in Broadview Heights.

Greg Modic — president of land development at Petros Development Group, a Broadview Heights developer that owns the proposed Goodwill site — argued that the city’s zoning code allows a Goodwill on Broadview near Ohio 82.

Despite council opposition to a goodwill in the town centre, Piedmont filed an application with the Planning Commission for the project. The commission was scheduled to hear the proposal on May 11, but Piedmont withdrew from the agenda and is now scheduled to appear at the May 25 commission meeting.

Spread goodwill

According to its website, Piedmont, founded in 1985, has developed more than 2 million square feet of retail space and more than 15,000 residential lots in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Florida and in Arizona.

Piedmont has developed donation centers and Goodwill stores in some of those same states, as well as in Alabama and New Jersey. They plan to open Goodwill facilities in Mississippi and California, among other states.

“Our ability to scientifically research territory and provide clients with winning sites, along with the right financing options, makes Piedmont Inc. the best and largest developer of Goodwill facilities in the nation,” the website says. Piedmont.

On its website, Goodwill Industries International, based in Rockville, Maryland, claims to have served more than one million people worldwide in 2020 alone and helped more than 126,000 people train for careers in manufacturing. banking, information technology, healthcare and other industries.

Goodwill has more than 150 autonomous community organizations in more than a dozen countries.

“Local Goodwill Organizations are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that create job training, job placement, and other community programs by selling donated clothing and homewares at more than 3,200 Goodwill stores (in North America). North) and online at shopgoodwill.com and other e-commerce platforms,” the Goodwill website states.

Piedmont business developer Guy Long told a council committee Feb. 7 that his company had built goodwill centers in affluent areas in various states and that the architectural design of the Broadview Heights donation center and store would meet city standards, according to meeting minutes.

Long said Piedmont would own the store and lease the land from Goodwill. He said the project would generate about $125,000 a year in property taxes and $144,000 a year in sales taxes. The payroll would be around $725,000.

Long said Goodwill, among its other missions, assists the elderly, provides temporary assistance to families in need, and helps high school students with special needs find jobs, in some cases at Goodwill stores.

Goodwill also trains service dogs, provides audio and speech therapy services to children, teaches parenting skills and distributes clothing to victims of sexual abuse, Long said.

The Broadview Heights Goodwill would accept and process clothing donations and sell those clothes to the public, Long said.

keep it nice

Broadview Heights building manager Joe Mandato said the donation center and Goodwill store would be located in the city’s Special Planning District A. He said Goodwill would not be permitted in this district without a conditional use permit from the Planning Commission and the City Council. .

Under code, in Special Development District A, retail stores are considered conditional uses, requiring city approval on a case-by-case basis. Uses permitted without a special permit include restaurants, taverns and bars, offices, banks, day care centers and places of worship.

Boldt told Long that no one in Broadview Heights wants a Goodwill in the city’s downtown, except maybe Petros, who hopes to sell the land in Piedmont. He asked Long to choose another site in the city.

Councilman Joe Price said the city has created special zoning districts in the downtown area to prevent retail businesses from moving south along Broadview Road toward City Hall. He said the city wants to limit small-box stores like Goodwill.

Price said the city has always had a good relationship with Petros Development and hopes “we don’t have to take things to levels that aren’t nice,” according to the meeting minutes. Later, he said he wanted to avoid a legal dispute with Petros and Piedmont if possible.

Councilwoman Jennifer Mahnic worried that a Goodwill store would hurt independent shops in the Ohio 82-Broadview area. She suggested a site closer to Interstate 77, east of Broadview Road, for a Goodwill facility.

Councilor Glenn Goodwin suggested voters decide whether the city should allow Goodwill on the site Piedmont chose.

Lawyers at home

Long told the board that Piedmont had looked at various sites in Broadview Heights for Goodwill, but thought Broadview south of Ohio 82 was the best location.

Modic said Petros and Piedmont weren’t asking for anything different than what the city gave Aldi’s – which recently opened at Ohio’s 82 west of Broadview Road – and Drug Mart: a license to use conditional for retail sale.

The Goodwill store does not need rezoning or rezoning, Modic said. He added that almost every use in the city’s zoning code under Special Planning District A is a conditional use.

Modic also pointed out that he had lawyers in the room that night “to help us understand what we are allowed to do here.”

He asked council to point out the city code or master plan section that prohibits a Goodwill-type store on Broadview south of Ohio 82.

Modic said city officials show a bias against Goodwill based on what they think of Goodwill donation centers and stores.

Maureen Ressler, commercial real estate broker at Cushman & Wakefield, said she was working on behalf of Petros. She said she had land deals with Goodwill over the past two years, adding that Goodwill had changed its name and was now looking to open stores in affluent areas.

Ressler said that while the city would love to have restaurants downtown, it costs restaurants a lot of money to locate there. She said she was getting calls from storage companies to move to downtown Broadview Heights.

Ressler said younger generations of residents love Goodwill because they are committed to recycling and reusing used items.

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