GREEN: A new Infiniti car dealership and a gourmet restaurant/winery could bring 70 to 90 new jobs to the city in 2013.
Both proposed businesses received green lights from the Planning and Zoning Commission this week.
Planners recommended that council approve the general development plan submitted for the Table restaurant/winery at the former Belden Lodge (now Welsh Lodge) on 8.71 acres off Massillon Road and surrounded by Southgate Park.
They also gave conditional approval for a 13,422-square-foot Infiniti of Akron motor vehicle sales and service facility on a 3.76-acre site on the west side of South Arlington Road between Toth Buick and Marhofer Hyundai.
In conjunction with development of a final site plan for the proposed restaurant and winery, the panel placed nine conditions on the Table’s proposal prior to issuance of a special-use permit that would create a special-use district.
Among the conditions are measures related to storm water management and requiring landscaping to shield neighbors from vehicle headlights entering and leaving the facility.
Chef Kent Welsh of Wilmot, whose Table of Life LLC is purchasing the lodge and property from the city for $600,000, presented the proposal to planners Wednesday night.
Plans call for the group to invest between $600,000 and $1 million to upgrade the site and add a roadway from Massillon Road into the complex. The facility could be open by May if council approves the plan. Council delayed a vote last week pending planners’ action on the special-use permit.
Welsh, who has a degree in nutrition, said he plans to employ a staff of 40 to 50 and grow some of the crops that will be used in the restaurant portion of the three-story, 14,000-square-foot lodge. He also plans to offer culinary arts classes and provide catering.
Welsh said the dining facility would be open 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4:30 to 9 p.m. weeknights and till 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Table would be closed Sundays except for some Sunday holidays.
Council could consider approval at its first regular meeting of 2013, set for Jan. 8.
Construction of the $1.52 million Infiniti facility is expected to begin early next year, with completion in August, according to Michael DeMarco of the Cleveland architectural design firm Vocon.
DeMarco said the dealership is expected to employ 30 to 40 people.
Two single-family homes previously used for commercial purposes are to be demolished along with a garage to make room for the dealership, which could have an inventory of about 200 vehicles and an eight-bay service area.
Planners also reviewed plans to expand the CAK International Business Park No. 3/Port Green, located between Greensburg Road and Global Parkway north of Akron-Canton Airport.
Planning Director Wayne Wiethe said the 155-acre site has the potential to create more than 1,000 new jobs and generate significant levels of private investment money. Research facilities and laboratories are permitted, as well as a variety of commercial and industrial uses.
George W. Davis can be reached at email@example.com.