Brandywine Creek – Boston Heights
WEST CREEK ACQUIRES 202-ACRE BRANDYWINE CREEK PROPERTY
After many years of speculation over the future of a 202-acre property along the Brandywine Creek, West Creek Conservancy stepped up and acquired the Brandywine Preserve property located in Boston Heights and Northfield Center Township.
The Brandywine Preserve property is within a thriving commercial area along the heavily travelled Route 8 corridor. West Creek recognized the importance of protecting the property from the threat of development or another unknown outcome. While the property contains high quality wetland woods and floodplain inundation area from Brandywine Creek, a significant portion of the property was deemed to be developable and is zoned for commercial development.
A LONG AND STORIED HISTORY:
It is hard to imagine a city more passionate about sports than Cleveland. Fans were elated to cheer on the 2016 NBA champs with over 1,2000,000 in attendance at a downtown parade! Fans also refer to the city as Believeland – the home of the kardiac kids, the fumble, the shot, and many other painful moments in sports history.
In 1978 the Cleveland Force became the model franchise of the Major Indoor Soccer League, and professional indoor soccer became a hotbed in Cleveland. In 2004 after decades of enthusiasm for the sport, a $165,000,000 soccer stadium was being planned on the Brandywine Preserve property. However, just a few years later optimism wore thin, and the Cleveland Force folded, ending an era of indoor soccer in Cleveland and dashing the hopes of an indoor arena on the property.
Still, the vision of a $265,000,000 Lifestyle Center, offering retail, specialty, restaurants, hotels, and offices was being pitched for the property. The property was also offered for sale by the developer at well above $15,000,000.
In May of 2012, the property was foreclosed upon by the mortgage holder. As soon as the mortgage holder took possession of the property and became the landowner, they began to market the property for sale at a price of approximately $7,500,000.
In 2020, in an effort to liquidate the property, the landowner offered the property through a sealed bid reserve auction. This became an immediate call to action, and West Creek began to aggressively pursue the property to circumvent the auction and mitigate any potential for an unknown outcome for the property. By May of 2020, with the financial assistance of Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, West Creek made a $330,000 cash offer for the property, with an extraordinarily quick two-week closing. Fortuitously, the offer and quick closing were appealing to the landowner and West Creek closed on the property on June 1, 2020.
PROTECT RESTORE CONNECT:
West Creek views the Brandywine Preserve property as a critical property for flood water storage capacity, floodplain protection, wetland protection, and stream protection. The Brandywine Preserve property contains approximately 145 acres of high-quality wetlands, over 5,000 linear feet of Brandywine Creek, 4,000 linear feet of other unnamed streams, and a considerable amount of floodplain along the Brandywine Creek.
The future of Brandywine Preserve involves a large-scale restoration of the property to re-meander the stream and re-establish the floodplain. This will give the stream opportunity to breathe and filter out pollutants found in storm water runoff. It will also assist in reducing downstream flooding in the Northfield Center and Macedonia communities and beyond.
Once the restoration is complete, West Creek will make the preserve more accessible so the community can enjoy the 202-acre property, experience nature, and enjoy the great outdoors at the Brandywine Preserve.