BRUNSWICK, Ohio — As Ohio begins the careful reopening of its “non-essential” retail businesses this month, Brunswick Community and Economic Development Director Grant Aungst says the city’s core strengths remain.
“While the economic face of Brunswick changes, and there will be struggles, we need to get back to work, safely,” Aungst said at the city’s May 19 Economic Development Committee meeting.
As a nexus of interstate highway access, successful schools and a strong industrial and medical base, along with diverse retail and restaurant options, Aungst said that Brunswick was already sought after by numerous business interests. That has continued, he said, even during the COVID-19 shutdown.
“There are a number of (new or relocating) businesses showing interest in Brunswick,” Aungst said.
He also pointed to the opening of Romeo’s Pizza, a new Drees Homes development, a planned expansion at Rainforest Car Wash, scheduled Ohio Department of Transportation road improvements on South Industrial Parkway, and the ongoing construction of the new Brunswick Middle School building as signs of the overall health of the city’s business sector.
“The Brunswick Middle School project is a little behind (due to issues) related to COVID-19, but they plan to have part, if not all, of the building done this year,” Aungst said. “They plan to have at least the sixth-grade and common areas open and continue to (update) on a weekly basis.”
Aungst said that his department is, likewise, communicating with local and regional businesses regularly, assessing their needs as the state continues its efforts to “reopen” after the COVID-19 shutdown.
He also stressed the importance of shopping locally and regionally during these times.
Councilman Nick Hanek asked Aungst about the progress of the Chick-fil-A restaurant on Center Road, pointing out that he has had a number of inquiries from residents wondering if construction there has stopped.
“As of right now, nothing has changed, although there has been a delay of about one or one-and-a-half months,” Aungst said. “They have been upfront about it, and it is due to COVID-19.”
Aungst said the fact that the concrete pad has been laid indicates that Chick-fil-A has no plans of abandoning the project.
“The pad is ready to go and they would not have built that if they did not intend to (continue),” he said, adding that the company has also agreed to make a number of improvements to the intersection of Center Road and Brunswick Lake Parkway.
“They are making a very healthy investment in our community,” Aungst said.
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