Huron tackles vacant lots

Busy intersection home to many businesses and empty buildings.
Andy Ouriel
Feb 1, 2014


Economic development at a popular intersection seems a bit awry, officials contend.

Fast-food titans McDonald’s and Subway, along with gas-giant Shell, line the area of Cleveland Road West (U.S. 6) and Rye Beach Road.

It works for some — about 4 million people each year pass through the corridor when going to and from Cedar Point.

But for some reason it hasn’t worked for all the businesses that have tried before, evident by multiple vacant buildings at or near this intersection.

City and township officials are developing a plan to spur business along the corridor.

Rye Beach Road splits Huron and Huron Township. The western portion of Cleveland Road West falls on township territory and the eastern side on city property.

“In 2014, we will all be looking at what potential concepts can be put into place and what definable tasks can happen to improve this area,” Huron city manager Andy White said.

Many positive factors recently occurring near the intersection should entice investment, White said, referring to a planned $16 million renovation and expansion at the BGSU Firelands College campus.

The funds aim to also improve the college’s facilities for training in high-demand degrees in the health care field.

Other signs of economic growth include International Automotive Components contributing funds to widen Rye Beach Road south of the Ohio 2 bridge, near the railroad crossing by Wendy’s. The $518,000 project occurred this past summer to accommodate more truck traffic at its entryway and an increased work force.

Several other businesses made substantial improvements in the nearby Huron Corporate Park, including n2y, through tax-financing agreements.

The improvements, including expansion, are occurring right now.

Dollar General recently debuted a new store. Crews, during the past few months, demolished the old KFC building and erected a new one for the discount store.

“Businesses can succeed in this area,” Huron Township trustee Ed Enderle said. “I’m sure the neighbors in this area would like something better there than vacant buildings”

Developing this area circles back to Huron’s $9 million master plan. The decade-long blueprint aims to lure businesses and persuade people to stay and move into Huron.

The plan also calls for linking several city landmarks, parks and neighborhoods, with an emphasis on highlighting waterfront features.

It’s not known when officials could devise a plan for the area or how much it would cost — but it’s necessary.

“There are opportunities to rejuvenate this corridor,” White said. “Nine out of 10 communities in America would take their right arm off to have this type of intersection. We need to upgrade the aesthetic and commercial appeal to give people a reason to stop in our community”



That would be a perfect place for a Speedway gas station!

No Wake

That's exactly what stood there 15 years ago!


"Rye Beach Road splits Huron and Huron Township. The western portion of Cleveland Road West falls on township territory and the eastern side on city property."

Don't you mean Rye Beach Road? I always thought the city limit is right down the center line of Rye Beach Road. As illustrated by the fact that northbound on Rye Beach from Bogart Road, the speed limit is 35 MPH, while southbound to Bogart, the speed limit is 50 MPH.



2cents's picture

Maybe off the wall, but there is a pet boarding place by the Cleveland airport, maybe something of this nature so people could leave their pets safe while they played at CP along with a supplemental business to cover the expenses in the off season like a car wash?




To get in and out of that establishment next to McDonald's is nearly impossible, especially during Cedar Point season. Unless, you want to cause an accident!!


Exactly - if you want businesses on the two western corners of that intersection, configure the intersection and road so people can get in and out of them easily.

Don Hardy

agree with jaqdup... during cp traffic,, would you get out of line to pull into that location and think for a second you're going to get out of there anytime soon? probably not... now if somehow they can make a drive to go further down- then sure...



Julie R.

During the summer months, McDonald's, Subway, and the Shell gas station have a ton of business from Cedar Point traffic. So does the Rutas Comfort Inn. I couldn't believe it when I saw a Dollar General went up next to McDonald's. A Dollar General sure doesn't fit in with the atomosphere of that location. They would have been better off putting in another gas station or another fast-food joint and putting the Dollar General over in the plaza by Discount Drug. How many people are going to want to fight all that Cedar Point traffic to go shopping at a Dollar General?

The Big Dog's back

I think they need low income housing to make it more diversified/


Hope that's sarcasm ... focusing on low income housing does make the developers feel good on their way to the bank, but it sure doesn't build a durable local economy.


Julie, remember they tried to put the Dollar General on the "East Side" They shot it down!! Makes you wonder.

Julie R.

Seems to me I did hear they wanted to put a Dollar General over on the east side but people complained that it would be too close to Shawnee School. So why didn't they put it in one of the empty buildings in the plaza? At least it would have fit in with atmosphere. What also are all those apartments that they built next to Shawnee School? Somebody said they were apartments for senior citizens but somebody else said it's for low-income.