As printed in the August 2021 Willoughby Times:
Thus far, summer in Willoughby has been great! We are impressed with the resilience of our residents and businesses, and in talking to community members, there is a general feeling of normalcy as we settle back into our pre-COVID routines. Merchants see increased sales, and bars and restaurants report better revenues than before the pandemic. In all, our community successfully endured a 14-month life pause and have started enjoying the many things our City offers.
Our economic development team is actively pursuing new businesses to Willoughby and is happy to announce Swenson’s grand opening at Rte. 91 and Euclid Ave., Barktown and Chelle’s Paw Spa, the former Traveline Building, and Sage Karma Kitchen in the former Nickelby’s. We are also looking forward to upcoming openings in our historic downtown, including Mickey’s, an ice cream and hot dog shop on Third Street, and The Sweets Geek, which features gluten-free bakery located next to Kleifeld’s. The Chagrin River Pub continues to do well, and we are anticipating the start of construction of The Standard residential development in our Lakefront District. In all, Willoughby is still a vibrant and thriving city.
We are delighted to announce that the ODNR has awarded the City a $200,000 grant to design and engineer a reimagined Osborne Park lakefront, including erosion repairs and mitigation. This is a critical first step in making our lakefront accessible and enjoyable. The Smith Group, a design consultant with a national reputation for coastal engineering, has been retained for this important work. We are planning a community meeting at Osborne Park this fall to discuss plans for the park. We will post the date and time of this meeting when it is confirmed.
Two development teams are interested in the former Union High School, and over the past weeks, the administration and council have been vetting their proposals. We are hopeful to have a team identified in August. This is an important project that will see the renovation of a neglected but significant Willoughby asset to create a gateway to our downtown.
Finally, as we near the end of summer vacation, we ask you to help us maintain our parks and fields. Please keep your dogs leashed and pick up after your pets. Also, please use garbage cans for all refuse and report any suspicious activity at our parks. Our goal is to keep our parks clean, safe, and fun.