Happy New Year!
In 2023, we look forward to continued progress on transformational projects in our city which will offer a more walkable, bikeable, and accessible Willoughby for residents and visitors to enjoy. Projects of this scale take several years to complete, and we will continue to keep our community up to date on the status and successes:
Osborne Park Reimagined | The initial objective for this project is managing erosion and stabilizing our shoreline. Engineering for this initial phase has begun and is funded by a combination of City funds and a $200,000 Emergency Erosion Control grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Our team continues to source additional grants to help support future phases which include amenities along the shoreline and the upland bluffs area.
Chagrin River Trail and Todd Field Project | The trail portion of this project is a 1-mile path connecting Daniels Park to Todd Field along the Chagrin River. The city has secured partial funding of approximately $900,000 in Ohio Capital grants for this project. The goal is to provide access to the Chagrin River and connectivity between two existing parks. Additional community engagement meetings are being scheduled to gather design input from interested community members.
Wetlands Restoration Project | The floodplain restoration project secures over 100 acres of land and riparian corridors along the Chagrin River which will include 70 acres of new public parklands. The city is currently applying for various grant opportunities in an effort to obtain over $3.0 million for this ambitious project which includes the creation of new wetlands, the decommissioning of an idled nursery, the removal of evasive plant species, trail development, water quality improvements, riverbank erosion controls, and the development of an educational curriculum.
TLCI Vine Street Corridor | Final plans of this transportation and livable communities’ study are being completed which work to improve the Vine Street infrastructure connecting our historic downtown with the Willowick lakefront. Recommendations included consistent streetscaping along the corridor, bike lanes, and improved walkability and lighting.
Our city continues to welcome new businesses. The end of the year brought exciting news of the plans to restore Van Gorder Manor and reopen it as a Bed and Breakfast and fine dining restaurant. Brothers, and longtime community supporters, Mike and Paul Neundorfer, purchased the property. They are working with a historical restoration consulting firm to preserve and restore the historical details of the building. For the restaurant, set to open mid-summer, will be led by partner/chef Jose Coronado formally of the Felice Urban Café in Cleveland. Projects like this are transformative and add to Willoughby’s reputation as one of Northeast Ohio’s most desirable places to locate a business, raise a family, and to visit.