Firestone Homestead LLC

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19 04, 2016

Buzz Builds for Town Center Project

By | 2018-02-12T16:57:18+00:00 April 19th, 2016|Categories: Archived|Tags: , , |

From the Younstown Business Journal:

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – As the steel skeletons of the first phase of Town Center at Firestone Farms go up, developer Tom Mackall has a vision for his hometown of Columbiana.

It’s one that both honors the most famous resident of Columbiana – Harvey S. Firestone, founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. – and expands the city economy by adding higher-end shopping, dining and office space, even hotels and concert venues somewhere down the road.

“We still want it to be a little town, but with the things a modern economy has,” Mackall says. “There’s not much in Columbiana County, so people go to Boardman, which gets tiresome with the traffic. We hope to be a retail destination for southern Mahoning County and all of Columbiana County.”
No tenants for the 200-acre center have been announced, but about a third of the space in the shopping center has been leased, according to Mackall. So far there’s been about $10 million committed to construct Town Center, on the northeastern quadrant of the intersection of state routes 7 and 14, and the full project is expected to take about a decade. Phase One is scheduled to open in September.

“I hope we can get to a point where we’re introducing something new every year,” he adds.

Throughout the complex, visitors will see sections that profile the life and times of Firestone, born at the site in 1868, to “preserve his history as a business icon.

“He’s one of the greatest businessmen in the history of the country. It’d be like having Bill Gates living in your neighborhood,” Mackall says. “He’s that iconic in our history. He thrived despite the Great Depression and got out debt-free.”

The ultimate goal of Town Center is offering services to meet every need in Columbiana and the county. In short, Mackall envisions it as the next hot spot of economic development.

Sean Carney, partner at Gallagher Clark & Carney Realty Group, notes that expansion in Boardman and North Lima, and the resulting increase in traffic, makes it more challenging for Columbiana residents to head north to shop.

That’s one of the biggest factors that could contribute to the success of Town Center, he notes. There’s also a draw for those who live in the southern half of Columbiana County and Lawrence and Beaver counties in Pennsylvania, he says. They wouldn’t have as long a drive.

“If you live in between, it’s more convenient with less traffic to come out this way, says Carney, whose firm is working with Mackall. “There’s a lot of interest to do grocery shopping locally, even go to restaurants locally rather than going to Boardman.”

Across town, reports Columbiana Area Chamber of Commerce President Ginny Perkins, business owners and shoppers alike seem to be excited about Town Center opening.

The northern end of town, around the intersections of state routes 14, 46 and 164, is home to car dealerships, Das Dutch Village Inn and its hotel-shopping combination, and chain stores. The central business district is home to an ever-growing population of specialty shops and long-standing antique and gift shops.

The Town Center, Perkins expects, will fill a gap between the two – high-end shops and local boutiques.

“Columbiana is a well-integrated town where the separate pieces work well together. You won’t have to drive too far in any direction to hit what you need and want,” she says.

Among those pieces are a developing industrial sector, Carney says, a growing population and the city’s proximity to the Ohio Turnpike and state Route 11, “which can get you anywhere.”

Reichard Industries recently expanded its plant near downtown to accommodate increasing business. Vivo Brothers Inc., which produces cabinetry and architectural millwork, will move from Poland into the plant most recently used by Global-Pak. The city industrial park is at capacity.

Demand is so great for industrial space, Perkins says, that the chamber and city are looking at opening a second industrial park.

For business owners, there’s a fear of the unknown, Perkins says. This level of economic development is new to Columbiana. Yet the uncertainty about what will happen next is offset by the excitement of the anticipated benefits.

“People already like coming here and I think

[Town Center] will make people enjoy it even more. There’ll be more to do,” she says.

In addition to helping established businesses by drawing in new customers, the city benefits, Mayor Bryan Blakeman says, because more visitors bring more tax dollars. But the true benefit is to consumers, he says, following the same line of thinking as Perkins and Carney.

Mackall is taking care to make sure that what opens is not only viable but also complements the city’s other business districts. Carney says the developer has done market surveys for each potential store in an effort to get only those that will be guaranteed successes.

In addition, he’s taking care to not intrude on the other business districts or take away from businesses there. From Blakeman’s perspective, the offerings will be sufficiently diverse that each shopping district has a clearly defined target audience.

“I don’t see downtown suffering at all. I see the opposite. The offerings over there are different from what’s down here,” he says. “Downtown is a historic business district with a lot of boutique shops. That’s a lot different from what you’ll find at Town Center.”

And Mackall is performing due diligence to ensure the difference is understood as well. Town Center at Firestone Farms has started a Facebook campaign to highlight small businesses around town and show just what Columbiana has to offer.

“We want people to understand that Columbiana is a destination, whether it’s downtown or at Firestone Farms,” he says. “There are many interesting venues that people can visit.”

Copyright 2016 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

2 02, 2016

Construction continues at TownCenter at Firestone Farms

By | 2018-02-07T16:47:29+00:00 February 2nd, 2016|Categories: Archived|Tags: , , , , |

Thanks to great weather, the brick work and carpentry have been able to proceed on schedule.  Visit firestonefarms.org to find out more about this new project in Columbiana, Ohio

4 01, 2016

New Columbiana retail center under construction

By | 2018-02-07T16:47:37+00:00 January 4th, 2016|Categories: Archived|Tags: , |

From WKBN 27

COLUMBIANA, Ohio – People who regularly use the intersection of State Routes 7 and 14 in Columbiana may have noticed a new shopping plaza being constructed.

Tom Mackall, originally from Columbiana and now living on Lake Milton, owns what will be called the Town Center at Firestone Farms. He says the project will be ongoing.

“It’s going to take 10 years to do everything,” he said. “I liken it to Cedar Point. We’re going to try and open something new every year.”

At the site on Thursday, pieces of the steel frame were being cut and hung. While in another section, some of the facade was being put in place.

Mackall said the exterior of each building will be unique.

“It’ll look as if each individual place was built kind of like the old downtowns, where one doctor or somebody would have a certain style brick and then next door to that would be a little different style,” he said.

Since no leases have yet been signed, Mackall would not be specific about what businesses are going in.

“There will be multiple restaurants and a grocery store, a hardware store, shops. Also offices. Anything a small town would have,” he said.

He hopes one of the restaurants is Firestone-themed. The grocery store will go across the street and won’t open until 2018.

Mackall, who owns the East Fairfield Coal Company, also owns 884 acres on the corner. The mineral rights were leased — seven wells drilled — and the money is what is paying for the construction.

“Now we have a sufficient revenue stream here to help back us in doing this development,” Mackall said. “The revenue stream will make the payment on this building by itself, without any tenants here.”

Eventually, there will be three buildings at the location, surrounding a town square anchored by a clock tower.

Mackall talked a lot about the legacy of Harvey Firestone — the tire baron born in Columbiana. In fact, he said he hopes a Firestone museum will eventually be part of the project.

“They’re in the process of making this look like it’s Columbiana in the 1930s, when Harvey Firestone had this as a farm,” he said.

20 07, 2015

New retail development coming to Columbiana, Ohio

By | 2018-02-07T16:49:31+00:00 July 20th, 2015|Categories: Archived|Tags: , |

From WKBN 27:

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – Work has begun on a new development in Columbiana.

The location near the intersections of state Route 7 and state Route 14 will be transitioned into a shopping and dining area. Developers have expressed preserving one particular decade for the new design and they also wanted to keep local Harvey Firestone in mind.

“As part of the project, we also are going to move Harvey Firstone’s barn, beside us here, which I am really excited about. It was built in 1880 when Harvey was a young man growing up in Columbiana, before he went off to Akron to start the Firestone Rubber Company,” said developer Tom Mackall, owner of Firestone Homestead LLC.

Firestone Homestead purchased the undeveloped property at sheriff’s sale in April 2012.

About 39,000 square feet of the project is planned to be opened by the fall of 2016.

“We have been working for three years to get started and I have said all along it is a 10-year project. So, it will take 10 years to build out all the buildings that we are going to build here,” Mackall said.

He said all the buildings will look like it is 1930.

“We are going to have a Firestone-themed restaurant in our first building. So I think that is the most important part, the most exciting part for me, to teach the wonderful history and legacy Harvey Firestone left Columbiana,” Mackall said.

Firestone’s barn also will be preserved and made into a pub or museum. Columbiana City Manager Lance Willard said this will bring people to the community.

“I hope people get to experience Columbiana. It will be a nice draw for that and at the same time, attract jobs,” Willard said.

One resident is excited about the new development.

“I think this new development is going to be one of the best things to hit Columbiana. And should help Columbiana County too. If they are going to put high end stores in here, I believe it might be the new Boardman,” Patricia Moore said.

15 07, 2015

Columbiana Retail and Office Space Set to Open

By | 2018-02-07T16:49:41+00:00 July 15th, 2015|Categories: Archived|Tags: , |

From WKBN 27 News:

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – Construction of a new multi-million dollar retail and office complex in another part of northern Columbiana County could begin in a matter of weeks.

For months now, land has been cleared near the corner of State Routes-7 and 14 on the east end of Columbiana for the proposed Town Center and Marketplace next to the Firestone Farms housing development and the Links at Firestone Golf Course.

WKBN is told that the first phase of building could get underway sometime next month, with new office and restaurant space ready in about a year.

A major shopping plaza is expected to be located on the southeast corner of the project.

19 09, 2014

New park planned at Firestone development

By | 2018-02-12T16:57:20+00:00 September 19th, 2014|Categories: Archived|Tags: |

From The Morning Journal News:

COLUMBIANA – A park spanning over three acres is planned for the Links at Firestone Farms and is yet another project of Tom Mackall, doing business as Firestone Homestead, LLC.

The new park is not affiliated with another Firestone Homestead project already under way in that area, but is specifically for the residents at Firestone Farms, which is also owned by Firestone Homestead.

The 3.5-acre park will feature a walking trail, picnic tables, playground, tennis courts, basketball court, bocce court, and pickle ball court, according to minutes of this month’s planning commission meeting.

Mackall and Andy Bednar, of Baker, Bednar, Snyder and Associates, presented the site plan to the commission during the meeting, and it was approved with all members in favor.

“It is very professionally done,” Mayor Bryan Blakeman, a member of the planning commission, said of the blueprints after the meeting. “(This is) the first proposed park in Columbiana that I am aware of since Firestone Park.”

The cost of the park was not shared with the commission, he added.

Bednar said a sign will be placed at the entrance to the park designating it is for resident and guest use only.

There are about 120 residential units in use there currently, and future plans call for more than 600 units, Blakeman said.

He also said that as owner of the homeowners association, Mackall has sought input from residents as to what they would like to see done in that community.

Blakeman lives in the Firestone Farms housing development and said he was able to vote on the matter because the park would not provide him with any financial gain or loss.

He did abstain from the vote when Mackall presented the Town Center and Marketplace at Firestone Farms commercial development, a separate project already under way in that area.

Construction on the park should begin this fall, he said.

11 08, 2014

Major development for Columbiana detailed

By | 2018-02-07T16:50:43+00:00 August 11th, 2014|Categories: Archived|Tags: , |

From TribToday.com

COLUMBIANA – Businessman and developer Tom Mackall could talk about Harvey S. Firestone for hours, but that wasn’t what he did Friday. Instead, he talked about himself, and why he decided to undertake a major project near the Firestone Farms housing development.

Mackall told the crowd of more than 60 gathered at the Dutch Haus for the Columbiana Area Chamber of Commerce’s business breakfast to hear more about the project that he is a small businessman, like they are.

“You are the entrepreneurs of the world. You are what make the economy go. You have the responsibility every two weeks to make payroll,” he said.

Inspired by leaders like Firestone and his friends, Thomas Edison and former U.S. presidents, Mackall said he moved ahead with his vision to reinvest in Columbiana after securing oil and gas leases for property owned by his company, East Fairfield Coal in North Lima.

The company leased property it was using for its mining operations, and using that revenue Mackall decided to purchase the 844 acres of mostly undeveloped land along state Routes 7 and 14 that was foreclosed on in 2009 after Meadowbrooke Development LLC defaulted on its loan.

Wayne Bacon, who headed up Meadowbrooke, had intended to construct housing developments there and Columbiana extended water and sewer to the property planning to have that expense paid back by Meadowbrooke, however, the city was left footing the bill after the company went bankrupt.

Mackall purchased the property as Firestone Homestead LLC, and this is solely a Firestone Homestead project.

“It’s not unusual for entrepreneurs to step out and take a risk,” Mackall said of Meadowbrooke.

Harvey Firestone was the first one to attempt putting rubber tires on tractors when the nation was going through a depression, he noted.

“He revolutionized farming,” he said.

Mackall also recognizes the risk he is taking on the 10-year-project to create the Town Center and Marketplace at Firestone Farms. “I feel a real responsibility … all this press and media attention, the pressure is high. We are getting started and I’m really excited,” he said.

He has already leased the entire property for oil and gas exploration and Al Ricks of Associated Commercial Real Estate said companies are drilling for dry gas located in the Marcellus Shale there, not the wet gas that is typically found in the Utica. Wet gas is natural gas that contains ethane and butane while dry gas contains mostly methane.

Mackall said three wells were drilled last year and four will be drilled this year.

While the oil and gas industry has proved beneficial for his endeavor, the “real way” to take advantage of oil and gas revenue is from the farmers who have leased property and are looking to spend their money, he said.

Ricks is looking for commercial tenants for the project, and while no building leases have been signed at this point, letters of intent are being sent out, he said.

The project consists of the Town Center, a 1930s era version of Columbiana when Firestone lived there, including a town square similar to the one in the city of Columbiana, and the Marketplace, which will feature a full-service grocery store, hotel, restaurants, a bank, and retail businesses.

Mackall said construction will begin next year, and future plans could include a park, community center and a pool.

He believes the development will attract 1,000 new residents and create 1,000 more jobs. It will also draw people from the surrounding areas like Boardman, Youngstown, East Palestine, New Springfield and others.

“I think we are going to see a growing economy unlike anything we have seen before,” he added.

Through the Gallagher Clark and Carney Realty Mackall is already looking for people to purchase the 50 lots available for the residential portion of the project.

“We’d like for you to come join our community,” he said.

Terry Poulton, the owner of the Columbiana Ford dealership, said he is impressed with Mackall’s work on the project and is looking forward to the economic development it will create.

“This plan is more than we ever expected, it’s really over the top. He’s really stepping up. When they come down this way we hope to sell them a Ford,” he joked, referring to the people the development will attract.

10 06, 2014

Firestone project prepares to take off

By | 2018-02-12T16:57:20+00:00 June 10th, 2014|Categories: Archived|Tags: , , |

By KATIE SCHWENDEMAN – Staff Writer (kschwendeman@mojonews.com) , Morning Journal News

COLUMBIANA -Tom Mackall was confident voters would support liquor options on the May 6 election ballot, but he never thought they would have passed by such a large margin.

“I appreciate the vote of support from the community and feel a lot of responsibility to not disappoint them with what we need up there,” he said of the extensive new development planned for the property not far from the Firestone Farms housing development. “I was really surprised, I never thought we would get that kind of support.”

Mackall had asked for the liquor options in precincts C and D in order to attract restaurants and grocery stores to locate there. The options passed by more than 70 percent in precinct C and more than 80 percent in precinct D, with significantly more votes cast in precinct D.

The restaurants and grocery stores would be a part of the Town Center and Marketplace at Firestone Farms, a project headed up by Mackall’s Firestone Homestead LLC, which purchased the 62 parcels of mostly undeveloped land along state Routes 7 and 14 at sheriff’s sale in April of 2012.

Mackall said significant interest has already been shown by business owners targeting the development as a possible location now that the precincts are allowing alcohol sales.

Before the election he had said it would be very difficult to attract the kinds of businesses he envisioned for the development if the options did not pass.

The project is now moving forward swiftly, and Firestone Homestead LLC recently purchased the home on the northeast corner of the intersection across from the Columbiana Maze Craze for the purpose of using it as a sales office.

“We had tried to buy it earlier but couldn’t agree on a price. It fits right in. It was a little bit of a sore thumb for our project so I’m happy we were able to work it out and buy that property,” he said.

Firestone acquired the two-story, century-old home on one acre for $150,000.

Civil engineering plans and Phase I of the construction plans for the project will be presented to the city’s planning commission June 10, and Mackall said those plans include the installation of water retention and road entrances.

A bid package for Phase I is being prepared now, with the bid going out in February of 2015, Mackall said.

While the project has gathered some steam since the election he is somewhat disappointed ground won’t be broken this year.

“I wish we could do it sooner but we aren’t going to be able to have it for inside construction for the winter. I don’t want to start and then have a terrible winter like we had last winter and then ruin the project,” he said.

The goal is to have the stores and restaurants open by May of 2016.

He did not wish to disclose what stores or restaurants are showing an interest now, as nothing has been finalized.

“It’s been interesting. Now that we are getting with the finite plan and timetable more will happen, I think,” he said.