COLUMBIA TWP. — The land at the old Riverside Golf Course site has been sold to a developer, according to a receipt from the Lorain County Auditor.
The land, at the corner of Sprague and Redfern roads in Columbia Station, sold for $1.8 million to Riverside Trail LLC. David Gill and George Hrabik purchased the property; though plans for it are unclear.
Attorney Daniel Lindner, representing Gill and Hrabik, said the pair is keeping their options open.
“All doors are open, (Gill and Hrabik) are exploring a lot of different options,” he said.
The property first came in the spotlight following disputes between Gill and the township in 2017.
Originally, the developer wanted to build a 151-home development on the property, which was turned down and ultimately appealed to a judge.
Eventually, developers turned to nearby Olmsted Falls to annex the property. While the city wasn’t keen on a purely residential space, then-Mayor Ann Marie Donegan said the city may be interested in a mixed-use zone similar to Westlake’s Crocker Park.
The annexation was opposed by township trustees and residents. The project stalled following a voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit between Riverside Golf Association — the development group that owned the land — and the township. Lindner also handled that case and voluntarily withdrew the original request to annex, he said.
Now, Lindner said they are looking to the results of litigation between MLM Development and the township before deciding on a course of action for the roughly 82-acre property, calling it “one of the many ingredients” going into the developers’ decision. The MLM Development case concerns Emerald Woods Golf Course on Boone Road, which closed in 2017, and its zoning and potential development. A trial date is set for Oct. 23, according to Lindner.
He said while the group is not specifically looking to annex to Olmsted Falls again, the option is not off the table. Olmsted Falls Clerk of Council Angela Mancini said no petition for annexation had been filed.
Columbia Township Trustee Dick Heidecker was not aware of the sale, but said he would not be in favor of annexation similar to what developers tried to do last year.
“I really don’t know what they’ve got in mind,” he said. “I can’t speak for Olmsted Falls, but we would not be in favor of (annexing) … because we’re losing land.”
Lindner said developers will look to have a more solid plan come the beginning of 2019.
“Right now it was nothing more than a sale that closed (Monday),” he said.