By his own admission, Gary G. O'Nesti, special projects director for Akron-based developer Levey and Company, said it could be 18 months before any real work begins to renovate and rejuvenate the Shoppes at Northway , more commonly referred to as the Northway Mall.
O'Nesti told the crowd of over 200 mostly nearby residents that plans for the mall, and the adjacent Northway elementary school property, are in the very preliminary stages and he hopes many of the current tenants are part of the new mall.
O'Nesti said Sunday that while plans are drawn up and approved, the mall won't be standing still.
“While we are in the design phase, we want to invite trade shows, and temporary tenants back to the mall," he said. "We want to bring life back to the Northway Mall as soon as possible while we go through the process of deciding what’s next.”
O'Nesti said Levey & Company will work hard to honor Northway's past.
“People remember Northway Mall as a destination, we want to bring back that feeling again," he said. "We will continue to display pictures from the mall in it’s heyday, as we work to plan its future.”
Many in the audience on Dec. 5 expressed concern about increased traffic, particularly if the current entrance to Northway Elementary off of Brown's Lane becomes another access point for the new mall.
Commissioner Peter Ferraro tried to ease those fears.
"We recognize there are a lot of concerns from the residents and we intend to address all these concerns that you have," he said. "The traffic on Brown's Lane will be at the forefront of the discussions we will have with Levey and Company."
O'Nesti echoed those sentiments of promising to listen to everyone's concerns.
“We are still in the planning stages, but I promise you we will work together to make Northway Mall a destination again for people all around the region.”