Northwestern Local Schools officials say they have the opportunity to “get in on the ground floor” of redevelopment of the Upper Valley Mall.
Jesse Steiner, superintendent of Northwestern Local Schools, told school board members getting involved with MMG Sports Complex now could benefit the district as the project moves forward.
The school board met on Wednesday night in a special meeting to discuss engaging in communication with MMG Sports Complex, the investor they say is planning to purchase the Upper Valley Mall.
Steiner said the MMG project is valued at multiple millions of dollars and could bring up to 400 jobs to the area.
“The entire project is, I’m being told, $56 million project. It’s a huge project,” Steiner said. “They are expecting to bring in over 400 jobs. This has the potential to change our community, our schools, to change this part of Ohio.”
Clark County Commission Spokesman Michael Cooper cautioned in February that no plans for the Upper Valley Mall redevelopment are official. Cooper said Thursday that statement stood.
“Nothing has changed and we do not have any additional information to give about the mall,” Cooper said. “Nothing on our end has changed.
The Clark County Land Bank is the owner of much of the Upper Valley Mall property. The land bank purchased 40 acres of property at the Upper Valley Mall for about $3 million in 2017, with plans to spark redevelopment on the German Twp. site.
Steiner said he could not provide details on who the MMG is, but said the investor is looking to close on the Upper Valley Mall property as soon as today.
“The developer is looking to close on it on the 15th, that’s when he would like to close,” Steiner said. “It could get pushed, it could extend to the end of the month, but he is expected to close on March 15.”
He said the developer has expressed interest in using the schools’ athletic fields while a multi-use sports complex is developed around the mall.
Northwestern Local School Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing the district’s superintendent and treasurer to begin engaging in “serious communication” with MMG Sports Complex.
The Northwestern school complex is located about 5.4 miles from the Upper Valley Mall.
Home Plate Sports Academy, located in Upper Valley Mall, posted renderings of what it said is the sports complex on Facebook in February.
Home Plate’s post state they had spoken with the new owners of the mall and sports complex was coming to the shopping center, that has seen numerous stores close or leave over the last several years.
“The mall will be a multi-purpose sports complex for soccer, baseball, pickleball, basketball, go karts, volleyball and competitions for various things,” the post said. “Launch trampoline center, movie theater, restaurants, hotels are all coming and much more!”
The renderings show there will be four baseball/softball fields, six soccer pitches and 62,400 square-foot field house that will surround the current mall.
The inside will also have basketball, pickleball and volleyball courts, a fitness center, a family fun center (trampoline park), a cinema, a daycare, a food court, co-work space and banquet hall, according to the rendering.
Searches for any information about MMG Sports Complex or who the company’s owner may be lead only to mmgsportscomplex.com.
The only thing featured on the website is a logo with the message, “MMG Sports Complex Website is Coming Soon!”