By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — This year’s business development in the Village of Medina created new commercial opportunities, better gateways into the community and a sense of pride among residents.
Seemingly the only way you could have driven through the village without encountering a crane, construction site or contractor would be to scuba dive through the canal, as projects dotted Maple Ridge Road, Main Street, Center Street, Park Avenue and Bates Road.
Banner days were held throughout the village, as big projects brought in anchor businesses, new uses for vacant buildings and new homes for several small businesses.
The combined effect of those additions and smaller projects like the planting of 70 more trees in residential and commercial areas is transformative, Village Planning Board Chairman Christ Busch said.
“The result is a village that looks better and creates an improved perception for the home buyers and businesses looking to relocate,” Busch said. “It’s like a snowball rolling downhill, gaining momentum ... more and more people are discovering that Medina is a true gem of a place.”
In some cases, the work won’t be completed until next, like the Evans Ace Hardware expansion at the old Jubilee building on East Center.
Businesses that opened new locations in 2012 benefited not only the community but their commercial opportunities. C&H PC moved from Clara and Howard Lake’s home to a vacant facility at the corner of Park Avenue and Salt Works Road.
There was plenty of room to grow — the business added more training and business assistance services to the computer doctors’ service and sales.
“It will allow us to function better,” Clara Lake said after the new location opened in May.
Tractor Supply opening a new location at the Maple Ridge Plaza in March, bringing convenience for farmers, those with yard work and pets. It also breathed new life to a plaza that had stood as a poor first-impression to traffic coming in from Niagara County.
“It’s like it’s a new building,” Medina Mayor Andrew Meier said at Tractor Supply’s grand opening.
The Maple Ridge corridor received another boost this summer, when the Medina McDonald’s re-emerged after being torn down and rebuilt in just a few months. The Bank of Castile did them one better in November, opening a new building at their Main Street property and bringing down their former home all in one weekend.
The Bank of Castile’s new branch the first project to be done under the village’s new design standards, which gives the historic preservation-minded village more input on the look of new development. The bank was happy to take part, adding sandstone touches to a facade that would blend well with the century-old buildings a few blocks away.
Codes Enforcement Officer Marty Busch said strengthening that look at Bank of Castile and the ongoing Evans Ace Hardware build grow a good feeling in the village.
“It encourages a sense of place, somewhere that people want to be,” said Busch, who remembered fondly going out of his way as a kid to walk downtown after school.
Parts of that view were unearthed this year. KeyBank opted to change it’s planned facade for the Main Street branch it acquired after it was stripped of it’s HSBC signage, revealing a gorgeous sandstone facade. The bank kept the original signage and incorporated other local elements in their final design.
Those quick decisions received a great reception.
“It was a unique situation, but they showed a commitment to the community,” Meier said. “The outcome was fantastic. It’s a model for other