$750 Million to Create a Sports-Focused, Mixed Use Development in Canton, Ohio

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is about to get a major makeover. The development investment is the largest in the history of the city of Canton.

August 27, 2017, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Canton, Ohio

The Pro Football Hall of Fame before big money came to town. | Erik Drost / Flickr

"A makeover at the Pro Football Hall of Fame is turning an underdeveloped shrine to the heroes of America’s favorite sport into a $750 million mixed-use center of entertainment, residences, offices, research and health care," reports Keith Schneider.

The project is expected to be a "life-changer" for the city of Canton, Ohio, where the Pro Football Hall of Fame is located.

Canton’s perspective changed with two developments: a transition in the hall’s presidency in 2014, and an unscheduled visit by a California-based builder who is active in redeveloping Midwest cities. In January 2014, three days after he took office as the Hall of Fame’s president and chief executive, David Baker met Stuart Lichter, the president and founder of the Industrial Realty Group. Among Mr. Lichter’s Ohio developments is East End, in neighboring Akron, which includes a 639,000-square-foot, seven-story, $160 million headquarters for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

Now the idea is to create an "NFL theme park" in the city, and a unique take on a new development model: "sports-focused, mixed use development." Precedents include the Arena District in Columbus, Ohio; the Downtown Commons in Sacramento, California; the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas; and the City of Champions in Inglewood, California.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 in The New York Times

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