Developments underway at intersection of N. Main Street and Applegrove Street NE.
NORTH CANTON A well-traveled corner of the city is looking a little different these days.
The intersection of N. Main Street and Applegrove St. NE is the site of a mini development boom as old businesses close, new ones move in and others get a facelift.
"That whole corner is really going to have a new look here in the next few months as construction proceeds," said Gary Fry, North Canton's director of economic development.
"There are quite a few things changing in that neck of the woods."
None of the projects stem from city incentives. They just happened to coincide, Fry said.
Here's a look at what's happening:
Goodwill breaks ground
The nonprofit thrift store spent several years looking for a new place in North Canton. Last year, it chose land at 1240 N. Main St.
Goodwill is working with Berengaria Development, a Milwaukee-based real estate company behind several Ohio Goodwill stores, to build the new location. Goodwill will lease land purchased by the developers.
Construction crews have started clearing land for the new store, situated between the North Canton post office and a future Starbucks.
Goodwill has outgrown its current North Canton store, at 950 S. Main St., said Maureen Ater, vice president of marketing and fund development for Goodwill Industries of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio.
The location is popular both for donors and shoppers, Ater said. "North Canton has been very good to us."
The new store will provide more than double the space of the current location. It will feature an updated, open floor plan — allowing for more products to move through — and a drive-thru donation center, she said.
Drivers will be able to access the store from entrances along Main and Applegrove streets.
Goodwill anticipates opening the new store in April. The two locations will have a seamless transition, and employees and managers of the current location will transfer to the new store, Ater said.
The nonprofit has high hopes for its new location and the new developments nearby, Ater said.
"It's a little dusty right now, but I think as we move along on this construction process, people who live nearby, live in North Canton, will realize what an incredible area it will become," she said. "It seems like a lot of exciting things are happening in North Canton, and we're happy to be a part of it."
In May, North Canton gave the popular coffee chain the go-ahead for a new store on the southeast corner of North Main and Applegrove streets.
DeVille Developments is converting the former Huntington Bank building, at 1340 N. Main St., into a coffee shop with a drive-thru. An adjacent building will be knocked down for a parking lot.
DeVille did not return calls seeking information on the project.
The city's Planning Commission had some back and forth with developers on the plans. There were some concerns about traffic at the intersection, Fry said.
The commission approved a plan that requires cars leaving Starbucks to make only right turns onto Applegrove.
The city has not finalized final drawings for the site, Fry said, adding that he's unsure when the business will open.
What about traffic?
According to a Stark County Area Transportation Study, an average of 14,100 cars traveled on Main Street between Woodrow and Applegrove streets on a given day in 2016. An average of 19,200 cars used Applegrove Street between Main Street and Starcliff Avenue to the east.
It's hard to tell how the new businesses will affect drivers, Fry said.
The intersection presents some issues, but it has been the site of businesses before, he said. "I don't anticipate they'll be a huge change."
Traffic can be a tricky issue, as folks sometimes view traffic in an area being more dangerous than it is, he said. "The perception versus reality are two different things."
On the other side of Applegrove Street, the Acme Fresh Market plaza, which also houses several restaurants and stores, will undergo renovations including an upgraded parking lot and facade.
The McDonald's, at 1407 N. Main St., also is planning a renovation. The store will be upgraded to look like other new McDonald's in the area, Fry said.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to relocate the North Canton Branch, at 1212 N. Main St., to a smaller nearby storefront.
The current branch has been criticized for its poor parking lot and broken mailboxes.
The Postal Service held a public hearing about moving the branch in February. Officials said the new branch would have to be located in the 44720 ZIP code and would ideally be moved to a storefront within a half-mile of the current location.
This week, Ohio Postal Service spokesman David G. Van Allen said there was no new information on where the new branch would be located or when it would open.
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