Panzica recognized by trustees for Newbury Center development
By Ann Wishart
Nacy Panzica, one of northeast Ohio’s preeminent developers, was lauded last January 13 by Newbury Township Trustees for his development of Newbury Center.
As the grand finale of the quarterly Geauga County Township Association meeting Panzica and the team that has worked with him over nine years to establish the multi-million dollar center were thanked by Trustee Chairwoman Jan Blair.
Blair recalled the patchwork condition of the northeast corner of the intersection of Kinsman and Auburn Roads when Panzica started his project nine years ago.
“Without this gentleman we’d still be shopping at Circle K and looking at the surrounding empty lots” Blair said. She recognized Panzica for investing his time, energy, experience and personal resources to develop Newbury Center and for his faith in the community.
“He has huge faith in our community and hangs in there with us,” added Trustee Chairman Bill Skomrock Jr.
The founder of Cleveland-based Panzica Construction accepted the engraved plaque and framed resolution from Blair, noting he chose Newbury because it reminded him of the small town in Pennsylvania where he grew up. The project, which now houses a health clinic, a bank and a Subway store, has not been an easy one, he said.
“There were times I thought this would never work,” he told the crowd of nearly 100 trustees and county officials at Punderson Manor. “But we overcame it and we’re here now. I feel part of the family.
“I’m going to keep going if it kills me. If it does, have a High Mass said for me,” he finished to laughter and applause.
He credited his team for all their help, including Chip Hess of Hess Engineering, Rudy Schwartz of Schwartz Surveying and Newbury businessman Chuck Gates who has partnered with Panzica on the project. Newbury Center is in the second stage of development – a nine-unit retail plaza now housing Subway. Two more structures are planned for the center.
Blair presented Hess, Schwartz and Gates with framed resolutions and voiced the appreciation of the trustees.
Gates, owner of Newbury-Kinsman LLC industrial park in Newbury, has worked with Panzica as a partner on the Newbury Center project. Over the years he has kept his facilities on Kinsman Road at Sperry Road occupied.
“If there is an empty building he will fill it,” Blair said. She also thanked Hess and Schwartz for helping Panzica and the township with the infrastructure at the Auburn-Kinsman roads intersection and for their work on the development of Oberland Park.
Blair also praised Kevin O’Reilly Jr.’s attractive renovation of the Newbury Hardware Store to house his Geauga Feed and Grain Supply, which he moved from a rental property in the township
“Kevin has done a great job. We’re happy to have him,” she said. “You have to be proactive in order for your goals to come to fruition.”
The recognition was in keeping with the economic development theme of the evening.
Anita Stocker, director of Geauga County Community and Economic Development and featured speaker, offered the services of her office to fledgling businesses.
The county’s revolving loan fund is celebrating 25 years of nurturing such ventures with low-interest loans from $3,000 to $50,000. The program has provided about $95 million over the years, Stocker said, and her office is working on its 111th loan. She emphasized that the businesses who borrow are good about paying the county back so more loans can be made.
“We will not let anybody get away without paying back,” Stocker said. “We let out about $1 million a year and get about $1 million back.”
She credited Newbury for working cooperatively with the county.
“You need to do the homework,” she told the township officials at the dinner. Stocker noted an application for financial aid is going to be more successful if there is a strong business plan that the applicant can defend. It is a mistake, she added, to have a plan drawn up by a “professional.”
“It can be ugly, but it’s got to be all yours,” Stocker said.
Wed, January 27, 2010
by Ann Wishart