Mayfield Road's retail space needs an upgrade to compete with modern developments elsewhere, according to Mayfield Heights officials.
To figure out what can be done to make the Mayfield Road corridor more attractive to businesses, City Council voted 5-2 Wednesday to pay URS $45,000 to develop a strategic plan for the corridor.
Mayor Gregory Costabile said the plan will not be a "pie in the sky" list of what is wanted, but a realistic vision of what can be done. He said the Mayfield Heights stretch of its signature road needs to have a clear identity.
"We really need to have experts come in and create a plan of what the city can do to make itself more attractive to businesses to improve that corridor," he said.
URS will be joined by the Coral Company, a commercial development group, in developing the strategic plan. Coral Company President and CEO Peter Rubin said the problem with the city's 2004 master plan is that it hasn't been implemented.
"Very little of what the master plan hopes to see along Mayfield Road has been accomplished," Rubin said.
Costabile had chaired the master plan committee and Councilwoman Donna Finney, who voted against hiring URS, suggested Costabile or herself could lead a committee that would start work on the plan. She said URS could be brought in later if there is a need.
"I don't feel that the city can justify spending $45,000," she said.
However, Costabile said that's not his area of expertise and he received support from Councilwoman Gayle Teresi, who said no one with the city had the insight to do what professionals in the field could provide.
"We are such a retail-based community," she said. "I don't know who has the knowledge or wherewithal to bring it all together."
Teresi added that the city needs to figure out how to make shopping on Mayfield Road more community-based, warm and inviting.
Also voting against hiring URS was Councilman Nino Monaco, who said anyone can see what needs to be improved by driving along Mayfield Road. He was skeptical about whether the plan would have clear goals or could do anything to address what needs to be done on private property.