Woodville Mall site remains empty, unsold

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The Woodville Mall in Northwood closed its doors nearly seven years ago but the massive plot of land remains up for grabs. That's almost a year after locals informally voted on what they wanted to see built on Highway 51.

Demolition at the old Woodville Mall has been done for quite a while, except for this last phase, taking apart the foundation of the Elder Beerman. Some want retail, some want residential, and some want heavy industry at this 100+ acre site. But there have been zero offers.

"We're in negotiations with a few different developers right now. So there's stuff on the table," Northwood mayor Ed Schimmel said.

Northwood already sunk more than $2,000,000 into demolishing the mall. Mayor Ed Schimmel said this is one of his most difficult tests as mayor.

"The city didn't want this property. It was kind of forced upon us," Schimmel told 13abc.

That's after a team from New York state bought the property and sat on it before losing it in a legal battle. Now the property may expand from 122 to 133 acres.

"I think there's definitely interest in divvying it up," Schimmel said of smaller developers vying for smaller chunks of land.

What ends up there, nobody knows, but city council will vote on whether to add a boulevard to a park there in the next month. Some think that road will attract suitors.

"A portion of 55 and over, a portion of commercial, a portion of residential," Schimmel said.

Mixed development is what most voters from this meeting wanted to see, but it will be costly. One proposal is nearly 8 million dollars, the other pegged at almost 6 million.

The Woodville Mall sits along Wolf Creek and is only a few miles from Lake Erie. But a five acre retention pond is already built, and mayor Schimmel says that will save future developers a lot of cash.