COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – The Columbiana School Board Tuesday evening approved a 100%, 15-year tax abatement for a $10 million expansion project at Firestone Farms. Columbiana City Council will have the final say at its September 7 meeting.

On what is today a gravel parking area adjacent to the Homestead restaurant, there will someday soon be phase two of TownCenter at Firestone Farms.

“Phase two is a very similar design to phase one,” said Jeremy Mackall, vice president of Firestone Homestead, a family-owned company that has developed the Firestone Farms area. “We’re really happy. We really enjoy our tenants. We’re 100% leased.”

Thus the need for a second building, which will look like the first — a modern look with country charm — this time with a usable second floor.

“For example, we have a restaurant designed with a second floor. We also have some office space on the second floor, and we also have either some apartments or bed and breakfasts on the second floor,” Mackall said.

Across the street and a quarter mile up Route 14, there will be replicas of the birthplaces of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford built and turned into bed and breakfast destinations.

“We’re hoping in maybe October to start,” Mackall said. “And then, we’re going to make this the patio in front of the two houses. The houses will be set back a little bit more. Those stakes in the back are for the two houses, and then all along this side will be the new Firestone Museum.”

Next to where the houses and museum will be built, an old grain storage barn has been turned into what will soon become Ill Will Brewing — a beer making operation.  

Salem Regional Medical Center is also planning a three-story building nearby.  

A lot has happened on this corner since the first TownCenter building opened four years ago.

“A big thing I think is Columbiana is business-friendly. When you go down to the city, between Lance the city manager, the planning commission, they’re on our side,” Mackall said.

Directly across the street from the TownCenter shops, there are still plans to build grocery and hardware stores, but Mackall says that’s several years away.  

They first need a grocery store to commit.

As far as the new building at TownCenter — the earliest construction would begin is next spring — with a completion date in 2023.