BRUNSWICK, Ohio — A Northeast Ohio basketball indoor training program, with five locations Hinckley Township, Solon, North Ridgeville, North Canton, and New Philadelphia, will call the former Brunswick Athletic Facility BAT Cage, at 1255 N. Carpenter Road, its newest home this year.
The Brunswick Planning Commission approved a conditional zoning certificate and a detailed site plan – pending final site plan engineering approval – July 1.
Swish 365 CEO Nelson Schorr said he and his colleagues are excited to bring the 10-year program to Brunswick.
“We’ve done a great job in the last eight to 10 years to help youth in the community,” Schorr said. “We are excited to bring very high end basketball training to Brunswick and the surrounding area.”
Schorr added that Swish 365 will not be using the entire building and is allowing current tenants, including the Brunswick Food Pantry, to remain. Swish 365 representatives did not give details about whether they are leasing the building or would ultimately take ownership of it.
Planning Commission Chairman Joe Shirilla asked if there were plans to make improvements to any part of the building, apart from landscaping next to the building and increased parking space noted on the detailed site plan.
“Over the years, there has been some neglect [of the property]. I don’t know if you are going to buy the building, but are there any plans for changes to the façade in any way?” Shirilla asked.
Swish 365 co-owner Craig Welch said there are plans to paint both the brick and aluminum sections of the building exterior in colors that match the Swish 365 logo.
At a public hearing prior to the commission approvals, several Valley Forge Drive residents expressed both support for and reservation with the proposed new business. Several concerns with parking, traffic, parking lot lighting, creating a buffer between the property and adjoining residential homes, and the company’s 11 p.m. closing time were voiced.
Valley Forge resident Frank Hoard pointed out that the property had become a magnet for “let’s say, suspicious activity” given the fact that it is private property and the rear of the property is several hundred feet off Carpenter Road. Hoard asked if security cameras were planned.
Welch said that while parking lot cameras are not in the current plans, “I am not opposed to that.”
Brunswick Community and Economic Development* Director Grant Aungst added that he has been impressed with what he has seen at Swish 365′s other locations.
“I think you are going to find a much higher end [operation],” Aungst said.
Hours of operation were a particularly contentious issue for residents at the public hearing. The planning commission staff report listed operating hours as “Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.” However, a closing time of 11 p.m., as well as 24-hour availability to select “elite athletes” who have key fob access to the building was introduced by Welch at the meeting.
Planning Commission approved a recommendation by Shirilla that the conditional zoning permit indicate that the business must be closed, with all persons off the property, by 11 p.m., and 24 hour access to the facility by up to 20 “elite athletes” be permitted.
Valley Forge resident Donald Hansinger questioned the approval.
“You first said 10 p.m. That moved to 11 p.m. And now you’re letting 20 people in [24 hours],” Hansinger said. “How will I know and how will you know when there will be 20 people? Who is going to enforce the 20 people?”
Brunswick Assistant Law Director/Assistant Prosecutor, Santo Incorvaia, said both planning commission and residents have recourse for illicit activity at the property, up to and including the revoking of the conditional zoning permit and pursuing police action for criminal activity.
Hoard added that he could see 24-hour access for a limited number of persons as a deterrent to criminal activity on the property.
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