The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

North Ridgeville, OH softball center could open this year !

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NORTH RIDGEVILLE, OH —

A women’s fast-pitch softball training facility is projected to open this year on land the city is selling to a developer.

The nearly 17,000-square-foot indoor facility will be a larger version of Leffew Fastpitch, run by well-known father-daughter softball instructors Dave and Amie Leffew in the LaGrange area.

To be built on Victory Lane near the city’s heavily traveled Lorain Road/Interstate 480 area, the center will feature eight to 10 batting and pitching cages, plus gymnasium space and a special surface, according to Tom O’Brien, owner of Blue Marble Realty, a Bay Village business that is developing the facility.

City Council’s Buildings and Lands Committee voted Monday night to recommend Council’s approval of the sale of a 3-acre parcel of land owned by the city to Blue Marble Realty.

The acreage is to be sold for $10,000, far below the $27,446-per-acre value listed by the county auditor’s office for improved acreage near the site that is part of Victory Sports Park, according to Councilman Dennis Boose, D-2nd Ward.

Law Director Andrew Crites said the site has deed restrictions due in part to its being situated on land that formerly held fly ash.

O’Brien said he is having preliminary engineering work done to ensure the acreage is stable enough to support the building. A cost figure for the project was not available from O’Brien.

He said building the softball center next door to Victory Sports Park and nearby I-480 made perfect sense because that facility could generate business for the fast-pitch center.

The 3 acres are part of a 67-acre parcel of land owned by the city and leased to PMJ Holdings, the firm that operates Victory Sports Park.

O’Brien said the center is projected to employ about 20 people, including six to seven fast-pitch coaches, and will operate as a leased subsidiary of Blue Marble Realty.

“The primary focus will be pitching, but they’ll also have catching lessons, as well as hitting and fielding (instruction),” O’Brien said.

The facility also will include retail operations, including one selling softball equipment.

O’Brien hopes to present facility plans to the city Planning Commission at its June 9 meeting, and if all approvals come in a timely manner, to have the business open by the end of the summer.

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