Buyers snatch up real estate in NE Ohio 'Boomtown'

Buyers snatch up real estate in NE Ohio 'Boomtown'

AVON, OH (WOIO) - If you want to test the temperature of the real estate market in Avon, just try to buy a home there.

Real estate experts say the good homes are going so fast, some properties don't even make it on the market before they are sold.

Howard Hanna realtor Rose Baker recently made three deals in one day.

"It's crazy. It's been a boom in sales. Houses go on the market, and they are gone within days. Everybody wants to be here," Baker said.

At a time when many cities are on the road to recovery from a weak economy, you could say Avon is in the fast lane, and Mayor Bryan Jensen is on the ride of his life.

He's quick to give credit to his predecessor, Mayor James Smith, who he says laid the groundwork for success.

"He kind of built the house, and I get to go in and do the decorations and decorate that," said Jensen with a smile.

The decorations come in the form of millions of dollars in new investment, new infrastructure and new amenities for residents.

In just over ten years, a city that was dotted for decades by family farms and a lovely antiques district now seems to have hit suburbanite gold.

The population of Avon went from 11,446, residents in 2000, to 21,193, in 2010, according to the latest census.

Joseph Capucinski has lived in Avon for 25 years.

"The changes are phenomenal. It's just unbelievable. There was a time when you could go down Detroit Road on a tractor, and no one would say anything," Capucinski said.

Boy, are things different now.

What may be most impressive is that some clients who can afford lakefront property are abandoning those options to be in Avon.

"This market is outstanding right now because the school systems are great. It's a great place to raise your family. That's what drew us to this property," said Lee Franciscus.

Franciscus could have opted for a Lake Erie view, but decided to purchase a worn-out, century-plus home that he will now tear down to build his family's dream house.

Residents seem to like the convenience of living in Avon.

The opening of the Nagel Road exit off of I-90 seemed to open the floodgates of business on both sides of the interstate.

Situated right along I-90, the city boasts cutting edge retail, quaint stores showcasing antiques, great restaurants and a growing tax base that's allowing for new amenities, like the new pool that residents were diving into this summer.

Those who live in Avon seem to agree that much of the city's prescription for prosperity began with the opening of the Cleveland Clinic's family care facility, the Richard E. Jacobs Health Center, located off of Nagel Road.

"When you look at any positive development that goes on, you need that anchor store, and the Clinic has been our anchor store," Mayor Jensen said.

"Visibility and easy access. We wanted our patients to know where they were going, and quite frankly the other thing is the ability to expand. The hospital was not part of the original plan, but we have enough land that we were able to expand," said Dr. Joseph Knapp, the Medical Director for the facility.

The Clinic is now about to open an inpatient hospital, bringing the total number of employees to 1,000.

New tax revenue has made it possible to provide even more for homeowners.

But the most important piece of the puzzle, most everyone agrees, is the strong school system.

The Superintendent of Avon Schools, Michael Laub, is proud to show off his new $33 million baby, the district's new state of the art middle school.

Laub says proper planning has helped keep the quality of education high.

"There isn't an overall report card grade right now. We are ranked in different categories by grade, and we are A's and B's," Laub said.

The school already has room for the just over 5,000 students that are projected to be living in Avon in the next five to seven years.

But even with all of the explosive growth, there are still some local treasures that remain the same.

Buck's Hardware and Supply is inside one of the oldest structures in Avon, formerly a town meeting place according to the mayor, and has been operating as a hardware store on Detroit Road since 1949.

Frank and Ellie's, a popular local watering hole, is practically next door to Buck's Hardware, and, according to customers, is still the same place it was back in 1969.

"My father came in after being not here for 15-20 years, and he goes, 'the place has not changed one bit. It's stuck in time,'" said bartender Lisa Young.

Which is exactly why many say Avon is booming: the city showcases the best of the old and the new.

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