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New Life for Troubled Club Ritz Site
ROSELAWN, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh) -- You probably remember the troubled name, "Club Ritz."
Now the club site is slated for transformation into a business park.
"This was a center of our community in our past and we're committed to restoring it for the future."
The center was once a shopping center, now torn down. But it was also home to Club Ritz, a nightclub with at least one homicide and multiple shootings in or outside in the parking lot.
Now, the parking lot and what's left of the structures will become home to Tech Solve Two, a business park for light and advanced manufacturing. It's right across the street from Tech Solve One where more than a dozen such manufacturing firms provide around 1,300 jobs.
"Here we have an opportunity for a blank slate, but not just a blank slate, a chance to build on the success of Tech Solve One and the businesses that are there."
To help things along, Duke Energy gave the Port Authority 400,000 dollars for use here and in other development projects. The Port Authority is spending 4 million dollars buying the site and cleaning it up. The expectation is private businesses will spend four times that amount moving in here, with 200-300 jobs.
The Port Authority, which owns this property, hopes the whole development, 3 to five businesses, will be finished in about five years, with the first new business coming here in July 2015.
For the people who live nearby this is progress rising from the ashes of Club Ritz.
"Well what it means is one less bar for Roselawn. And with one less bar that makes it a lot better and this is the future. We need something positive for the community, not that we don't have positive things but this is the beginning of a bigger future for Roselawn."
There are not any businesses which have pledged to build here yet. But the Port Authority says there is definite interest in this market, particularly with Tech Solve One across the street.
One of the most infamous Club Ritz incidents was in 2006 where a dispute involving the rapper "TI" led to a car chase on I-75, shots fired into a van and one person killed.