RICHFIELD, Ohio (Sept. 18, 2015) — The Village of Richfield is suing a landowner in an eminent domain case involving the planned Nexen Tire Corp. research and development center in Richfield, where it already has a facility.
The village served its complaint on Jonathan Bigazda, general partner of Bigazda Family Limited Partnership, on Aug. 25. A copy of the document was filed the same day in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Court Division.
At issue is a 2.54-acre plot of land on Wheatley Road in Richfield, which the village said it wants to buy for the construction of a new public road south of Wheatley Road. The village offered the Bigazda partnership $370,000 for the property, but the family group refused to sell.
Nexen Tire America Inc. — the U.S. sales/distribution arm of South Korea's Nexen Tire Corp. — has inked a contract to purchase the Richfield land but is not a party to the suit and not mentioned in the complaint. However, the plot of land in question is near the site of the company's proposed R&D center. The proposed road is believed to be an access road for that center.
The Bigazda Family Limited Partnership countersued Sept. 2, seeking an injunction against the eminent domain proceeding, saying the village has no legal right to take the property because it violates part of the Ohio Constitution.
Nexen announced plans for the $7 million, 30,000-sq.-ft. R&D center in August and expected to build the center no later than in early 2016. It said the facility is expected to take from nine to 11 months to be completed.
The tire maker has 16 employees in Richfield and said the new facility will allow it to have as many as 30 workers there.