After a few months of lots of stuff going on in regards to the American Greetings world headquarters project at Crocker Park, City of Westlake officials find themselves without much to do now.
American Greetings announced on Wednesday that it is putting the brakes on the project as the company considers a buyout by the Weiss family which would take the company private.
City leaders seem to be taking this setback calmly, as it happened before bonds were issued and construction work began. Much of the work at this stage of the project would be handled by the engineering and finance departments.
But without a contractor approved, the city's finance department cannot sell bonds and arrange financing for the project.
Engineering, however, can still do some work, said city engineer Robert Kelly.
"We're not starting any construction work or putting out bids," he said Thursday. "But there are plans for both the site and nearby improvements that are still being finalized, and design work that needs to be done. So we'll keep working on that and be ready for when the project starts up again."
The company had submitted its preliminary development plan to the city over the summer, and, after it had gone through the planning commission, was approved by City Council in September.
After that, the contract for city's share of the project was put out to bid. Since bids were accepted in late October, representatives from the city, American Greetings and Crocker Park had been looking over them.
Hopes had been for the contractor to be approved in the next few weeks so the project could begin in early 2013. A meeting of the Committee of the Whole set for Tuesday was cancelled, then American Greetings made its announcement on Wednesday.
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