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Will The Financial Crisis Hurt Regional Economic Development?

Developer Peter Rubin wanted to create a new 98 acre town center in Solon akin to Crocker Park or Legacy Village. But the plan died this week due in part to concerns about securing financing. Rubin says in the current economic climate he couldn’t guarantee the project would be completed.

Rubin: "We’ve gone beyond the point of behavior just being affected by the fundamentals. Behavior is now affected by fear. The whole sense of reliability is gone."

That’s what other area companies with projects in the wings – including Eaton Corporation, University Hospitals and the Wolstein Group – are facing.

Kevin O’Brien, director of the Levin College Center for Public Management, says it could be a long term problem.

O’Brien: “They’ll have a very hard time reestablishing the concept of credit from the top of the industry down to the lowest levels of the industry.”

Eaton Corporation declined to comment on its plans to build a new headquarters. A spokeswoman for the Wolstein Group, which is developing the Flats East Bank, says times are indeed tough, but that project is moving forward.