First business opening at Town Center at Firestone Farms

COLUMBIANA — It was four years ago that Tom Mackall decided to buy a large chunk of mostly undeveloped land along state Routes 7 and 14, with the intention of turning it into a hub for business opportunities for people from all over.

Since buying the land in 2012 for $4.9 million during a sheriff’s sale at the county courthouse, Mackall, through his companies Firestone Homestead LLC and East Fairfield Coal Co., began transforming the land along the east side of Route 7 into the Town Center at Firestone Farms.

This Friday, the Town Center will welcome its first new business, Moondance Boutique, located at 127 Town Center Ave. A ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Bryan Blakeman and the Columbiana Area Chamber of Commerce will take place at noon. An official grand opening is scheduled for Dec. 15.

Chamber Executive Director April Brinker said that in addition to being the first to have a ribbon cutting, the boutique is the first out of the other planned businesses coming to the new facility that has already joined the chamber.

The boutique offers upscale women’s clothing.

The Town Center consists of three buildings that encompass roughly 100,000 square feet and Mackall said the Salem Regional Medical Center also has plans for a location there. The hospital plans to offer a women’s health care center, among other things, and has already begun construction on its space inside the facility, he added.

“It’s wonderful for the community of Columbiana what they are doing,” he said of the businesses. “I’m excited for them. We definitely want to get the word out that they are opening. We want them to be successful.”

The facility is also expected to house a restaurant at some point, in addition to other retail shops.

Over the years — and especially within the last few months — Mackall’s vision for the Town Center has come together seemingly without a hitch. That vision was for the Town Center to serve as a modern version of Columbiana during the Harvey S. Firestone era, to honor the city’s history.

He has also said that he would like the development to be similar to Easton Mall in Columbus.

Mackall is also responsible for the development along the west side of state Route 7, which is The Marketplace at Firestone Farms. The Marketplace is also expected to feature retail shops, and possibly a hotel, bank, grocery store, auto parts store and fast food restaurants.

Work at the developments is expected to continue over the next 10 years.