James Collins recently moved his JC's Comic's N' More to 6725 W. Central Ave. from Toledo.
New businesses are flocking to the Central Avenue strip in Sylvania Township, keeping the bustling retail corridor humming.
Besides a Starbucks and a Jimmy John's, the area is getting an O'Reilly Auto Parts and recently snared a comic book store which had moved from Toledo.
The activity is supported by a recent commercial real estate study of the Sylvania and West Toledo area, which found retail vacancies lower than the metro Toledo averages. The study by Reichle Klein Group of Toledo found mid-year vacancies in shopping centers were at 13.6 percent in the Sylvania market, compared with 15.2 percent in metro Toledo.
For the busy Central Avenue corridor, a Starbucks spokesman confirmed the coffee giant will open a store with drive-through service this winter in a strip center at 6975 Central Ave., in the former home of Caribou Coffee. The shop has about 1,700 square feet and is able to seat 35. Currently, there are Starbucks' kiosks in two Krogers in the Sylvania area, but no full stores.
Township planning and zoning manager Daryl Graus said Jimmy John's is building a sub sandwich restaurant at 6801 Central Ave., near Tim Hortons and Marco’s Pizza. The new building, 1,567 square feet, will have drive-through service. He said the restaurant has a 2014 completion date, but did not have details on the month.
Another construction project includes O’Reilly Auto Parts, which is building a 7,428-square foot store on an empty lot at 7417 Central Ave., near Burger King. He also said the shop plans to be operation in 2014, but did not specify a date.
Even small business owners are attracted to Central Avenue, which in the township is busiest with commercial activity from Reynolds Road west to King Road.
Owner of JC's Comic's N' More, Jim Collins operated his comic book shop in Toledo at the Meadowbrook Plaza, at Hill Avenue and Reynolds Road, for 28 years. He recently moved to Sylvania for the location and vibrancy of the area.The new location at 6725 West Central Ave. in the St. James Plaza is 100 percent filled, and is surrounded by other restaurant and retail businesses, he said.
“If people want to grab their comics they can eat afterward, there is a restaurant deli ... The life of the area, in the plaza and up and down the street, and the easy access off the highway drew me to the area.” He added that he can capture customers from Michigan who use U.S. 23, which is about a mile to the east.
Township Administrator John Zeitler said new businesses generate jobs and stirs the Sylvania economy.
“Growth is good. When we have business growth, the neighborhoods will grow and it makes the community more vibrant. And hopefully they employ people locally,” he said, noting Denny’s recent move to Central Avenue and employing at least 70 people.
Mr. Graus also mentioned that businesses are eyeing Monroe Street, too. The list of new businesses on the street include Muna Market, a Middle-Eastern specialty store in the process of construction at 5464 Monroe St.; Estate Jewelers will move to a plaza at 6455 Monroe St.; Genoa Bank is building a branch at 5501 Monroe St.; and Gabriel Brothers will open its doors on Nov. 14 at 5225 Monroe St.
Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.
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