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Published: Tuesday, 5/24/2005

New strip proposed near Levis Commons

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

LAS VEGAS - O-I's recent decision to move its headquarters to Perrysburg appears to be spurring new retail centers nearby and may alter plans for a second phase of Town Center at Levis Commons.

Meanwhile, city of Toledo officials are making a strong push to find a developer willing to take on Southwyck Shopping Center in Toledo.

Those issues surfaced yesterday during the first official day of the 2005 International Council of Shopping Centers spring convention.

Cedarwood Development Inc., of Akron, which developed a center anchored by Wal-Mart and situated across from the Medical University of Ohio in Toledo, began touting plans for a center, similar to the one across from MUO, to be called the Shoppes at Perrysburg.

The proposed project would be on State Rt. 25 south of Roachton Road.

Cedarwood said it could begin development next spring and be open by autumn, 2006. It cited Perrysburg as one of the fastest growing areas in metropolitan Toledo and pointed to O-I's future move to a spot near Cedarwood's development site.

On Southwyck, Toledo Mayor Jack Ford said one developer showed great interest, although no deal was struck.

Mr. Ford was in Las Vegas to address convention attendees at an afternoon session on cutting through government red tape.

Afterward, Mr. Ford said he had held meetings on Sunday and yesterday will hold another today with developers whom he is trying to persuade to redevelop Southwyck.

Sherman Dreiseszun, a co-owner of Southwyck along with Dillard's, the mall's remaining anchor store, also is at the convention. Mr. Dreiseszun said the mall, which has lost a number of other stores, greatly needs a second anchor to help revive it. He added that finding anchors is difficult because many retailers remain reluctant to expand.

Said Mr. Ford, "I don't know how this will turn out. But if you're going to make it happen, then this is the place you need to be."

The convention, attended by nearly 34,000 people this year, is where those involved in shopping mall development, retail, and real estate meet to work out deals or showcase plans.

Among the projects on display is Perrysburg's Levis Commons, a "lifestyle" center that combines retail, office, and residential.

The booth of Hill Partners, the Charlotte, N.C., retail developer that lined up the stores that now fill phase one of Levis Commons, prominently featured a large photo of the project developed by Dillin Development, of Perrysburg.

Robert Spratt, Jr., president of Hill Partners, said a planned second phase of retail for Levis Commons may now have to be altered because of the move by O-I, which plans to put its world headquarters on a site adjacent to Levis Commons.

O-I announced early this month it will move 340 headquarters employees from One SeaGate - the riverfront tower it has occupied since 1981 - to the Levis park by the end of September next year. They will join 550 O-I workers already in the park, which the glass-container maker has owned since 1966.

Larry Dillin, head of Dillin Development, said the original plan for placement of a hotel in the second phase of the center will be altered at the request of O-I.

Cedarwood, which is proposing a project near Levis Commons, also was touting its plans to put a new Wal-Mart on 27 acres behind Kroger and T.J. Maxx at the Spring Meadows Place Shopping Center in Holland.

It plans to start developing the site this summer and have it opened by next spring.

The Wal-Mart would be a standard 161,000-square-foot building with garden center. However, the site had room for the store to expand into a Wal-Mart Supercenter, which features a grocery.

Contact Jon Chavez at:

jchavez@theblade.com

or 419-724-6128.



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