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Published: Saturday, 2/9/2008

Burlington to open store in South Toledo

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

After a decade of scouting the Toledo area for sites and a near miss in December, popular discount clothing retailer Burlington Coat Factory has signed a deal to open a store in South Toledo by fall, and may add a second store.

Burlington, based in Burlington, N.J., and privately owned by Bain Capital Partners LLC, plans to occupy about 66,000 square feet in the Airport Square Shopping Center on Airport Highway at Reynolds Road.

The retailer would fill adjacent empty sites once occupied by Best Buy and The Pharm.

Burlington plans to open the store between July and September, "but that could get pushed back if they're unable to get the permits in a timely fashion," said Duke Wheeler, a commercial real estate agent at CB Richard Ellis/Reichle Klein, of Toledo.

He and another real estate agent have been working with the clothing chain for 18 months.

It was reported in December to be taking the Value City Department Store's site at Lewis Avenue and Alexis Road, but the deal didn't happen. The Value City store is now set to close. Mr. Wheeler said Burlington remains interested in that area.

The new store brings a major discounter to the area to help offset the loss of Value City.

Burlington carries outerwear, clothing, shoes, furniture, linens, baby items, and some home decor.

"The 'Coat' name is a misnomer. Of course they sell coats and those were their origins, but they have since expanded to a full-line clothing store," said George Rosenbaum, a retail specialist and head of Leo J. Shapiro & Associates of Chicago.

"They are an off-price apparel and soft-goods shop in the same category as T.J. Maxx or Marshall's," he said. The chain typically carries lesser-known brands.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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