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Published: Friday, 7/13/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Manhattan Plaza revival under way

Grocer may join N.Y. clothing retailer

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Shoppers World plans to open its first Toledo-area store in either August or September, creating up to 80 jobs, with a third of those being full-time positions Shoppers World plans to open its first Toledo-area store in either August or September, creating up to 80 jobs, with a third of those being full-time positions
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A deal to place a retail clothing and general goods discounter in a shopping center on East Manhattan Boulevard is close to spawning a second leasing deal -- a supermarket to replace the Kroger Co. store that left the center in October, 2009.

Mike Yono, a Detroit businessman who owns the Manhattan Plaza shopping center at 559 East Manhattan, said he has been in discussions with an independent grocer that was considering locating in the plaza but who was not interested in being the sole anchor store.

That dynamic changed recently when Shoppers World -- a New York retailer specializing in clothing for men and women, accessories, shoes, small electronics, and home goods -- signed a lease this month to occupy half of a former 100,000-square-foot Kmart store located in Manhattan Plaza. The Kmart store closed earlier this year.

The grocery store's owner "is studying the market and will make a decision soon. He's doing his due diligence, but he is very much a possibility," Mr. Yono said.

Mr. Yono said he had been seeking tax abatement for the plaza, which operates under the name Manhattan Village LLC, and will automatically receive some limited abatement because the property is in a community reinvestment act zone created before 1994. But the tax abatement will not be significant.

Still, the grocery store deal is not contingent on it, Mr. Yono said, and a deal could be worked out by year's end.

Pete Shawaker, a commercial Realtor with the Reichle Klein Group, which is representing Mr. Yono, said the grocer interested in a lease is a full-service grocer.

However, the Kroger site will need to be remodeled. "The equipment in there is so old. Anyone coming in will want new coolers," Mr. Shawaker said.

Shoppers World plans to open its first Toledo-area store in either August or September, creating up to 80 jobs, with a third of those being full-time positions.

In August, 2009, Kroger announced the Manhattan Plaza store was no longer profitable and made plans to close it two months later.

Neighborhood leaders and local politicians tried to save the store, meeting with Kroger officials to plead their case.

In October, 2009, the city of Toledo offered Kroger an incentive package worth $12 million in grants and low-interest loans to upgrade the store and avoid closing it, but the offer was rejected.

Kroger officials indicated at the time that a new store was necessary to be profitable, and that it did not intend to spend the money to build one on the site.

The city worked with Mr. Yono to find a replacement grocery store, but the attempts were unsuccessful.

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



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