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Published: Thursday, 6/5/2014 - Updated: 5 months ago

Final Farmer Jack location reutilized with Save-A-Lot

Laskey Road Planet Fitness getting a neighbor

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Planet Fitness purchased the former Farmer Jack on Laskey Road. Save-A-Lot will use most of the remaining space at the location. Planet Fitness purchased the former Farmer Jack on Laskey Road. Save-A-Lot will use most of the remaining space at the location.
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The book on Farmer Jack supermarkets’ failed attempt in 2000 to do business in metro Toledo finally has been closed with a commitment by discount grocer Save-A-Lot to take the last large chunk of available space in a former Farmer Jack store.

TWF Holding Co., Inc., of Fort Wayne, Ind., a franchisee that owns four Save-A-Lot stores in Ohio and five in Indiana, said Wednesday that it has leased 18,000 square feet in the former store at 2630 W. Laskey Rd.

Last fall, Planet Fitness, a fitness club operator, bought the former store, which began as a Farmer Jack and later was converted to the chain’s no-frills Food Basics store concept. Planet Fitness took nearly half of the 58,000-square-foot store while Save-A-Lot is taking most of the remaining space.

Kurt Pollex, a commercial real estate agent with the Reichle Klein Group of Toledo, said the remaining 9,000 square feet likely will be filled with a small business. Mr. Pollex handled the lease for TWF Holding.

“The great thing is there has been a final repurposing of that vacant space. It’s kind of nice to have a conclusion to the void left from the past,” he said.

When it entered the market in late 2000, Detroit-based Farmer Jack made a splash by buying three area Churchill’s Super Markets and converting them to Farmer Jack stores.

It also built three new stores — the Laskey Road store, another on Airport Highway near McCord Road, and a third on Cherry Street at Bancroft Avenue.

But the chain had financial woes. In 2004, it converted its Laskey Road, Cherry Street, and Byrne Road stores into Food Basics stores, sold the former Churchill’s stores in Perrysburg and Sylvania to Bassett’s Markets of Port Clinton, and closed the Airport Highway store.

The Perrysburg store later was bought by Walt Churchill, Jr., who turned it into his own store. The Sylvania store, which was briefly a Bassett’s Market, closed in 2007.

ProMedica bought it last year and will demolish it for a new health and wellness complex.

The Cherry Street store was bought in 2005 by a Detroit grocer, Eddie Aboona, who has continued to operate it as the Seaway Market Place.

The Byrne Road store closed in 2005 and was bought in 2011 by the Cedar Creek ministry, which turned it into a church. Last year Kroger bought the Airport Highway store and is converting it into a new Kroger store.

Only the Laskey Road store was underutilized, but Jeff Sturges, president of TWF Holding, said the available space was perfect for a Save-A-Lot.

“We’ve looked in that part of Toledo for years and haven’t been able to find the right spot,” he said. “But we will be sharing the building with Planet Fitness, and we’ve already started demolition.”

Save-A-Lot, which will employ between 20 and 25 people, plans to open in August, Mr. Sturges said. It will be TWF’s fourth Toledo-area Save-A-Lot, joining stores on Airport Highway, Dorr Street, and Manhattan Boulevard.

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



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