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Published: Wednesday, 2/9/2005

Maumee: Conant Street site draws attention

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Maumee officials met last week with the real estate industry leaders interested in redeveloping a site along Conant Street.

The city sent out requests for proposals last month to redevelop the east side of the 200 block of Conant. John Jezak, city administrator, said the city has distributed 11 requests for proposals to potential developers.

"We've been extremely pleased throughout the process to see the amount of interest that's been shown in this project by the local real estate community," Mr. Jezak said.

The meeting last week was attended by 16 people who wanted to learn more about the project, including developers, builders, and architects, Mr. Jezak said.

The city wants to find private developers who will put up a building with retail on the first floor and housing on the upper floor or floors. Proposals for the redevelopment are due in April.

The city owns the land along Conant between Wayne and Broadway streets. Last year, it demolished the former Hilltop Automotive gas station and an office building on the land to make room for new development. The office building had housed the Maumee Chamber of Commerce, which has found a new home inside the Maumee Indoor Theater. Rather than building a building, some residents say the community would be better served by creating a town common or park.

City council members also have voiced some concerns about the project, saying that more shops might worsen parking problems in Uptown Maumee. However, a majority of council approved the concept of the new development in August.

Mr. Jezak said he believes the project will bring in more tax revenue for the city and add a new draw to Uptown Maumee.

"This is the next big thing for the uptown area," he said.



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