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Published: Friday, 1/27/2006

Wal-Mart is proposed for U.S. 20, Simmons Rd.

A 200,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter has been proposed for the northwest corner of U.S. 20 and Simmons Road in Perrysburg Township.

It would be the second such supercenter in the Toledo area.

The Wood County Planning Commission will review the project's footprint, which is less detailed than a site plan, at 4 p.m. Feb. 7. It will go before the township zoning commission Feb. 13.

The proposed supercenter, to be built on 30 acres owned by Mary Cranker, would include a grocery section, a 1,000-space parking lot, and a future gas station.

Township zoning Administrator Grant Garn said the footprint specifies the size and location of the building.

If the plans are approved, the supercenter could open in late 2007, Ron Mosby, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said.

It would compete with nearby Giant Eagle, Kroger, and Meijer stores for grocery business.

Planning Commission Director David Steiner said the property's current zoning of planned unit development-mixed use is appropriate for the proposed store.

The planning commission will consider how the proposed store fits in with the overall land use in the area, including landscape screening and buffering, before making a recommendation.

They'll also review access to the site.

The preliminary site plan includes an access road across one corner of the site, running from Simmons across from the entry for the Meijer store, to Route 20. A new traffic signal would be installed on Route 20.

"What we'll be doing is looking at it from an overall county standpoint," Mr. Steiner said. "You're talking about a pretty intensive land use."

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is building a 203,000-square-foot supercenter in Holland at the rear of the Spring Meadows Shopping Center. The 26-acre site, at North Mall Drive and McCord Road, is adjacent to Wal-Mart's Sam's Club store.

Holland residents protested the supercenter, saying it would increase traffic in the area.

Mr. Mosby said the Holland store is slated to open in January, 2007.

He did not know of any other plans for new Wal-Marts in the area.

As of October, the Bentonville, Ark., discounter operated 66 supercenters in Ohio. The supercenters, which are about twice the size of a regular Wal-Mart, offer fresh groceries in addition to the usual household items.

Mr. Garn said that in 2000, the property was a potential site for Kohl's, a Super Kmart, and another large building, none of which was built at that location.

Changing the proposed development of the site from three buildings to one building made the series of hearings necessary.

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