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Published: Wednesday, 8/3/2005

Toledo: Rite Aid, town homes mulled for Point Place

BY KARAMAGI RUJUMBA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Toledo Plan Commission will consider two zoning change requests at its Aug. 11 meeting that could see some new buildings and developments sprout up in Point Place.

The panel will consider a request by Toledo company Park West Development Inc. that wants to build an 11,157-square-foot Rite Aid pharmacy at the corner of 116th and Summit streets. It has asked for a zoning change from single-dwelling residential to regional commercial.

Robert Gersten, who represents the joint venture firm WXZ Corp. of Cleveland and Park West Development Inc., noted that his clients would like the plan commission to increase the commercial zoning beyond 103 feet of depth for frontage of the property.

The plan commission staff, in its recommendation to deny the zoning request, noted that "unfortunately, expanding commercial zoning further back into the neighborhood will only detract from the residential character of 116th Street."

But Mr. Gersten disagreed.

"We're trying to put in a new drug store that requires rezoning beyond the present zoning. We've met with the business association, and we're in the process of sending out letters to neighbors in the community," he said. "We're eliminating a closed bowling alley that has been an eyesore in the area for a long time, and we're going to retain many of the area's businesses."

The majority of the commercial property along Summit Street is one parcel deep, and this type of small, pedestrian-scale development is what defines Point Place, the plan commission staff reported, noting that "taking the corporate suburban model and overloading the site with a building that is out of scale and a parking lot that is oversized does not justify rezoning the property."

"I would think that the planning commission would like to listen to the businesses and residents in the area," said Mr. Gersten. "If they don't change the zoning depths of the area, then it doesn't look like much economic development will take place in the area."

In other Point Place business, the plan commission will also consider an application from Keith Brown, a Toledo developer who wants to develop the land between I-280 and downtown into town homes, high-end residential, and neo-traditional brownstones. He is requesting a zone change from regional commercial to neighborhood commercial on that area of Summit Street.

In recommending approval of the zoning request, the plan commission staff noted that "this portion of Summit Street has been designated a gateway to downtown, and this proposal will complement those beautification efforts."

The Toledo Plan Commission meets for public hearings at 3 p.m. Aug. 11 in City Council chambers at One Government Center.

Contact Karamagi Rujumba at:

krujumba@theblade.com or

419-724-6064.



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