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Published: Tuesday, 6/6/2006

Wal-Mart plans to add grocery at Glendale site

BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to add a grocery to its Toledo Commons discount center in South Toledo, resulting in the first Wal-Mart Supercenter in Toledo.

And the City of Toledo has applied for a permit to build a boat dock and a public road to launch actual construction in the Marina District.

The two projects are among 12 on the Toledo Plan Commission's agenda Thursday. The commission meets at 3 p.m. in Government Center.

Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., plans to add 62,337 square feet to the 213,853-square-foot store at 2925 Glendale Ave., which opened two years ago. The company is seeking approval of a site plan.

City Council President Rob Ludeman, who represents the area as part of District 2, said Wal-Mart agreed to put off developing a Supercenter when the Toledo Commons project zoning was approved amid controversy in 2001.

But he said the agreement had a time limitation and the competitive situation has changed.

"At that time, we had Farmer Jack and Food Town [supermarkets]. Now we've got three Krogers in a row," Mr. Ludeman said, referring to Kroger stores on Glendale.

He said Wal-Mart will provide price competition for area residents.

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, in his previous term, broke a council tie to permit the development of the former contaminated industrial property for a Wal-Mart, over the opposition of some labor unions.

A meeting with a Wal-Mart representative, along with Mr. Ludeman and Stephen Herwat, executive director of the plan commission, was planned for neighborhood residents last night at the Heatherdowns Branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library on Glanzman Road.

Mr. Herwat said Wal-Mart has agreed to upgrade the landscaping along Schneider Road, which borders Toledo Commons on the rear, in response to complaints.

Wal-Mart's plans call for a six-foot-wide pedestrian strip from the store to the bus stop on Glendale.

Wal-Mart has two other Supercenters planned for the area, in the village of Holland and in Perrysburg Township.

The expansion comes as Wal-Mart is challenging Kroger for the food market throughout Ohio. The company opened six Supercenters in Ohio May 17.

The Marina District could see its first actual construction this summer under an application for a special-use permit.

The city plans to build the Glass City Municipal Marina and Marina Drive off Front Street, starting with 106 docks for boats between 30 and 50 feet. The docks will be bordered by a 14-foot walkway and a parking lot.

The marina already has been under phase one of construction with the installation of a steel retaining wall, said Mike White, city commissioner of engineering-new project development and transportation.

Future phases call for a passenger ship terminal to be built by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority at the marina.

Mr. White said the marina is expected to cost about $2.9 million. The roadway, including parking and utilities, is projected at $2.6 million. Mr. White said the projects are scheduled to be competitively bid and awarded in time to start construction in August.

Contact Tom Troy at:

tomtroy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6058.



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