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Kroger pulls permits to demolish Sisters of Notre Dame structures

  • CTY-kroger08-1

    The site of the former Sisters of Notre Dame campus on Secor Road in Toledo. The demolition of the buildings will allow Kroger to build their new store. The grocer paid $6.7 million for the property.

    The Blade/Jetta Fraser
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  • CTY-kroger08

    The site of the former Sisters of Notre Dame campus campus on Secor Road in Toledo.

    The Blade/Jetta Fraser
    Buy This Image

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A Michigan company has pulled permits to demolish six structures on the former Sisters of Notre Dame campus, clearing the way for a new Kroger Marketplace to be built near an often congested West Toledo intersection.

The buildings, including the 1924 Provincial House — which were the subject of a controversial rezoning that cleared the way for the new store — are to be razed, according to commercial demolition permits requested Wednesday by Homich Wrecking Inc. of Carleton.

CTY-kroger08-1

The site of the former Sisters of Notre Dame campus on Secor Road in Toledo. The demolition of the buildings will allow Kroger to build their new store. The grocer paid $6.7 million for the property.

The Blade/Jetta Fraser
Enlarge | Buy This Image

Kroger purchased the buildings and 18 acres at Monroe Street and Secor Road in July for $6.7 million, according to Lucas County Auditor property records.

Jennifer Jarrell, a spokesman for the Cincinnati-based grocer, confirmed that preparations for demolition of buildings at the site have begun, but the company doesn’t have a firm timeline for building the $28 million, 123,000-square-foot store.

“The construction timeline is evolving. Beyond that there is not much more to report,” she said. “We are remaining committed to the project. We are too early in the project to have a definite opening date.”

Kroger won approval from the city of Toledo to rezone the property last March after a nearly 2½-year plan to move across Secor from its current location at 4533 Monroe. The 10-2 council vote overturned a Toledo Plan Commission recommendation against the rezoning request.

The company first proposed the new store on the convent land in the spring of 2015, when its plans sparked a debate pitting some neighbors who opposed the plan against those in favor of the development.

Sisters who belong to the religious community lobbied heavily for zoning approval because the money received from the grocer would help pay for construction of a smaller retirement home and headquarters at the order’s Lial campus in Whitehouse.

The plan commission urged against rezoning from residential to commercial, and city council followed that recommendation by rejecting the zone change in an 8-4 vote in November, 2015.

Kroger refiled a request to rezone the Sisters’ property in November, 2016, and submitted slightly different plans that reduced lots for separate stores and businesses and provided more green space to conserve existing trees to have a park-like atmosphere.

In addition to the Provincial House, Elizabeth House, Discovery Academy Building, a maintenance boiler house, and two garage storage buildings on the former convent property are to be removed.

Sister Mary Delores Gatliff, provincial superior for the sisters, said items such as the altars, crucifix, statues, and Stations of The Cross, were removed from the chapel and relocated at the sister's new home in Whitehouse.

"Anything of religious significance was moved out to the new center so our sisters could have a sense of coming home when they moved out there," she said.

The chapel's stained glass windows were not removed and remain in the building, she said.

"We were told by different glass artists that the way they were installed they could be removed and reused," she added.

The costs paid by Homrich Wrecking for the permits to do the demolition work totaled $8,141.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199

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