Kroger's pitch to build new store on Sisters of Notre Dame land could see vote soon

Kroger's pitch to build new store on Sisters of Notre Dame land could see vote soon
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - More than a year after being shot down, Kroger's new plan to build a grocery store on the Sisters of Notre Dame property could get a 'yes' or a 'no' from Toledo City Council as early as next week.

This comes after dozens gave testimony before a council committee Wednesday.

After nearly four hours of asking questions and sharing opinions, members of Toledo's Zoning and Planning Committee voted to send Kroger's pitch to city council without recommendation.

Council members on the committee  could have sent the plans to a full council with approval or disapproval, but Councilman Tom Waniewski says he made a motion without any recommendation because several council members are still undecided.

"I didn't want to force anything on anyone," said Waniewski. "I think we're going to need every hour, every minute to decide which way we want to go."

The dozens who got up to speak Wednesday gave council members a lot to think about.

"We have one opportunity here to make Secor, to do Secor the right way," said one retail developer, who is in support of the plan.

Supporters are pushing the deal for development, jobs and a better store.

Belinda Costin, the board chair of the Maria Early Learning Center, which is on the property where the store would go, says she supports the build.

"With privacy fencing around the property, controlled access to the Maria Early Learning Center and completely separate parking, we are confident
every measure has been taken," said Costin.

After supporters, opponents were given their chance to speak.

"Do not demolish their heritage, smothering it in commerce," said one opponent.

Along with traffic, green space and school children concerns, opponents say Kroger's proposal goes against Toledo's 2020 Plan, which is a guiding map for the city.

"The people made the 2020 Plan. It was accepted by the city, and now you're going to say, 'Oh, let's just overturn the plan because Krogers is going to come in here and do all this," said one opponent.

Kroger's original plan failed back in 2015.

Kroger representatives say they tried to address concerns in the new plan by leaving more green space and allocating money for to alleviate traffic problems.

The next city council meeting is Tuesday, March 21.

Kroger will need nine of the 12 council members to vote in favor of the plan for it to pass.

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