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Published: Saturday, 6/29/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Costco explores 2nd location in Perrysburg

Wholesale club shows interest in 30-acre site off I-475 exit

BY MATT THOMPSON AND JON CHAVEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITERS
Shoppers await the opening of a Costco Wholesale Warehouse in West Toledo. A new location is being considered for Perrysburg. Shoppers await the opening of a Costco Wholesale Warehouse in West Toledo. A new location is being considered for Perrysburg.
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Costco Wholesale Corp., which has operated a store in West Toledo since 2007, is considering a location in Perrysburg.

On Thursday, an executive of the Issaquah, Wash.-based retail chain and an architect who designs Costco’s wholesale club stores went before the Perrysburg Plan Commission to express the company’s interest in a site at the southeast corner of Eckel Junction Road and State Rt. 25.

The executive, Ted Johnson, a Costco project development director, emphasized the retailer is interested in the site but has made no commitment to put a store there. Any decision to locate a wholesale club on the 30-acre site would come only if the retailer is able to resolve a variety of issues.

“Costco left with good feedback. I don’t know if the commission raised concerns they’re already sensitive about. Traffic and building materials are two of the big concerns,” said Brody Walters, Perrysburg planning and zoning administrator. “Costco is not 100 percent coming, but they did express interest. There are several things that could scare them off, like traffic, access, and a gas line.”

Mr. Walters said Costco wants to build a store similar to the one it operates on West Central Avenue near Secor Road in Toledo.

“This will be visible from State Rt. 25 and [I-475/U.S. 23], so the commission wants the building to look nice, not just a ‘big-box retail’ building that doesn’t look attractive,” Mr. Walters said.

Accompanying Mr. Johnson was consultant Risa Yuki, a senior associate with the architectural firm of Mulvanny G2 Architecture, Wash., which designs wholesale warehouse stores for Costco.

The site Costco desires contains a residential property, a horse barn, and open fields. It is owned by landowners Ernest and Marilyn Rosebrock, Paul Eckel, Sheila McMillan, and Terrance and Sharon Kahle. In 2004, the property was rezoned to C-3 for highway business when it was sought by a Cleveland-area developer who was interested in turning the property into a retail center.

The property has been marketed by commercial real estate agent Steve Lennex, of Lennex Realty Co. of Toledo. Mr. Lennex was unavailable for comment Friday.

Steve Serchuk, a commercial real estate agent with the Toledo office of Signature Associates Inc., said that in 2004, developer Visconsi Cos. of Cleveland had wanted to place a Walmart store on the site but ran into difficulties. “There’s high-power gas lines that run through that property. Walmart wanted help to relocate it,” Mr. Serchuk said.

Mr. Walters said Costco has expressed concern about the gas line as well.

If it goes ahead, Costco would build a 150,000-square-foot store, about the same size as the Toledo facility.

Mr. Walters said the plan commission expressed concern about the traffic that a Costco would add to the already-congested area. Costco, he added, might be deterred by a city zoning code that forbids the type of metal panels Costco prefers to use as siding on its stores.

As of 2012, it was the second-largest retailer in the United States, behind only Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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