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Kroger Bakery Project Gets Commission Approval

Brent Warren Brent Warren Kroger Bakery Project Gets Commission ApprovalThe Cleveland Avenue side of the site in 2020, photo by Brent Warren.
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A modified plan to redevelop the former Kroger Bakery site on Cleveland Avenue got a vote of approval from the Development Commission last night.

The new plan calls for fewer residential units – 364 instead of 448 – and more office space – 49,000 square feet instead of 2,400 – than the previous proposal, which had been stalled because of opposition from the site’s neighbor, Abbott Laboratories.

The 9.4-acre complex, which sits at 457 Cleveland Ave., is located just north of Downtown, immediately south of the Abbot facility and across the street from the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center. It was bought in March of last year by a team of local developers – Casto, Kelley Companies and the Robert Weiler Company.

The plan from the beginning has called for renovating the two former bakery buildings on the site and constructing three new buildings around them. Two of the new buildings would sit on the north side of the property, separated from the Abbott site by surface parking.

The new, approved plan moves those two buildings back by another six feet or so, allowing for a row of deciduous and evergreen trees to be planted along the property line.

Brent Sobczak, President of Casto Communities, told the commission that his team also is committing to installing windows with a higher STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating, which he said would do more to shield residents from noise than a sound wall along the property line would.

Leases for both residential and commercial tenants would also contain language “whereby tenants would acknowledge the existing conditions within the lease so they are aware of what they are coming to,” according to Sobczak.

Tom Evers, VP of U.S. Government Affairs for Abbott, told the commission that the company had had several “productive discussions” about the project with the developers and the city, but still remains opposed to it.

Commission Chair Michael Fitzpatrick said that he was sympathetic to Abbott’s concerns, but that he supported the modified proposal.

“This project is a lot farther along than it was,” he said, “and I commend [Casto] and Abbot on teaming up to make something reasonable and practical.”

After a 4-2 vote to approve, the project will now move on to City Council for final approval.

See Also – Photos: Inside the Former Kroger Bakery

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