Giant Eagle Seeks Architectural OK on Market District Store
Plans to be tweaked; company will return next month for a vote
Giant Eagle officials are asking the city's Architectural Review Board to sign off on drawings of a Market District store on Pearl Road, the first in a line of approvals needed before the grocery store can break ground.
In a meeting Tuesday morning, the board complimented the look of the store, which architect Loren Wright said features different heights, materials and colors to break up a potential "big box" look.
I think they did a great job on the design," Building Commissioner Tony Biondillo said.
But the board raised a number of other issues:
• Screening. Phil Bishop of Echo Realty, the development company, said the store is proposing an 8- to 12-foot mound to the rear, topped by a 6-foot wall or fence, which he said would block the store from the view of most -- although maybe not all -- residents abutting the site.
He also suggested a wall of 8-foot arbor vitae on the mound, but Jennifer Milbrandt, the city's coordinator of natural resources, asked for groupings of pine or spruce trees instead.
"It wil give them (residents) a little more cover and the deer won't eat them," she said.
• Parking. As it stands, the store would provide 926 spots, well in excess of the 550 required. But Todd Waldo, Giant Eagle's senior manager or real estate, development and construction, said 175 to 200 of those would be occupied by employees at any given time.
Parking could become an issue because City Engineer Ken Mikula is asking the company to move the store forward 30 feet to accommodate Hunting Meadows residents, which would cost the store more parking spaces.
• Noise. Between five and eight large trucks will deliver at the loading dock every day, in addition to eight to 10 box trucks from bread, beverage and other suppliers. There will also be noise from trash compactors.
City officials want more assurance that the noise won't disturb nearby residents, especially at night and in the early morning.
Plans for the 110,000-square-foot Market District store also include two outbuildings. Tenants haven't yet been identified for either, Bishop said.
The company wants to install a traffic signal at the store's southern driveway, opposite Knowlton Parkway.
Giant Eagle hopes to break ground this summer on the store, making Strongsville the home of the first ground-up Market District in northeast Ohio.
Market Districts include a vast array of specialty sections, an in-store cafe and a pharmacy. Voters in March approved a rezoning on the Strongsville Golf and Honey Hut property to clear the way for the store to be built.
The company is expected to set up a work session with the ARB in early June and return to the board's next meeting June 12 to ask for plan approval. The site plans will then go back to the Planning Commission.