Meijer submits plans, requests for former Super Kmart in Howland - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Meijer submits plans, requests for former Super Kmart in Howland

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HOWLAND TWP., Ohio -

A Michigan-based department store chain has filed plans to tear down the Cafaro-owned former Super Kmart. 

Meijer, known as a one-stop shopping spot, has submitted requests that would allow them to have store signage outside of township zoning regulations. 

Along with that signage variance application comes information about what Meijer might intend to do with the space near Route 46. 

In September,  21 News reported that Frank Guglielmi, senior director for communications for the Meijer chain, confirmed plans that Meijer intended to purchase the Kmart building. 

Plans submitted to the Howland Township Zoning Office detail out Meijer's plans to demolish the Kmart building- building a 159,264 square foot supercenter in its place. 

Township zoning director Peter Ross said the applications also include details that the chain plans to install and convenience store and gas station near the Route 46 roadway. 

Ross says that the company has done a lot of investigative work to try to get the approvals necessary. 

The board of appeals will consider the sign variance request in mid-January. 

From there, Ross says Meijer will still need approvals from several other groups and departments. 

Ross estimates the entire process could take a couple of months. 

Cafaro Company spokesman Joe Bell says the company is still in talks with Meijer and that they've had long talks and developed a good relationship. 

Bell said that they hope to be able to have more information in the coming months. 

As for the demolition plans, Bell said that typically any larger retailer would plan to demolish and build from scratch, in order to save money designing the building to their needs, rather than attempting to retrofit. 

Bell did say that the Cafaro Company still owns the Kmart building. 

Guglielmi previously told 21 News that Meijer does not have a construction or opening date for the Howland location.

Kmart closed the Howland store in April as part of a downsizing plan.

Meijer, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer, operates more than 240 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin.

The privately-owned and family-operated company pioneered the "one-stop shopping" concept and now sells fresh produce, meat, apparel, toys, electronics, garden supplies and offers pharmacy services.

Meijer also owns property on Mahoning Avenue in Austintown and is interested in developing land along Route 224 near Tippecanoe Road in Boardman.

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