Thursday, October 9, 2003

Wal-Mart plans to build 'supercenter' in Milford

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

MILFORD - Ohio 28 could be home to a new Wal-Mart Supercenter in 2005.

Representatives of the company have submitted a request for about 37 acres across from the Post Office in Milford to be rezoned for a 203,000-square-foot store.

"It's still in the early stages, and we'll be meeting with the city in the next couple weeks," said John Bisio, regional director of community affairs for Wal-Mart stores. "We want to be able to provide a store that reflects the community and the neighborhood, architecturally, concerning green space, lighting, traffic flow and other things."

The rezoning plan calls for the plot, the majority of which is now Thielman Mobile Home Park, to include a Wal-Mart gas station, one out lot, and room for an additional retail building, said Jeff Wright, assistant Milford city manager.

If planning proceeds smoothly, the store's projected opening is in 2005, Wright said.

The supercenter, which would include groceries in addition to regular Wal-Mart wares, would be only eight miles from a supercenter planned in Eastgate.

"It's not so much about miles and proximity; it's about density," Bisio said. "It's about providing convenience to folks and making sure the stores you do have are not so flooded with customers as to not provide them with the best service."

Bisio said the company has been emphasizing the supercenter concept. Wal-Mart had plans to build 200 supercenters in the 2002-03 fiscal year and only 50 to 55 traditional Wal-Mart stores.

The proposal will have its first hearing before the Milford Planning Commission on Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. Then the proposal will be heard by the City Council and will have a public hearing before a vote.

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