Bexley News

Issues keeping Giant Eagle project grounded for now

City's planning commission says more time is needed to study plans


Plans for the proposed Giant Eagle grocery store that is planned to be built on the current site of Bexley City Hall, 2242 E. Main St., are still in the checkout lane.

At its Aug. 25 meeting, the city of Bexley's Planning Commission tabled Giant Eagle's proposal to build a new, two-story, 30,000-square-foot building to accommodate a Giant Eagle Market District Express. Planning Commission members said they need more time to review plans submitted by developer Continental Real Estate Cos. for the estimated $6.5 million development.

Bexley City Council approved the overall Giant Eagle development last year. Construction has been scheduled to begin later this year, pending the Planning Commission's approval.

Much of the discussion Aug. 25 centered on where to place and adequately screen from public view the store's loading dock, how to route traffic from delivery trucks, and if the planned number of parking spaces will be sufficient. Continental is requesting a variance from the required 120 parking spaces, as the Giant Eagle plans provide 98 parking spaces.

Another potential issue is whether an alley and parking lot used by tenants of a Gay Street Realty property just east of the proposed Giant Eagle site can be used as a public right-of-way.

"If Giant Eagle gets less parking, spillover parking is sure to occur in our lot, which is reserved for our residents and businesses," said Kenny Brown of Gay Street Realty.

Bexley City Attorney Lou Chodosh said the city plans to work with Gay Street Realty and Capital University, which the city says owns the alley, to resolve the issue.

"We believe the (city of Bexley's use of) eminent domain can move forward," Chodosh said. "We believe (the alley) has a public purpose."

Residents of homes that border the current City Hall site also expressed concerns about traffic congestion, safety and lighting spillover from the proposed Giant Eagle.

Jason Sudy, a consultant who handles city planning issues, said he will summarize the issues raised at the Aug. 25 meeting and submit information requested by Planning Commission members in time for the commission's next meeting Sept. 22.

If the Giant Eagle plans move forward, the current City Hall will be demolished and municipal offices are scheduled relocate by the end of the year to a space at the Bexley Square Shopping Center, just west of the current municipal building.

The city's service garage will relocate to a site on Delmar Drive, next to the police department facility at 559 N. Cassingham Road.