The new Meijer store that anchors a major retail development on Diley Road will open its doors to the public April 30.

The new Meijer store that anchors a major retail development on Diley Road will open its doors to the public April 30.

Meijer administrative assistant Valerie Cocke told Canal Winchester Village Council Monday that the "soft opening" will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6:30 a.m. The store's official grand opening is scheduled for May 4, she said.

The opening culminates nearly 18 months of preparation and construction. Village council agreed in September 2006 to approve Meijer's final development plans for a 207,364-square-foot store and the design rules for the 12 businesses that will eventually surround it.

The boundaries for the 55-acre site are Diley Round, Hill Road and Kings Crossing. The land was originally earmarked for offices.

Meijer real estate manager Roger DeHoek told council at the time that 12 outlots at the site would be sold and used for banks, restaurants, a gas station and possibly a hotel.

Mayor Mike Ebert said Monday he expects the new store to draw a lot of attention, not only from Canal Winchester residents but from Pickerington residents as well. He also said he thinks residents are anxious to see development in the lots adjacent to the new Meijer store.

After the meeting, Councilman Victor Paini said he cast the sole vote against the Meijer store when it was being planned more than two years ago, but he still intends to shop there.

"It looks like they built a nice product and I think the people in the neighborhood will like it," Paini said.

He consistently said during the planning stages that he thought the store was wrong for the site, although he liked its design and believed the company worked hard to meet village demands.

The store is located at 8300 Meijer Drive off Diley Road.

ebrooks@thisweeknews.com