The Journal Gazette
Thursday, January 28, 2016 1:52 pm

Plans for upscale market advance

Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette

A new upscale supermarket at North Anthony Boulevard and Crescent Avenue now needs only to have a rezoning pass City Council before the project can commence in earnest.

Plans to redevelop the site of a Scott's supermarket shuttered since 2012 got the go-ahead this week from the Fort Wayne Plan Commission. Members voted unanimously to rezone the 3.8-acre site from a limited commercial classification to neighborhood center and to approve the development plan submitted by ForeSight Consulting LLC of Fort Wayne.

In approving the rezoning, however, the plan commission struck down some future uses automatically permitted by the new zoning classification.

Those include use of the property as an indoor automobile rental or sales facility, a correctional services facility, a private club, a large group residential home and a rescue mission.

Those restrictions were among about a dozen recommended by representatives of neighborhood associations, said Dan Wire, on the advisory panel of the Northside Neighborhood Association. 

The plan commission let stand several waivers from development standards requested by the applicants, including lessening required setbacks from neighboring properties.

Wire said Brad Sturges, a representative of the site's developer, met with neighborhood representatives after the plan commission's public hearing. At the hearing, Wire noted a lack of communication between neighbors and the developer.

He said the meeting was cordial and Sturges explained several aspects of the proposal, including the number of parking spaces, which had been a neighborhood concern. Sturges said more than the required number of spaces were included because of the need to provide employee as well as customer parking.

"I think it's a good direction for the neighborhood," Wire said of the project, adding neighbors have been hoping for a new supermarket for some time. "I'm really tickled that he (Sturges) steered the operator to our area." 

That operator remains a secret because of nondiclosure agreements, Sturges reiterated Thursday.

But he said his reaction to the vote was "very positive. We're moving along as scheduled and trying to get all our (regulatory) tests done so we can start construction."

Plan commission and council officials said they did not know when the rezoning vote would take place, but it could be as early as Feb. 9 or 16. Council does not vote on development plans.

The Scott's market was shut down after structural problems with the building were discovered; the market later was the site of a fire ruled arson.

The new market, which will include a pharmacy with drive-through service, will be about 44,000 square feet. The project also includes a 9,500-square foot space attached at the market's north end. The rezoning was sought because the existing designation did not allow for a building that large.

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