BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — With available land and a new I-475/U.S. 20A interchange set to open at the end of the year, Monclova Township will see a burst of development.
The two northern corners of U.S. 20A and Briarfield Boulevard have been rezoned. A 30,000-square-foot shopping center with four restaurants, retail and services is planned for the northwest corner while the northeast corner will be home to a gas station and convenience store. Construction on both should start later this year.
The U.S. 20A corridor isn’t the only portion of the township gaining interest. Yarder Manufacturing, a sheet metal company, plans to build a 250,000-square-foot headquarters on Monclova Road in the Joint Economic Development Zone (JEDZ) with Toledo, Maumee and Monclova Township.
At the southeast corner of Monclova and Jerome, construction of a FriendShip gas station and convenience store is expected to be completed by fall. On the northwest corner of Jerome and Monclova, Rolled Alloys is constructing a 220,110-square-foot manufacturing facility with a 29,050-square-foot attached office space. Construction on the high-tech, light manufacturing facility is expected to be finished by this fall, said Greg Souza, Rolled Alloys CFO.
“The 45-acre site will add many jobs to the community when operational,” he said. “Most employees will come from the company’s Temperance, Mich., facility, which the company has outgrown, but expectations include significant growth as well.”
The project, also part of the JEDZ, is supported by Lucas County, Regional Growth Partnership, Jobs Ohio and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
Bill Burkett, senior project manager for Regional Growth Partnership (RGP) said partnerships are vital for bringing in growth that supports townships, which cannot implement an income tax to fund services.
“People are dusting off their land use plans to see what can be done – such as the next industrial park – to see what can be done for townships to bring revenue in and survive. They’re paying attention to make sure they can continue to provide their services,” Burkett said, crediting the foresight of Monclova Township trustees for planned growth.
He pointed out that the township’s support of a sanitary sewer line along Monclova Road between Coder and Albon roads, set for construction to begin this July, is another example of investing in future development. The 44 affected Monclova Rd. properties, including several businesses, will no longer need to use septic systems, opening up opportunities for new development on vacant land in downtown Monclova.
Investing in infrastructure and partnerships has paid off, and that’s obvious when looking at the property valuations from the Lucas County Auditor, Burkett said. Monclova Township properties are now valued at $702,232,980 while Providence Township’s Anthony Wayne portion is at $74 million and Waterville Township at $85 million.
Western Lucas County in general is continuing to grow, and other townships have opportunities as well, Burkett said. As a member of the Waterville Township Zoning Commission, he is part of the discussion about projects around the area of Waterville-Monclova Road and U.S. 24.
Waterville Township trustees are set to decide whether to rezone 8 acres at 7750 Dutch Rd. for a self-storage facility. A public hearing is set for Monday, February 19 at 7:00 p.m. at the township hall, 621 Farnsworth Rd. The adjacent land to the west, at 7958 Dutch, is being eyed for a sports complex with outdoor water golf and indoor batting cages and golf simulators. Land available to the north of U.S. 24 along Waterville-Monclova Road is also drawing a lot of inquiries.
As development continues to grow westward, Burkett said it’s just a matter of time before the S.R. 295 and U.S. 24 interchange is developed. He also expects to see continued growth around the airport, which is part of a Joint Economic Development District with Toledo, Swanton Township and Monclova Township, especially because of easy access from I-475 once the U.S. 20A interchange is complete.
Residential growth has continued westward as well.
In 2023, Monclova Township added 68 new homes while Waterville Township added 15.
More growth is expected this year, with Crimson Hollow Plat 11 adding 21 new homes and plans for homes in the Coventry Glen, Rutherford and Telluride subdivisions.
At the U.S. 20A intersection with Albon, site work is underway for 40 single-family villas on the southwest corner. If a consent decree amendment is approved by a judge, 96 luxury rental villas are planned for the southeast corner.