BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — With the U.S. 20A Interchange slated to open next year, the corner properties at Briarfield Boulevard are now hot commodities. Property owners for both parcels are requesting rezoning in order to build a shopping center and a gas station with a convenience store.
Miller Diversified, which has owned the 4.4-acre parcel on the northwest corner since 1989, has received numerous inquiries about putting in more heavy commercial projects, but none of them seemed to be the right fit. Instead, the company decided to plan its own development – a shopping center with restaurants, retail and service companies.
“We have a heavily vested interest in Briarfield, and we’re sensitive to what that corner looks like,” Miller Diversified president Kurt Miller told Monclova Township Zoning Commis-sion members on October 23.
Miller presented conceptual renderings and maps for a 30,000-square-foot shopping center that would include four restaurants – including two with drive-thrus – along with spaces for retail and services. The design includes a plaza with a water feature, two patios and parking for up to 160 vehicles.
“At first, when I read strip mall, I was a little bit nervous, but after seeing your conceptual idea of what you’re going to do, I like it,” said commission member Cathy Shepherd. “I think it will be a nice addition.”
The other commission members – including Adam Hoff, James Lindsay, Paul Rasmusson and Keith Trettin – agreed that a change in zoning from M-1 Industrial/Office to C-2 General Commercial District makes sense for that corner, which is currently labeled as 0 Briarfield Blvd. The Lucas County Planning Commission staff and commissioners also recommended approval during their September meeting.
Miller said he expects to break ground by next summer.
On the northeast side, Tolson Enterprises is seeking the same zoning change in order to build a gas station and convenience store on 2.23 acres of vacant land. The county approved the rezoning, and the township Zoning Commission will consider the request during its November meeting.
Both projects are in the U.S. 20A Overlay District, which is undergoing updates to improve lighting and signage, said township zoning administrator Eric Wagner.
Wagner is currently conducting a site plan review for another gas station – Beck Suppliers’ FriendShip Kitchen – which will be built at the southeast corner of Jerome and Monclova roads.