BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — A fresh produce market, deli and outdoor café could come to uptown Maumee if Monnette’s Market is successful in its bid to open a store in the 200 block of Conant Street. Keith Brown, a real estate agent representing Marc Monnette, told Maumee City Council at its November 6 meeting that Monnette’s is interested in building a new store at that site. “We’ve been approached by other suburban downtown areas and we’ve looked at them, but if we could get this spot, this would be the place [Monnette’s] would want to build the next store,” Brown said. A preliminary sketch of the proposed business was presented to council members, but no one on council talked openly about the proposed plan. For the past several years, Monnette’s has searched suburban areas to expand business, Brown said. A study was also conducted to determine how a new Maumee store might affect the Monnette’s store on Glendale Avenue. According to Brown, if located in the 200 block of Conant Street, the effect would be minimal. “The analysis behind that is that it would pick up enough of the Perrysburg business that it would not take away too many sales from the Glendale store,” he said. Monnette has met with business owners in Maumee and a recent post on social media garnered significant feedback. While most was positive, some negative feedback resulted from those who want to see the area developed into a park. “We wanted to talk to you about entering into discussions and analyzing whether that would be the best thing for the community to do a market there,” Brown continued in his remarks to council. A new Monnette’s Market in Maumee would employ a staff of 30 to 40 and the company anticipates an average of 500 customers per day, he said. “It would be great traffic for other businesses in the downtown area,” Brown said. “It’s a type of business that creates a real sense of space and we believe would improve quality of life for the Maumee residents and would be a great benefit.” Monnette is not interested in locating anywhere else in Maumee other than the 200 block of Conant Street, he said. According to council president Brent Buehrer, such a proposal would likely be referred to committee for review. If Monnette’s submits an offer to purchase the land, which is city-owned and currently zoned C3, the city would have a fiduciary responsibility to consider the offer, he said. “To my knowledge, that has not happened,” Buehrer said. In 2015, Maumee City Council considered a proposal to develop the area into retail spaces and apartments. At the time, developer Ken Hicks of HKK Urban Communities had submitted a proposal to construct a four-story building in the 200 block of Conant Street. Hicks also requested an exclusive six-month due diligence period to perform a feasibility study for construction, at no monetary loss or gain to the city. After public hearings, in which many city residents spoke in favor of keeping the space green, city council voted 5-2 in favor of allowing plans for a park to move forward. The decision ended plans for any type of commercial development at that site, Buehrer said. He, along with Jenny Barlos, John Boellner, Tim Pauken and Dan Hazard voted in favor of creating a park, while Julie Rubini and Tom Wagener Jr. voted against it. Both Rubini and Wagener thought more time was needed to consider developing the land for business use. They also expressed concern for expenditures and commitment to economic development. The Quality of Life Committee submitted plans in 2014 for a proposed park at that site, estimated to cost $256,000. The committee was tasked with raising funds for the park, but that has not come to fruition, according to Buehrer. Some city money would likely be earmarked to fund a new park, he added. Council member Tim Pauken said Monnette’s would be a great addition to Maumee, but he is not certain that uptown Maumee is the best location for it. “I’m open to it, I’m just not sure if it’s going to happen, but we should at least enter into talks with them. I think they would be a big boom for Maumee,” Pauken said.