BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — After nearly two years of design modifications and back-and-forth discussions, a new Monnette’s Market is on its way to uptown Maumee.
On June 10, the city’s Design Review Committee approved site plans for a new Monnette’s Market at 222 Conant St.
Those plans call for a two-story structure that encompasses a fresh produce market, deli, greenhouse and restaurant on the first floor; and six one- and two-bedroom apartments and four offices on the second floor. New parallel parking will be added along Conant Street and new angle parking will be added on East Wayne and East Broadway streets. Curb cuts on Conant Street for northbound traffic will also be installed, as well as new and improved sidewalks, which will be added around the property.
Extensive landscape design and exterior lighting are also planned to accommodate crowd gatherings for public events.
Owner Marc Monnette hopes to break ground at the site in July or August and have the building enclosed by December, which means that at this time next year, customers could be shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables in the new market.
“I feel great about the project. I was excited to build it before and I am even more excited now,” he said. “I think it is going to fit with the rest of the buildings in the uptown district.”
Initially, Monette planned to build a single-story structure, even though some members of the community had advocated for a two-story building. Parking – or the lack thereof – was the issue prohibiting Monnette from considering a larger building project, but after meeting with city administrator Patrick Burtch and viewing color sketches of a two-story building and the extra parking spaces he needed, Monnette changed his mind.
“Patrick Burtch has been fantastic for this project,” Monnette said. “The energy that Patrick has brought to the project is nice. He has created a whole new feel, not just for us, but also for a lot of small businesses in the uptown area that have problems with parking. As we sit today, you will see multiple, different businesses utilizing that parking lot that I own, so the extra street parking is not just new parking for me, it’s parking for the whole area. With Patrick’s background, he has done this thing before, which helps him have a bigger vision for the city of Maumee.”
Monnette also expressed his appreciation to the residents and citizens who have supported this project.
“I really want to thank the people of Maumee for their patience and support,” he said. “Without so many people supporting us from the beginning, this wouldn’t have gotten off the ground.”
Andrew Georgevich, manager of Red Wing Shoes across the street from the future market, is very happy about the project.
“We’re pretty excited for it – it’s going to bring a lot of new life to Maumee,” he said.
Annie Helbert, owner of Salon 308, is also pleased with the new plans.
“I think more parking will be fantastic because we haven’t had much parking and that has been a big problem for us,” she said.
Monnette is not yet sure how much the total building project will cost; however, the city has agreed to invest $250,000 into the capital improvements needed for street, lighting and sewer work. Those funds are secured through the city’s B Fund, which covers capital expenditures, he said.
Burtch became heavily involved in the project when he took over the role of city administrator in February. Former administrator John Jezak was also a strong proponent of the project when it was first proposed in 2018. Following Jezak’s retirement, Burtch moved the project forward and city leaders embraced his vision for uptown redevlopment.
“I’m a big believer that historic downtowns shouldn’t build single-story buildings,” Burtch said. “We are trying to create a space where this becomes a focal point in terms of creating an uptown area.”
Burtch is also working on creating plans that depict an overview of the entire uptown area to study the available public parking. He would like to create more walkable spaces in conjunction with amenities such as gas fire pits and decorative lighting – improvements that he would like to see in place within the next five years.