STOW — The new Meijer Supercenter in the Stow-Kent Shopping Center is starting to take shape.
Separate crews were busy at the site on a Friday morning. One subcontractor was inside the building’s walls installing steel I-beam trusses for eventual placement of the roof.
Outside the building’s footprint, workers for Precision Engineering and General Contractors of Solon prepared the ground for the parking lot. Dan Cuccaro, a heavy equipment operator for Precision Engineering, said in the days ahead he and his co-workers would be using a grading rototiller to harden and stabilize the ground.
Nearby was a large pile gravel that would be spread over the hardened earth, later to be covered by blacktop, Cuccaro said. "We’re on schedule," he noted, adding there is plenty of time to build a solid parking lot before cold weather sets in.
Precision Engineering is among the subcontractors working under the project’s general contractor, Rockford Construction of Michigan.
Construction is expected to take about a year.
Frank J. Guglielmi, senior director of communications for Meijer, previously said it takes between 12 and 14 months to construct a new Meijer Supercenter. A ribbon cutting will be announced 60 days prior to opening, he said.
"Normally we open our stores in the late spring/early summer timeframe," Guglielmi said. Hiring for the store will begin in early 2019 and approximately 250 employees will be sought, he said.
In April, demolition of the former Big Lots building and four small vacant shops started in anticipation for creating the building. Crisman Jones, a real estate manager for Meijer, has said a spring 2019 opening is eyed for the store.
Jones said Meijer had completed various utility coordination projects related to the relocation or upgrade of water, sewer, gas and storm water lines, which are all located underground. He said the majority of the work would be contained within the Meijer parcel and there would be "minimal impact to existing businesses."
Meijer completed the purchase of its portion of the plaza from Stow-Kent Associates for nearly $3.79 million in December 2016, according to Summit County property records.
In early May 2017, Stow City Council approved Meijer’s site plan and then later that month a revised plan reducing the size of the store from 192,940 square feet that was approved in 2014 to 159,253 square feet.
The revised plan also eliminated a Meijer service station that had been proposed on the on the site of a Wendy’s restaurant by state Route 59. Wendy’s restaurant exercised lease options that allowed it to remain in the site for up to another 10 years, according to Rob Risman, a principal with Stow-Kent Associates.
Stow-Kent Associates still owns a portion of the plaza closest to the road, the Wendy’s restaurant and the Macy’s department store property just east of the Meijer site.
Editor’s Note: Reporters Ellin Walsh and Jeff Saunders contributed to this story.
Reporter Steve Wiandt, can be reached at 330-541-9420, email@example.com or @SteveWiandt_RPC.