Paperwork was finalized Friday for a long-awaited grocery store planned for Highland Square, Akron city officials said.
Mustard Seed Market owners Phillip and Margaret Nabors, who live in Highland Square, will bring a two-story, 23,000-square-foot grocery store to the corner of North Portage Path and West Market Street.
A groundbreaking ceremony will occur late next week for the store, which will feature a second-floor terrace and restaurant. City officials did not immediately announce a target opening date.
“This has been a challenging project because the space we had to work with was very small and irregularly shaped,” Mayor Don Plusquellic said in a news release.
“However, the city and the Nabors worked hard to come up with a design that fit the unusual footprint. The end result is a distinctive store that will fit perfectly with the character of the neighborhood.”
The Akron Planning Commission on May 17 approved the sale of the city-owned land at North Portage Path and West Market where the store will be built, and the Chipotle building to the east, to Highland Square Economic Development LLC, which the city set up to be the developer for the project.
The cost is $3.8 million for the grocery store property and $2.1 million for the other parcel. The city received a $3.8 million federal loan to build and furnish the grocery store. The Planning Commission also approved a site plan for the grocery store on the 0.75-acre corner parcel.
FirstMerit Bank has agreed to sell a 10-foot-wide grassy strip of land between its building and the grocery store property to the city for $9,000.
Last spring, the city announced plans calling for Mustard Seed to lease the property, with an option to buy it in the future. Mustard Seed will manage the Chipotle building, with the rent from the now-full retail building helping to cover the costs of the debt service on the federal loan.
The city said it will eventually recoup its investment, except for the $417,000 it spent to buy the property where the grocery store will be located.