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Coral, Giant Eagle deal
Coral, Giant Eagle deal is in bag
By MIKE KLIMKO
The Coral Co. handed out 5,000 environmentally friendly canvas bags during Solon Home Days bearing its company name on one side and Giant Eagle on the other.
No, Giant Eagle has not signed on as a tenant of the Central Park project planned by the Coral Co., project engineer Jeffrey Epstein said.
"The purpose of the bags was just to get our name out, their name out and promote sustainability, to promote environmentalism," he said.
"I can't comment on a relationship. As we said before, we're committed to helping Giant Eagle stay in Solon. My understanding is they're looking to build a new store," Mr. Epstein said.
"We wanted to provide something environmentally friendly," he said of the bags. "Giant Eagle is one of the main grocery stores in town. We're trying to promote local business."
A public hearing to place zoning for the planned-unit development on the November ballot was set for Aug. 4. Central Park would cover about 100 acres east of SOM Center Road, between Bainbridge and Solon roads.
Giant Eagle has been planning for a possible expansion of its existing store in the Solar Center shopping center on Aurora Road (Route 43), according to Solar co-owner Simon Caplan said.
A public hearing on zoning requests for parcels at each end of the Solar Center was set last week by City Council for Aug. 18. On July 15, the city's planning commission voted 3-2 against recommending the rezoning from office to retail use for the plaza.
"We are retrenching and trying to set up for our public hearing," Mr. Caplan said. "We hope to have city council vote to put us on the ballot for rezoning and let the voters decide," he said.
"We feel it is very important for the city to give us its support to shore up Aurora Road and keep Aurora Road economically viable with the new proposed development in town," he said of Central Park.
"We believe there should be a level playing field. At this point, we intend to work with the city in a cohesive manner to run our businesses in a practical way for the City of Solon, the residents of Solon and our tenants," Mr. Caplan said.
There is a big difference between zoning issues posed by Coral and by Solar to City Council, Councilman Robert N. Pelunis said. Zoning for Coral is a new classification, while zoning for Solar is to change classifications, he said.
"That's what we're trying to do," Mr. Pelunis said of the rezoning of office parcels for retail. "That's why I was in favor of helping Solar any way we could at the last meeting," he said.
"I don't think the planning commission treated them right. And I don't think it was the right decision," he said of the denial of zoning proposals. "They're talking about a new Giant Eagle in Solon," Mr. Pelunis said.
"If it's a bigger store, they could provide more services. You hear all kinds of rumors. Someone says they've talked to this person. Someone has talked to someone else," he said.
"All the time, there's different things going on. It's tough to determine what's true and what's not. I've not been party to any discussions about stores moving. It would take a lot of negotiating to get deals signed."
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