Meijer hopes to break ground in May

ALPENA – Even though the snow is continuing to pile up in Alpena, Meijer is making plans for constructing its 200,000 square foot superstore in Alpena. If all goes according to plan, groundbreaking for the project should take place on May 1 and construction completed in April 2015.

Township Supervisor Marie Twite said representatives from Meijer were in town Tuesday, along with its primary contractor, Rockford Construction, to meet with local utility operators. Twite said Meijer has been busy behind the scenes and still has some minor work it needs to do before it begins the construction process.

“They said they are going to pull the building permits around the third week of February and there are still some buildings on the property that need to be torn down,” Twite said. “The owners of these properties have a certain amount of time to remove any personal property and if they don’t then Meijer will after the time expires.”

Rockford Construction of Grand Rapids will oversee the construction process. Twite said she is confident some local contractors will be hired to supplement Rockford. She said the majority of the meeting was about utilities.

“There was discussion about power lines, water and sewer lines and what they needed to do and who they needed to talk to,” Twite said. “They were provided contact names and phone numbers and as of now I don’t know when the next meeting will be.”

The new store, which will be built on the south side of M-32, is the largest of the stores Meijer builds and will include a gas station that will sit in front of the store. The entrances to the store will be on Bagley Street between Walgreens and the Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union and the other directly across from the eastern entrance of Walmart.

The Michigan Department of Transportation, township, Alpena County Road Commission and City of Alpena have been working on a plans that will help to handle the extra traffic the store will create. A handful of landowners have offered to donate property to the township in hopes a service road made behind Walmart and Home Depot can be built, which could help ease the congestion of traffic in the M-32 corridor.

The Intergovernmental Road Committee is expected to meet on Feb. 6 at 10 a.m. at the Alpena Township Office.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.

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