Minyard Food Stores is planning a $1 million expansion of its Lakewood store, 2118 Abrams Road, featuring more than $50,000 in landscaping and parking lot lighting improvements, according to a Minyard spokesman.

The expansion plans will be reviewed by the City’s Board of Adjustment January 14, says City planner Doug Waskom. If the plans are approved, construction could begin within 90 days and be completed by Thanksgiving 1992, says David P. Hardin, Minyard real estate representative.

The proposed expansion would force relocation of several retailers on the site’s south side, including Ice Cream on the Rocks, Fishburn’s Cleaning and Laundry, and Centennial Liquor, Hardin says. Their building, which is owned by a third party, would be demolished to make way for additional Minyard parking required to meet City code.

Also, the former Southwest Savings two-story building at Richmond and Gaston would be demolished for a Rucker Insurance parking lot, Hardin says.

To obtain City approval for the project, Minyard is seeking variances in the City’s development code in the following areas: reducing the Gaston Avenue greenbelt from the required 25 feet to 10 feet, and building a seven-foot sidewalk on Gaston Avenue (as required) but leaving existing five-foot sidewalks fronting Abrams Road and Richmond Avenue.

The greenbelt variance is necessary to allow sufficient parking for the expanded store, Hardin says. Minyard plans to plant a variety of landscaping along the triangular site’s perimeter to screen parking, including more than 20 trees along Gaston and Abrams, Hardin says.

As part of the store’s expansion from 25,300 square feet to 36,630 square feet, Minyard expects to add a fresh fish counter and a full-service deli and bakery, Hardin says. A new storefront and a covered front walkway also are expected to be part of the project, which Hardin says reflects Minyard’s recognition of current marketplace limitations.

“Right now, we feel the clientele for this store uses it as a convenience store, but when they want to do their week’s shopping, spend a $100 or so, they go somewhere else,” Hardin told members of the Abrams-Brookside Homeowners Association during a recent review of the plans.

The Board of Adjustment’s public hearing will allow opportunities for residents’ comments, Waskom says.

Hardin says he has been meeting with neighborhood groups for several weeks to explain the proposed expansion and incorporate suggestions.

“So far, I’ve had a good response,” he says. “But the current plans are subject to change as I continue to talk with other groups.”

Minyard hopes the expansion will solidify the Lakewood store’s position in the marketplace, Hardin says.

“We want to put in a store that is equal to any of the stores our competitors have in the surrounding area,” Hardin says. “I think this project will keep some of the consumer dollars that are being spent elsewhere here in the Lakewood area.”

If you have questions concerning the proposed expansion of Minyard’s Lakewood grocery store, contact City planner Doug Waskom (670-4169) or Minyard real estate representative David P. Hardin (393-8211).

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