Board approves rezoning for new grocery store in Austintown

Meijer is planning to open the Mahoning Avenue store in 2019

Plans to build a Meijer grocery store at the site of the old Austintown Middle School were approved.

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Austintown is one step closer to replacing the old middle school on Mahoning Avenue.

On Thursday night, the zoning commission approved rezoning the land to make way for a Meijer grocery store. If all goes as planned, Meijer will start tearing down the former Austintown Middle School next year.

The plans allow for about 194,000 square feet, which is bigger than any Giant Eagle and bigger than some Wal-Mart stores. It’s all part of the grocer’s plan to expand its footprint.

“We’re kind of missing this piece, the northeast Ohio area.” said Meijer real estate manager Cris Jones

Doc Kifer, of Austintown, who was shopping a temporary farm market that is set up in the parking lot of the old middle school, says he is familiar with the grocery chain.

“I think it’s a great idea. I used to live in Marion, Ohio, and there was a Meijer near there.”

If Meijer gets final approval from Austintown, they plan to tear down the school next year and open the new store in 2019.

“People are excited about it. They would like to see something replace the school, and it’s just a great location for a project like this,” .

Within a half-mile stretch of Mahoning Avenue, there are already several grocery chains, including Wal-Mart, Aldi, and Giant Eagle. A Rulli Brothers store may also be in the works. That grocer has purchased land in the area.

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