Union Township Administrator Ken Geis has been hard at work looking for a new tenant for the Eastgate Bigg’s store, which is expected to be vacated by June 1.
Geis said he spoke with Bill Remke of Remke Markets recently to see if the grocer was interested in purchasing the Bigg’s store along with the seven other Bigg’s locations he has already made arrangements with.
Bigg’s owner SUPERVALU announced at the end of March it would be closing all Bigg’s locations in the Cincinnati area.
Geis said he would continue to discuss incentives the township could offer Remke and he said Remke was appreciative of the township's efforts.
"I remain hopeful that there may be a positive outcome," Geis said.
In the meantime the township is perusing other possible tenants for the building.
"That was the first hyper store in the United States and really was the catalyst for development on the south side of (state Route) 32 in Clermont County," Geis said. "It has provided a lot of income and growth for Union Township and it's unfortunate that the current economic conditions are such that the business decided to discontinue that."
The Eastgate store was the first Bigg's location when it opened in 1984. Geis said that the planned upgrades to the traffic system in the area and continued development in Eastgate should entice another business to fill that space.
"We are obviously very interested in maintaining the retail centers and enhancing the retail centers that they have in the area so we will continue to pour a significant amount of resources into that," Geis said.
The township is seeing a lot of development in the housing market so far this year. Planning and Zoning Director Cory Wright said the township has seen much more housing permit requests compared to this time last year.
Six single family permits were filed by the middle of the third week of April, compared to 15 permits in 2009. Total permits and overlays filed by April 14 were 31.
Wright said swimming pool installation permits were by far the most popular.