Project will provide ‘new gateway’ to WatervilleWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A group of local developers are investing in a new development, The Villages at Waterville Landing, which would create a new gateway entrance to the communities of Waterville and Whitehouse.
The 353-acre mixed use development will incorporate commercial, retail, multi- and single-family residential properties located at the new interchange of state Route 64 and U.S. 24 at Waterville.
The development is one of the largest mixed use developments in Northwest Ohio, according to Thomas Schlachter, president of Farnsworth Investors Inc. and one of four partners in the project.
“The Villages at Waterville Landing will provide a great place to live, work and shop for the entire area,” said Schlachter. “The new interchange will provide much greater access to the entire metropolitan Toledo market.”
The new highway interchange under construction will provide better access to the I-475 and I-75 Interstate system and downtown Toledo via the Anthony Wayne Trail. It will eliminate most of the truck traffic that currently runs through the City of Waterville on Rt. 24 between Toledo and Fort Wayne, Ind.
The roadways in the interchange project will be open to traffic in 2011, with the entire interchange scheduled to open in 2012, according to Samantha Johnstone, a public information official for Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 2 which covers eight counties in Northwest Ohio.
The entire U.S. 24 “Fort to Port” highway realignment project between Toledo and Fort Wayne involves two ODOT districts and the Indiana Department of Transportation, Johnstone said.
ODOT officials expect traffic counts to increase in the Waterville area once the interchange is completed which could be good for the project, said Dick Moses, another partner in the development.
The Villages at Waterville includes several parcels totaling 150 acres zoned C-3 and C-4 for commercial development. The project could include 70 acres of additional land zoned commercial for office, medical, research and a possible academic campus, according to the developers.
The initial phase of the development is currently under way with the construction of a new 80,000 square-foot Kroger store in Commerce Village, a centrally located commercial and retail district within The Villages at Waterville Landing.
The new Kroger store is scheduled to open in the fall of 2010 relocating from its existing store in Waterville. Commerce Village will include a Kroger gas station and 30,000 square feet of retail shops, along with restaurants and numerous commercial parcels on the property.
The residential properties include about 180 acres zoned R-1 and R-2 for single family residential with about 40 acres zoned R-3 and R-4 for multi-family residential.
The Village of Waterville is a growing community and could surpass 5,000 residents with the 2010 census to qualify it for incorporation as a city, said the developers.