Residents will have even more choices when it comes to shopping and dining next year.
A 10,200-square-foot plaza, named Commerce Plaza, is under construction across from the Sandusky Mall. It has replaced the old Bob Evans on Milan Road.
Construction on the plaza began last month and is slated to be complete by the end of the year, said John M. Hoty, president of Hoty Enterprises Inc., the project's developer.
Foundation work is underway and walls are expected to go up within a few weeks.
Hoty Enterprises principal Kula Lynch said the company is aiming for spring occupancy. Tenants usually need 30 to 90 days to set up their stores, she said.
Plato's Closet has already signed on to be an anchor tenant. Plato's Closet is a retail store aimed at teenage shoppers. The store buys and sells gently used brand name clothing, including Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and American Eagle. There are more than 170 stores across the nation. Lynch said the store will also buy and sell accessories "you would find in a typical retail outlet."
"I think one of the reasons we were really drawn to the store is because the mall doesn't have name brand stores," Lynch said.
"It's a neat concept," Hoty said.
Two other stores, a service company and a cellular store, have already pre-leased spots in the plaza. The names of the stores will be announced at a later date.
Lynch said there is a huge demand for retail space along U.S. 250 and it is not uncommon for businesses to pre-lease units.
"There's a need for it in the market," Hoty said. "It's a nice project."
The Sandusky Mall and the Sandusky Pavilion, which houses Target and Old Navy, has played an integral part in attracting tenants to U.S. 250, Hoty said. Dick's Sporting Goods and Borders bookstore -- expected to open later this year -- should attract even more.
Construction costs and tenant improvements of Commerce Plaza are estimated at $1.3 million.
"The market for the smaller retail has been good," Hoty said. "We like the smaller tenants."
The company plans to construct one to two more plazas sometime next year.
"We're working on a couple different locations on U.S. 250," Lynch said.
"It's really important for this community to bring new stores here ... to keep money in the county," Lynch said. "Tourists understand name recognition and support those stores, too."