A 70-acre mixed-use retail, dining and hotel complex across from the Rose Music Center is scheduled to open in summer 2018 at an estimated price tag exceeding $100 million, developers confirmed Tuesday to the Dayton Daily News.
The project, called The Shoppes at The Heights, is the latest plan for the land nestled northwest of Interstate 70 and Ohio 201 on Executive Boulevard, which has for years remained empty despite prior proposals. Plans for the site now include options for retail, offices, hotels, restaurants and potentially residential space.
The developers, 201 Corridor Management LLC and J.J. Cafaro Investment Trust LLC, intend to present the project to city council in January. They indicated no tenants have yet signed on to the development, although the brochure identifies Dick’s Sporting Goods as a potential anchor for the development.
“We have had success in creating conversations that would lead” to leases, said Al George of J.J. Cafaro Investment Trust.
Were the sports retailer to sign-on as an anchor, it would do so about a mile away from its current location in the North Heights Plaza at Old Troy Pike and Executive Boulevard. Neither the sports retailer nor the management for the neighboring plaza responded Tuesday to inquiries from this newspaper.
Reached by phone, members of council said they had heard of the plans by reading DaytonDailyNews.com.
“The first I heard about it was when I saw (a Dayton Daily News) article on Facebook,” said Councilwoman Janell Smith, who represents the ward where The Heights is located. “To me, it would be great if it comes to fruition, but I just don’t want to see any more empty promises.”
The Heights developers said they have purchased 15 acres of the commercial site and have an option on 55 more acres necessary for the development. Developers have sought to improve the site for years.
In 2011, 201 Corridor Management LLC proposed a four-phase, $223 million development to rival The Greene, but the project fell through. An attempt to build a $22 million GoodSports Enterprises sports village complex also faltered in 2014.
Development at the site is key, city officials previously said, to kicking in tax increment financing dollars to cover the cost of the Rose Music Center, which came with a price tag of about $19.3 million.
In April, the Dayton Daily News reported The Heights developers were considering three options for the retail site, including a “traditional power center” anchored by two “big-box” stores. Other options included a “lifestyle center,” such as The Greene in Beavercreek, or a large outlet mall.
Now, the developers are looking at bringing in a grocery, large box stores, hotels, restaurants and a “community center,” or development of smaller box stores and services, George said.
“We want people in the community to understand this development would complement the developments that already exist and provide more opportunity for retail and restaurants they would otherwise have to travel for,” George said. “It’s beneficial to the residents because it saves them so much more time and effort.”
George said plans for the property could change if the city does not secure a community entertainment district designation for the land. The designation frees up an additional 15 liquor licenses within a geographical area. Only one D5 liquor license — essentially, a license allowing a bar to operate until 2:30 a.m. — remains available in the city now, as 19 of 20 are already issued.
“If we are not able to get a CED we would have to rethink the strategy of the project,” George said. “We would not stop trying, but it would make it certainly much more difficult.”
The application for the Huber Heights CED is under formal consideration by Mayor Tom McMasters, said City Manager Rob Schommer. The state CED application process gives the mayor 30 days to make a recommendation of approval or rejection to city council. If recommended, council has an 30 additional days to approve or reject the application, Schommer said.
The Shoppes at The Heights plan will include hotels, George said, noting his firm is not involved in plans for a new hotel adjacent to the music center. Huber Heights City Council delayed a vote Monday directing the city manager to engage in negotiations for the sale of that adjacent property. The resolution will re-appear before council Dec. 12.
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