By Whitney Vickers
FAIRBORN – Fairborn will soon include a new gas station and convenience store within the Kauffman Avenue neighborhood.
The selection of the store’s products would include items such as candy, pop, chips, cigarettes, milk, bread, soup, among others, replicating items available within a Speedway station, according to the business owners. The store will also include a drive-through on the side of the building beneath an awning, as well as 15 parking spaces.
It will measure to 3,366 square feet in size and will be made of brick. The front-facing windows would allow onlookers to see outward, but not inward due to the layout of the store, and may include a graphic on one side.
The new business would create eight-to-10 jobs as well. At least two individuals would be scheduled to work at a time.
“We always talk about bringing people to the city and building new and this is doing both of what we want,” Fairborn Council member Rob Hoffman said.
While city officials expressed excitement about welcoming a new business to the area, Fairborn citizen JoAnn Collins expressed concerns related traffic and the new business competing with the Beverage Dock, a long-time business in Fairborn.
“We have Sweet Corn Festivals and fairs where you’re only allowed to have so many vendors in an area because of competition and it hurts other businesses,” Collins said “… I just think out of all the vacant properties and places in town in Fairborn that we really do need a business like this, which we do appreciate, for some of the [people] who have trouble walking and stuff, then I think that would be the better deal.”
Another Fairborn citizen Jean Strand expressed safety concerns related to the store lacking the ability for individuals to see through the windows from the outside. However, City Planner Kathleen Riggs said the Fairborn Police and Fire Departments have seen the plans for the business and have expressed satisfaction to its safety standards.
“One of our problems with Kauffman Avenue has been the closure of businesses over a period of time and it’s gradually gone down-hill,” Fairborn Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick said. “I’m personally hoping this will help, and I think in the long-run this may help Beverage Dock because it will increase traffic … I understand our citizen’s concern, but I have seen in other cities where something like this increases the use of a particular area — in this case, Kauffman Avenue.”