City to purchase former Kmart building

By Scott Halasz - [email protected]

XENIA — The city of Xenia is purchasing the former Kmart building, hoping it will spark development at the Xenia Towne Square site.

Ordinances beginning the process were introduced at the Nov. 12 council meeting, but at the recommendation of city staff, they were approved as emergencies on Tuesday, saving the city as many as 30 days before it can move forward.

“We do think there is some value in moving that process up,” Xenia City Manager Brent Merriman said.

If everything stays on schedule, Merriman said the building would be demolished in March 2016. It has been vacant for more than a year and plans for a movie theater at the site fell through due to lack of investors. The city had negotiated a purchase agreement with Genesis Development Partners to help facilitate that project, but that agreement was terminated by emergency legislation on Nov. 12.

The city, which already owns the land, will pay $250,000 to acquire the building and will reimburse costs related to the redevelopment project with future bond and/or note proceeds.

According Merriman, city staff has already had preliminary discussions with some reputable development companies who have shown interest in the site.

“To facilitate this staff believes it is necessary for the city to acquire complete site control,” Merriman told council at the last meeting. “Staff believes the value of redevelopment-ready property at this site to be at least sufficient to cover costs for acquisition and demolition.”

Plans to turn the former Fulmer grocery store — adjacent to the former Kmart building — into a family entertainment center are still moving forward. According to Craig Troops of D&D Investments, his company and Creative Entertainment Concepts, LLC have formed an Ohio joint venture partnership. The group is currently accepting contractor bids for stage one of the construction process.

By Scott Halasz

[email protected]

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.