City issuing new RFP to redevelop Kmart property

XENIA — The City of Xenia is moving in a new direction with regards to the former Kmart property.

On Monday, Feb. 10, Xenia will issue a new request for proposal (RFP) for the redevelopment of the that part of Xenia Towne Square.

In June 2016, the city signed a purchase and sales agreement with Brandicorp, a northern Kentucky-based developer of retail properties. With the issuance of the new RFP, the city has agreed to part ways with Brandicorp.

“We appreciate the time and effort that Brandicorp has put into the project; while we both had high expectations for the property, it has become apparent that those expectations were not going to be realized, so we have decided to move in a different direction,” said Xenia City Manager Brent Merriman.

Many new stores have opened in the downtown area in the past few years, including food service retailers like The Coffee Hub, Courthouse Coffee, Devil Wind Brewing, and Flour Bake Shop. Other retailers like Barr’s Pharmacy, Gypsy Alley Boutique, Carson’s Treasures, Rt. 68 Vintage Toys and Collectibles, and Triple J’s Comics and Collectibles have also opened, Merriman said.

“We believe there is still strong market demand for specialty retail and food service in the downtown area,” Merriman said. He also noted a strong overall retail market, given new development happening in the western part of the city in the area around Progress Drive.

The City intends to reach out to local development firms and those which have recently completed projects throughout the region, including some which have expressed interest in the Towne Square property. Merriman said that one major cause for the previous delay was an environmental issue discovered during the due diligence phase of the project, after the sales agreement had been signed.

It took nearly a year to complete additional testing and develop alternatives for dealing with the issues that would be acceptable with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. With the due diligence now complete and ways to mitigate environmental concerns known, it is expected a new firm will be able to move quickly on developing the property.

Interested parties have until March 20, 2020 to submit proposals for the redevelopment of the approximately 5.6 acre parcel.