Beavercreek vitality luring new business
Mall had contracts for Sears space before store closed.
The closed Sears at the Mall at Fairfield Commons will be filled with a furniture retailer and an entertainment destination next year. “There’s a certain sense of vibrancy up in that area,” says Jeffrey McGrath, Beavercreek planning director. “It’s the place that everyone wants to be.” TY GREENLEES/STAFF
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By Holly Shively
Staff Writer
DAYTON DAILY NEWS LOCAL IN-DEPTH

Beavercreek remains one of the top communities in the area where companies - small and large - want to locate.

The most recent example is the Sears location at the Mall at Fairfield Commons. The store closed Sunday, but the mail’s owners said contracts have already been inked to fill the large retail space with Roundl Entertainment and The Room Place, both new offerings to the region.


“When you look on the radar screen of any expanding retailer or restaurant, they’re going to see Beavercreek first, or second ... there’s just so much good going on in the market,” said Andrew Feinblatt of Cincinnati-based On Site Retail Group, a company that helps find real estate for retailers and restaurants looking to expand.

In addition to a strong housing market and a high average income, the commercial district stretch of North Fairfield is within miles of Wright State University and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, he said.

“There’s a certain sense of vibrancy up in that area. It’s the place that everyone wants to be and if you’re looking to have employees in a certain area of Dayton you want to have amenities for them,” said Jeffrey McGrath, Beavercreek planning director.

The Beavercreek mall is the only area shopping center with concrete plans to fill its closed Sears location after the company filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to close hundreds of stores. Other malls are left figuring out how to fill the more than 100,000 square-foot boxes when few retailers want for large-format spaces.

Beavercreek continues to see rapid expansion in recent decades, sparked by the completed Interstate 675 in 1989. When the Mall at Fairfield Commons was built in 1994, it was essentially the only retail in the suburb, McGrath said.

But now, space for new retail along a five-mile stretch of North Fairfield Road from 1-675 is becoming limited, Feinblatt said. So the new stores opening at the Mall at Fairfield Commons will add to the thriving retail community, especially an entertainment concept the area is lacking, McGrath said.

The Roundl Entertainment concept, which includes arcade games, karaoke, party rooms, bowling, and dining with beer and wine service, was first created in Japan in 1980 and expanded into the United Sates in 2010. There are now 39 locations across the nation, including one Ohio location in Mentor.

Roundl Entertainment will be located in the lower portion of the former Sears.

“A lot of people give us the feedback that we are a Dave & Busters on steroids,” said Jeff Elias, an amusement manager working at the Louisville store Monday.

Entertainment concepts are becoming increasingly popular as retailers look to add experiences that will draw consumers into shopping centers. The Mall at Fairfield Commons also recently added The Yard, a space above the main entrance that offers pingpong, foosball and oversized chess.

“At both the Mall at Fairfield Commons and Dayton Mall, our leasing teams continue to focus on diversifying tenancy with the addition of exciting new retail, as well as more lifestyle uses,” said spokeswoman Kim Green of Washington Prime Group, which owns both malls.

Across the Washington Prime’s shopping center portfolio, 63 percent of newly leased square footage was some kind of lifestyle tenant, including food, beverage, fitness, furniture, beauty and entertainment.

Family-owned, The Room Place will occupy the upper level of Sears. It was started in Chicago more than 100 years ago and has since expanded into Indianapolis and will soon open two new furniture stores in the Dayton market.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on is the balance portfolio on uses in that area. We try to land use it so that it’s a self sustaining area where every market feeds off of each other,” McGrath said.

The Mall at Fairfield Commons has not announced any plans for the more than 200,000 square-foot Elder Beerman box, but McGrath said there is always conversation regarding different opportunities for the space.

Contact this reporter at 937-815-5111 or email holly.shively@coxinc.com.

UNMATCHED COVERAGE

The Dayton Daily News was the first to tell you the Sears store at the Mall at Fairfield Commons would close and the first to report new-to-the-market The Room Place and Roundl Entertainment would open in the space. We will continue to bring you in-depth coverage first as new retail stores open.