XENIA — What a difference a year makes. Xenia continues to grow, plan, and expand despite unforeseen events like COVID-19 and gas hikes due to the war in Ukraine.
According to Steve Brodsky, development director, the city has continued to work closely with the Dillin Corporation on the re-development Xenia Towne Square (XTS) this past year and has viewed architectural drawings of how XTS will look pending approval of the developer’s plan.
The proposed XTS Plan comes after a months-long public participation project that included online surveys, a series of public workshops, and several meetings with key stakeholders group occurred on Jan. 28. The final meeting of the stakeholder group occurred on Jan. 28 and the group endorsed the XTS plan that was presented to Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) on Feb. 17. PZC has recommended the council adopt the XTS plan as presented.
Brodsky said that the plan not only includes the site plan and renderings but the associated narrative, market analysis, and financial plan outlines. The XTS plan is meant to guide city policy and will be subject to change over time as market conditions change.
The final XTS plan consists of some of the following key components:
— Vibrant public plaza in center of site, framed by new mixed-use buildings that becomes a center for event programming that supports and engages the residents and businesses of the new district and the surrounding downtown.
— Upper-story apartments on the north side of the proposed public space.
— Angled extension of West Market Street to preserve views of the existing courthouse tower.
— For-sale and/or for-rent town homes on the south side of Church Street and along a pedestrian-only corridor that follows part of the historic North King Street alignment.
— Strong merchandising focus around restaurant uses with small shops mixed in between and a strong streetscape.
— Demolition of existing rear building at XTS, with relocation’s of existing XTS tenants to new buildings or other locations as dictated by tenant needs.
— South XTS building to be maintained, not demolished, with a redesigned facade and a “cut” in the building to allow a northern entrance to a rear parking lot.
According to county records, the Carnegie Library has been a focal point in Xenia since it opened on June 26, 1906 serving as the central library in Greene County until 1978 when the current Xenia Library opened on Market Street to accommodate the needs of a growing library system. In 1983, the building was briefly used as a private residence before being sold back to Greene County, which has retained ownership ever since.
In 2015, Carnegie volunteers and the City of Xenia worked together to obtain funding for a formal Historic Structure Report which was completed in 2016 and presented to council on Feb. 9, 2017. According to Brodsky, this action started the kickoff of a 2017 Carnegie Library Master Planning and public input campaign to raise awareness, develop feasible projects, and involve the community into “Re-imagining the Xenia Carnegie Library.”
“On Feb. 24, 2022, council approved the sale of the property to O’Neal’s Catering, LLC. Bridget Walker, owner of Sweets Boutique in downtown Xenia, plans to transform the historic building into a fine dining restaurant as well as operate her successful catering business from the basement’s kitchen,” Brodsky said.
Another big project the city tackled was the former Hooven & Allison Cordage Company. The property on Cincinnati Avenue will allow for the remediation of environmental conditions at the site. The city obtained a Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant for $1.9 million. Eventually it remediated the site and demolished the buildings and in December 2015, recorded an Environmental Covenant on the property which describes the use limitations to industrial and certain commercial uses.
The property was recently sold to Memory Puzzles, LLC., for a corrugated cardboard manufacturing operation that is expected to create 12-15 jobs over the next few years.
“The purchase agreement calls for $40,000 at closing, with an additional $10,000 per year over the next five years for a total purchase price of $100,000,” Brodsky said. “This action will put the property back into private hands and productive use. Memory Puzzles is completing plans to renovate the sole building on the site.”
Other projects include the development of an area west of the new Aldi store; it has remained a “work in progress” with bulldozers parked at the site but no visible activity has started.
Wendy’s on West Main Street re-opened Jan. 31, 2022, after an extensive four-month remodel and Feeder’s Pet Supplies in West Park Square, (formerly a Dollar Tree store), recently opened for business.
The city is also planning expansions in the following four subdivisions:
— Edenbridge (corner of Lower Bellbrook Road and Van Eaton Road); 51 home lots to be platted in 2022 (one-two year build out estimate) and 111 home lots to be platted in 2023-25 (a three-five year build out estimate). There will be 162 total planned units (preliminary plan approved), plat submitted for city approval.
— Grandstone Trace (between end of Hollywood Boulevard and Fairground Road); 38 home lots (estimated, plat not yet submitted) and 124 home lots to be platted in 2023-25 (three-five year build out estimate). There will be 162 total planned units (preliminary plan approved).
— Summer Brooke South (west side of Stevenson Road, south of Kinsey Road); 34 home lots to be platted in 2022 (one-two year build out estimate) and 141 home lots to be platted in 2023-25 (three-five year build out estimate). There will be 175 total planned units (preliminary plan approved).
— Wright Cycle Estates (west side of US 42, south of US 35); five home lots to be platted in 2022 (one-two year build out estimate) and 89 home lots to be platted in 2023-25 (a three-five year build out estimate). There will be 293 total planned units. A revised plan is pending city approval (preliminary plan approved).
“The year estimates are rough and tentative and assume that the housing market continues to be strong, things could change,” said City Planning Director Brian Forschner.