- Mark Fisher Staff Writer
The Cornerstone of Centerville development has proven to be a magnet for national and regional restaurant chains that are entering the Dayton-area market for the first time — and the commercial realtor who has sealed many of those deals believes she knows why.
“It started with the Costco site selection,” said Danielle Kuehnle of Oberer Realty Services, part of Oberer Companies, the developer of Cornerstone of Centerville.
The decision by one of the nation’s largest retailers to be the first anchor store to open at the development near I-675 and Wilmington Pike sent a message that Cornerstone was a prime site for retailers looking to open their first, or perhaps their only, Dayton-area location, Kuehnle said. Cabela’s made a similar decision.
And restaurant chains took notice. One by one, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Bagger Dave’s Burger Tavern, Panda Express, CoreLife Eatery, and, most recently, Which Wich Superior Sandwiches chose Cornerstone to make their Dayton-area debut.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers joined the party from across the street on Wilmington Pike. MOD Pizza announced plans to enter the Dayton market at Cornerstone, although it ended up opening its first location in Englewood months before its Cornerstone restaurant opened.
A.J. Schuler, director of franchise development for Dallas-based Which Wich, ticked off the reasons his company chose Cornerstone:
“It is a regional draw with Costco, Cabela’s, Kroger and numerous other national retailers. And it has a strong daytime population with Miami Valley Hospital South nearby, and also great residential population with surrounding rooftops,” Schuler said.
Oberer Realty’s web site helpfully points out other selling points, including visibility from busy I-675 and Wilmington Pike and proximity to other large retailers such as Target and Home Depot across the street and Lowe’s, Kohl’s and Walmart close by on the other side of I-675. Plus, plans call for both residential and office development adjacent to Cornerstone’s retail footprint.
Cornerstone didn’t get them all, of course. Two restaurant chains that opened two Dayton-area locations — Chuy’s Tex-Mex and BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse — chose Austin Landing and the Mall at Fairfield Commons, south and north of Cornerstone, to introduce themselves to the Dayton area. Firebirds Wood Fired Grill also chose Austin Landing, and MELT Bar & Grilled and Primanti Brothers chose the Mall at Fairfield Commons area to make their Dayton-area premieres.
Kuehnle said Cornerstone of Centerville isn’t done. Restaurant spots are available in another retail building that will soon join the others at the site. And she’s confident restaurant chains considering the Miami Valley for potential expansion will keep in mind the decisions that other chains have made as to where to enter the Dayton-area market.