Harrison Twp. Administrator Kristofer McClintick stands in front of the construction site of a new Restaurant Depot store before the tornado. KAITLIN SCHROEDER/STAFF

Business destroyed in tornado at Harrison Twp. traffic circle to rebuild

The $7 million Restaurant Depot planned for Harrison Twp. was less than 6 weeks from opening when the Memorial Day tornadoes destroyed the building, but a company leader said its still coming to Dayton.

The company that sells equipment, supplies and food to business, charitable groups and other organizations that have a business license will rebuild in the same 3700 Keats Drive location despite the total loss of the building in the tornado aftermath, said chief operating officer of the Midwest region Rich Danieli.

It is expected to open in mid-March at the traffic circle in Harrison Twp.

“We were about a month away from opening, maybe six weeks,” Danieli said. “We’re knocking the building down…Another one’s on order. As soon as it gets delivered we’ll begin assembling it. A lot of the hard work has been done already. All the improvements to the property, the earth work, all of that’s been done.”

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Danieli said insurance covered the loss and the insurers gave the go ahead to start work on the new structure. It’s about a $5 to $7 million project, not including the land, he said. Building permits for the original structure valued the project at $7 million.

The land was sold to an LLC affiliated with the Restaurant Depot for $550,000 in January 2018, according to Montgomery County records.

When the tornado hit, there was only equipment in the building, no merchandise, Danieli said.

“In some ways, it was way better for this to happen before we opened than after we opened,” he said. “It probably would have gotten rid of several million dollars worth of inventory. People would have been working — A big disruption.”

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The company was also just starting signing up customers in the area when the tornado caused a timeline setback, he said. That was lucky because if it was later, the area businesses signing up with the company would have already left their other distributors.

Restaurant Depot has more than 120 stores, including four others in Ohio’s major cities in Cincinnati, Columbus, Akron and Cleveland.

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