Scene75 founder Jonah Sandler and his team are slowly setting the stage for an expansion of their local Scene75 entertainment location, the company’s inaugural site.
Vandalia City Council recently approved a plat expansion for Scene75’s 6196 Poe Avenue location, rezoning a remaining 40,000 square feet of the building for entertainment uses, doubling the available allowed parking and linking Scene 75 parking to the nearby former ITT Tech School building that Sandler bought last year.
JDS Commercial Holdings LLC — of which Sandler is the principal — bought the former ITT property at 3325 Stop Eight Road in September 2017 for $740,000.
“We are hoping to make something happen next year as far as an expansion,” Sandler said in an interview Wednesday. “But there are still a number of things to work through on our end.”
Scene75 is working toward openings of new indoor entertainment centers in, first, the Pittsburgh area and then, Columbus.
Sandler said he wants to test some new entertainment concepts in Columbus, and if they work, he may bring those ideas back to Dayton.
Asked what he may do with the former ITT building, Sandler said: “That one is still on the drawing board.”
“We don’t have a definitive plan,” he said. “Part of it will depend on what we see in Columbus.”
A limited liability company tied to Scene75 bought a shuttered 225,000-square-foot department store at the Mall at Tuttle Crossing in the Columbus area, Franklin County property records indicated in April.
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Rich Hopkins, a spokesman for Vandalia city government, said the city is watching the process.
“They bought the old ITT building that faces Stop Eight Road,” Hopkins said. “Their initial plan is to expand their lot to expand their parking options. We’re not sure what their plans might be for the old ITT building moving forward.”
In a memo sent to City Council in April, Amber Holloway, Vandalia assistant city manager, wrote: “The applicant (Sandler) wishes to eventually expand the Scene 75 Entertainment Center into additional areas of the building that have been vacant over the last several years. This expansion would result in a greater area than 30 percent of the (Planned Unit Development) when combined with the required parking areas.”
In 2012, Sandler opened Scene75 at a former Poe warehouse, near the former ITT property.
Since then, he has opened a third entertainment location 30 miles south of Cleveland in Brunswick, Ohio. Besides the Dayton center, the company also has a 84,000-square-foot Cincinnati-area venue in Milford.
The Pittsburgh location will open this summer.