Stalled Kettering retail center faces citation; owner plans to finish renovation



KETTERING — The city is taking action on an Ohio 48 retail redevelopment that has been stalled for more than three years after renovation plans were approved in 2019.

Kettering has issued a notice of violation to the Washington Twp. business that owns the land at 3109-3155 Far Hills Ave., where permits have expired for Shoppes on the Avenue, city records show.

Violations can result in financial penalties or — in “extreme cases” ― Kettering can declare the site a public nuisance and demolish it, said Tom Robillard, the city’s planning and development director.

But the owner, JK Real Estate Commercial Group LLC, is “committed to ensuring the end result exceeds the community’s needs and vision,” an attorney for the developer said in an email Monday to the Dayton Daily News.

The 2.9-acre site is just south of St. Albert the Great Church, and across Far Hills from James Free Jewelers. In previous years, it was called the Fountain Square Shopping Center and featured several small retail shops, including a Weber Jewelers, women’s clothing stores called Elan and The Shopping Bag, plus Fresco catering and Mulberry Bush child care.

Permits were issued in May 2019, according to Robillard. But “there has been no permit-related work on site” since Nov. 15 of that year, a Kettering letter to JK’s Heather Murphy dated Jan. 12 states.

“They completed quite a bit of the exterior improvement in the back portion of the site,” Robillard said. “(They) started and stopped, (but) never finished on the front part of the buildings.”

The city has had “multiple conversations and communications” with the contractor in the past few years, including a letter warning of permit expiration sent in July 2022, according to Robillard.

In addition to the Jan. 12 letter, Kettering this month notified the business, with a listed address of 6077 Far Hills, that a property maintenance and zoning violation case has been opened involving the redevelopment, city documents state.

If you disagree with the findings in this legal notice you shall have the right to appeal by filing a written basis of appeal with the clerk of council,” the notice of violation states.

The business faces a Feb. 3 deadline to “clear the site and remove the fence,” as well as debris and other construction-related items, Robillard said.

The project has “a highly visible and important location” in the city, according to Coolidge Wall Co. attorney David Pierce, who said his firm has been retained by the owner.

“It has a long and rich history in this community of being a place to gather, shop and connect with neighbors in Kettering,” Pierce said.

“Because of the importance of this project, our client has been committed to ensuring the end result exceeds the community’s needs and vision for the property,” he said. “It has been the sincere hope of JK Real Estate that the project would be completed correctly and on time, but most importantly that it is completed well, so that the neighborhood and the city of Kettering can be proud of the result.

“We are committed to working with all parties involved,” including the city, “to move the development forward and finish with an end result that satisfies everybody’s expectations,” Pierce said.

Since the notices were sent this month, Kettering has received one phone call from the construction firm listed for the project, Robillard said Monday.

The contractor said it is working with the owner on a solution, but none has yet been proposed, Robillard added.

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