Xenia holding public input sessions for Towne Square redevelopment

TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Caption
TY GREENLEES / STAFF

XENIA — The city bought the buildings in the Towne Square shopping center for $3.3 million and is now seeking public input on how to redevelop the space.

The city will be hosting three public input sessions the rest of this month. The first will be held at the Senior Adult Recreation and Services Center on June 22.

On June 29, there will be a public meeting at the Brantly Carriage House Museum on N. King Street at 1 p.m. and at 6 p.m. at the Greene County Public Library.

Xenia City Planner Brian Forschner said these sessions are open to anybody who wants to come and it is preferred for attendees to register online, but the city would like input from anyone who wants to give it. The public input sessions are being held at various locations and times to try to fit a variety of schedules.

The project will include the portion of Towne Square that formerly housed Kmart and buildings that currently house Family Dollar, Buck and Ear, Comfort Dental and Acapulco.

Xenia announced it would buy the shopping center at the beginning on 2021.

ExploreXenia buying buildings in Towne Square

Before any redevelopment on the site, Xenia will gather extensive input from the public.

Forschner said when doing other city-wide strategic plans, many in the public mentioned redeveloping Towne Square or revitalizing downtown.

“We want to know what people want to see. What types of redevelopment and uses they want,” Forschner said. “This is a very important centerpiece in our community and we want to get it right.”

The Towne Square shopping center was constructed after the tornado that hit Xenia in 1974. Shortly after the tornado, the city bought the land Towne Square shopping center sits on.

The city bought out the shopping center lease from Blue Rock. Blue Rock originally signed the lease in 1979 and it had no expiration date.

Owning the leasehold interest allows the city and the newly formed Xenia Community Improvement Corporation to more easily move forward with redevelopment plans. The city plans to use money from the leases in the buildings to pay on the bonds.

Xenia has contracted with consulting and management company Dillin to manage the former shopping center, gather public input and conduct a market study.

Dillin is also circulating a survey about what people would like to see in downtown. The survey can be found online. Forschner said this is another way to get input from a different group of people.

“Xenia citizens should be excited that we are looking for their input to shape the downtown,” Forschner said. “We want their help to create a redevelopment plan that will be a catalyst for the downtown.”