Xenia to sell parcels of Towne Square as part of $125 million redevelopment plan

City has long been looking to ‘get out of the landlord business.’

XENIA — The city of Xenia is looking to sell the large portion of Xenia Towne Square that it owns.

“As efforts continue to move forward ... one of the goals of the redevelopment plan is to return the property to private hands and get the city out of the ‘landlord business,’ ” city documents say.

The city currently owns the majority of the 15.5-acre property that makes up Xenia Towne Square, located between Main and Church Streets and west of the county Courthouse. The exceptions are a few chain restaurants and a Fifth-Third Bank on the south side, plus parcels on the northwest, northeast, and southeast corners.

Xenia City Council on Thursday took steps to put the property up for sale, and it may be sold as a whole or in sections, according to city documents.

Development company Dillin, LLC has been spearheading Towne Square re-development work, and on Thursday, City Council also extended a development services agreement with Dillin to develop architectural standards, construction timelines, marketing, and handle sale and lease of portions of the property.

Dillin’s scope of work was recently expanded, as the city plans to take possession of the Ramada Inn, one of only a few lodging options located in downtown Xenia, on Nov. 1. The city terminated the hotel’s lease earlier this year, citing a string of fire code violations, and the hotel’s failure to renew its lease.

“Recent events have dictated that a more thorough examination and detailed plans be assembled to allow the city and Dillin to accelerate the redevelopment of this portion of the XTS property,” city documents say.

In the spring, the city approved a $124.8 million plan to turn Xenia Towne Square, located in the heart of the city’s historic downtown, from a largely vacant shopping strip into a plaza, with dedicated spots for restaurants, shops, retail, and residential housing.

The development services agreement will cost the city $55,000, which includes third-party services in addition to Dillin’s compensation, according to city documents.

The current Towne Square shopping center was constructed after the 1974 tornado ravaged Xenia. Shortly after the tornado, the city bought the land Towne Square shopping center sits on. The city bought the buildings in the Towne Square shopping center for $3.3 million last year.

As part of the first phase of the project, existing rear buildings in the Towne Square will be demolished, and existing tenants relocated to new buildings according to their needs. The plan also seeks to re-establish portions of the historic street grid to improve walkability and connect it to the rest of the downtown area, with on-street parking on West Church Street, safer pedestrian crossings, and lower traffic speeds.

The plan includes a central public plaza for event programming, upper-story apartments on the north side of the plaza, and between 25 and 30 townhomes on the south side of Church Street.

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