After months of planning and public input, the city of Xenia is a step closer to revitalizing a major swath of its historic downtown.
City Council endorsed the Xenia Towne Square Redevelopment Concept plan last Thursday, which “articulates a vision for catalytic revitalization” of the 15.5-acre property in the heart of Xenia, with dedicated spots for restaurants, shops, retail, and residential housing.
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.
“This will do nothing but enhance our downtown,” said Xenia Mayor Sarah Mays. “Our current businesses are working very hard. They care about this community. Having the redevelopment just pushes us to the next level. Seeing development means your city is growing and heading in the right direction. Things are going forward and it’s exciting.”
Phase Two includes hospitality, retail, restaurant spots, and office space.
The city has also begun negotiations with Springboro-based Dillin Corp, which helped the city create the concept plan, to serve as developer of record. Xenia’s Planning and Zoning Commission had already approved the plan back on Feb. 17.
Total projected investment in the project is $124.8 million, including $38.1 million in core public spaces, $55.1 million for mixed-use development, and $19.1 million in townhomes. Public investment includes $4 million in land acquisition (which has already been completed) and $8 million in projected infrastructure improvements.
Phase One of the project is expected to be developed through summer 2024, documents show. However, inflation and rising material and labor costs may affect both costs and the timetable.
“It’s something we’re very mindful of,” Mays added.
The current 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 the buildings in the Towne Square shopping center for $3.3 million last year.
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