Austin Landing’s future includes more restaurants, retail

Austin Landing restaurant plan aims for ‘intimate,’ safer experience

VisCap Development President Larry Dillin said he wants the project to build a Buffalo Wild Wings just off the entrance between Kohl’s and Kroger to include a sign. That entrance has no identifying markers to Austin Landing and Dillin said he wants a sign similar in size to the one at the south entrance off Austin Boulevard.

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Dillin said he intends the project to also include the long-approved traffic signal at the Landing Way/Liverpool Lane intersection separating Kohl’s and Kroger. Walkway upgrades providing better access to the proposed restaurant from an apartment complex and hotels within Austin Landing are also part of the plan.

The entrance to Austin Landing from State Route 741 can be seen at the left of this photo behind the Staybridge Hotel. Further development is planned for the grass area beind the Hotel, next to Kohl’s. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

Those measures aim to make the area between the two national retail anchors more conducive to a pedestrian-friendly environment, Dillin said, something it wasn’t designed as when Kohl’s and Kroger were built nearly a decade ago.

VisCap took over management of Austin Landing in 2016 and one of its focuses has been pedestrian access.

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“For us to have a pedestrian-friendly environment, those two projects were not placed well,” Dillin said about Kohl’s and Kroger earlier this month.

“One of the challenges that we’ve been thinking very hard about…..is really what is the best solution when you look at the total context of the development – and in particular this issue” with the BW3s proposal, Dillin said.

Earlier this month the Miami Twp. Zoning Commission endorsed building a 6,657 square foot site next to Kohl’s as part of a multi-million dollar phased development on 2.3 acres that is also projected to include office space. The plan is set to go before township trustees Tuesday night.

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The placement next to Kohl’s is key, Dillin said, as it would allow for walkways west across Liverpool Lane leading to Staybridge Suites, The Flats at Austin Landing and the Hilton Garden Inn. It would improve pedestrian access for hundreds of people living or staying at those locations, he said.

“What we want is to take this site and make the experience for the guest intimate,” Dillin said of the BW3s proposal. “We can’t make it intimate connecting it to Kroger. We can’t make it intimate connecting it to Kohl’s. We’re on an island if you will in this non-pedestrian environment.”

Dillin said “it’s our responsibility obviously not only to look inwardly to this site. But also how does this site fit in the overall development and how do we maximize the impact for the overall development.”

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The Landing Way entrance from Ohio 741 was built as an “arterial” – not to “pedestrian scale,” officials said. As such, there are strict limits on the improvements that can be made that improve walkability near the entrance from the state route, Dillin said.

A traffic signal approved more than two years ago is planned for the intersection of Landing Way and Liverpool Lane, where there is now a two-way stop. Dillin said he hopes the project - estimated to cost $250,000 in 2015 – can be completed in conjunction with the BW3s plan.

The traffic signal project would give the Ohio 741 entrance three turn lanes, two of which would be northbound, officials said. It would also increase the number of pedestrian crossings.

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