Beavercreek sees boost in commercial development

An uptick in commerical development near The Mall at Fairfield Commons is boosting Beavercreek’s economy — a trend business leaders say is enticing new companies and retailers to invest in the area.

More than 70 new business and construction permits have been requested in Beavercreek during the past year and a half, according to Ann Upthegrove-Vore, president and CEO of the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce.

Along North Fairfield Road near the mall, businesses and retail developments are popping up along the strip — an area that land brokers call a “highly desirable market for retailers.”

Eric Abroms, a principal and broker at OnSite Retail Group, said the demand is high in Beavercreek, but supply is limited.

“There’s virtually no vacancy in the area,” he said.

Cincinnati-based Onsite Retail Group announced a retail development in the works on the street in early July. OnSite is a commercial real estate brokerage company founded in 2010.

Grocery retailer Aldi will anchor a new 35,000-square-foot retail development. Aldi, located at the south end of the development, will span 18,500 square feet.

Salon Lofts will occupy 4,000 square feet of space north of Aldi. Salon Lofts offer individual suites where hair stylists, massage therapists, skin care and nail specialists run their salons. It is located at the northeast corner of North Fairfield and Lakeview Drive. Construction is set to start this summer, and retailers will open in the new shopping center in early 2017.

Kristie Miller, general manager of The Mall at Fairfield Commons, said the increased development in the area brings more business to mall. She estimated that the mall property was at about 97 percent occupancy, and interest in leasing remains high.

“We have seen so many businesses coming in around us,” she said. “There’s a lot of activity happening and I think it’s the momentum of the area.”

The increase in business development mirrors statewide trends, according to a report from the NAIOP Research Foundation. Ohio ranks as a top state for commercial real estate development, a sector that supported 3.2 million jobs and contributed $450 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015.

Ohio landed in the top 10 states for office, warehouse and retail development — supporting tens of thousands of jobs and generating income for state residents.

The Mall at Fairfield Commons just finished an exterior renovation and has started the second phase of the project. Miller said traffic within the mall has increased by 20 percent since the completion of Phase I. Center Court will be renovated, which includes the addition of a variety of shopper-friendly amenities. The interior renovation features a contemporary facelift.

The large marble staircase that currently divides the space will be removed and a new floating staircase will be installed near JCPenney. A new set of men’s, women’s and family restrooms will be added on the lower level.

Construction is expect to be completed by late October.

Abroms said the developers have heard that existing retailers in Beavercreek are doing well. Past Beavercreek projects for the group included developing and brokering space for an LA Fitness, HomeGoods, Fresh Thyme organic grocery store and Pet Supplies Plus.

“When other retailers see existing retailers do well, they want to be close to those places,” he said. “There’s that herd mentality.”

Miller said the proximity of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Wright State University — in addition to new businesses in the area — keep tenants and customers interested in Beavercreek as a business and entertainment district.

“We believe in its long-term viability and the opportunities for retailers that aren’t there yet,” Abroms said.

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