A popular Beavercreek shopping center in past years is showing signs of new life after years of decline and numerous business closings.
The Beaver Valley Shopping Center near U.S. 35 and North Fairfield Road once housed a grocery store, a movie theater, a car dealership and numerous restaurants and small shops. But increased development near the Mall at Fairfield Commons and a new U.S. 35 bypass that redirected traffic left the shopping center looking like a ghost town.
As other stores entered Beavercreek near the mall , competition grew, said city planner Jeffrey McGrath, pushing some of the shopping center’s anchors out of business.
The city of Beavercreek has been working on plans for about eight months to continue the revitalization jumpstarted by the new business interest, McGrath said. It recently hired an architect with a grant to create renderings that show how to maximize potential near the shopping center.
“With the development of The Greene, with the development of the mall, this little part of Beavercreek kind of got forgotten about,” said Kelly Sullivan, owner of Recline and Rest.
He calls new activity that includes several new store openings, rehab of the shopping center and the acquisition of a car dealership near the center, a “renaissance.”
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The rejuvenation isn’t a new plan. Sullivan’s business was brought into the Beaver Valley Shopping Center in 2016 to jumpstart revitalization efforts, but the growth plateaued when the property went into bank receivership.
“This particular shopping center was not cared for in the past,” said Dyanne Silva, the property manager for the new owners of the shopping center. “For example, the sewage pipes were running above the ground, the paint was peeling on the building, and the parking lot needed a seal coat and striping.”
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Florida-based Group Lemont, the new owner of the shopping center, has already started the painting, piping and parking lot work, Silva said.
Group Lemont plans to fill about nine available spaces in the 55 percent occupied shopping center, each ranging from 900 to 7,500 square feet with mixed-use retail, entertainment and services.
Other vacant lots near Beaver Valley are also coming back to life. Local SVG Motors is planning to open its new dealership and repair shop at 3415 Seajay Drive by Thanksgiving, said owner Steve VanGorder.
SVG spent $1 million on the property and plans a slightly more than $2 million building project, according to county records. When finished, the location will employ about 50 automotive technicians, salespeople and staff, VanGorder said.
“We’ve had countless residents stop in to thank us for investing in the property,” VanGorder said.
Just down the road at 3200 Seajay Drive, Flying Ace Car Wash is investing between $2.5 million and $3 million to open a new location, said Jeff Gilger, vice president of development for the car wash’s parent company Express Wash Concepts.
The car wash plans to close on the purchase of a Burger King that’s been vacant since January 2015 this week.
“We’re hoping this investment in the corridor there might convince some other folks to come over and join us,” Gilger said.
Greene County records also show that the shell company of Sanderson Insurance purchased a former First National Bank building at 3210 Seajay Drive in May.
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