5 big changes coming to the Dayton Mall area: What’s really going on?

Miami Twp. and the owners of the Dayton Mall have been preparing for changes in the evolving retail landscape with plans to redevelop and to better market the area surrounding the longtime shopping destination.

The mall could see some of its biggest retailers leave and new restaurants and stores take their place. The announcement that Elder-Beerman could leave the mall is just the latest development for the changing shopping center.

Below are five big changes that could be coming to the Dayton Mall area.

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1. Elder Beerman’s future remains uncertain

The retail store recently warned its employees that the location at the Dayton Mall is at risk of closing.

Bon-Ton sent out a 60-day notice on Friday warning of layoffs that could start as soon as June 5 at the Dayton Mall store as well as for the 330 employees at the Bon-Ton fulfillment center in West Jefferson.

Elder-Beerman’s distribution center in Fairborn was not part of the notice, though the location was considered for closure in a January plan to restructure parent company Bon-Ton.

The 122 jobs at the Dayton Mall location could be saved if someone buys and reorganizes the retailer’s parent company, Bon-Ton Stores Inc. The buyer could could also opt to liquidate Bon-Ton to pay off the company’s debts.

Bon-Ton filed for bankruptcy in February and has been up for auction.

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2. Even if a store or two leave, the mall might still be in good shape

If Elder-Beerman does leave the Dayton Mall, the shopping destination won’t necessarily be on a downward trajectory.

One third of U.S. malls are expected to close in the coming years but the malls that are in danger of closing typically have an occupancy rate of 70 percent or lower, Chris Snyder, board member with the Miami Twp.-Dayton Mall Joint Economic Development District, told this news organization last year.

As of last June 2017, around 95 percent to 98 percent of the Dayton Mall was occupied, Snyder said.

Even though the Dayton Mall may be in no danger of closing, the seismic shifts in the retail industry have forced leaders to consider changes which are already underway.

3. The Dayton Mall area could get a new look and name

Plans are already in the works to re-brand and redevelop the Dayton Mall and surrounding areas.

The re-branded mall corridor could become The Miami Crossing District, part of a plan to market 2.2 square-miles around the Dayton Mall, this news organization reported.

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fundingThe district is already home to more than 400 businesses, 3.7 million square feet of retail space and 200,000 square feet of restaurant space.

Miami Twp. and Miamisburg adopted a master plan for the district that calls for more than $200 million to be invested. Investments could result in new landscaping, sidewalks and other spaces.

4. Sears Auto Center will become a restaurant

The now-closed Sears Auto Center is one of the redevelopment projects already underway at the Dayton Mall.

Plans for the former auto center call for an Outback Steakhouse location, as reported by this news organization in January. Another tenant would fill up additional space at the closed auto center.

The auto center project is the first in a redevelopment plan that Miami Twp. leaders spend a year putting together with property owners Seritage Growth Properties.

The project is expected to enhance the landscaping and aesthetics of the building and surrounding area, township officials said.

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5. New amenities could draw people to area malls

The company that owns and operates both the Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons, could implement several new concepts to attract shoppers.

One new concept calls for a candy shop to be used in under-utilized spaces while another idea could bring in smaller brew pubs and newly formatted food courts. Art galleries could be another potential way the malls will fill unused space, this news organization reported last year.

Online retail giant Amazon could also be coming to area malls. Amazon Lockers, which allow shoppers to pick up packages, could be coming to area malls along with Amazon Treasure Trucks which function as pop-up shops.

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