East Dayton residents tonight will get a chance to offer ideas to transform a shuttered Xenia Avenue business into a “community asset” such as a food hub.
The Convenient Plus Food Mart at 405 Xenia Avenue closed last year.
East End Neighborhood Development Corp. plans to buy and rehab the property into a use that benefits an area that has high rate of poverty and food-access issues, said Jan Lepore-Jentleson, executive director of East End Community Services.
Some initial ideas include a small grocery store or sandwich shop, but it’s up to the community to decide what it wants to see in the space, Lepore-Jentleson said.
Citizens are encouraged to attend a community meeting tonight at 6 p.m. to discuss the future of the property. The meeting is at East End Community Services at 624 Xenia Ave.
“This is going to be a big community project,” Lepore-Jentleson said.
The store at 405 Xenia Ave. was once a UDF, but has changed operators multiple times and most recently was the Convenient Plus Food Mart, Lepore-Jentleson said.
The store has been a source of problems for the neighborhood, she said.
The store was a “crime magnet” and allowed loitering,
The mart closed last year and the next door neighbor purchased the property for $60,000 in December.
East End Neighborhood Development Corp. plans to buy the property, which the owner plans to discount. Money will be raised to assist with the acquisition.
Lepore-Jentleson said the community will decide what it wants at the store, but she strongly believes it will have affordable food components, like a sandwich shop or small retail or grocery store.
She said there’s great opportunities to partner with urban agricultural initiatives in the area run by Mission of Mary Cooperative and Dayton Urban Grown Farm.
“We’ll hold it until we get a plan together,” she said. “Probably it will be a food hub of some kind.”