Church to open in Mall at Fairfield Commons in former Elder-Beerman

The Mall at Fairfield Commons will soon welcome an unusual tenant, the Mosaic Church.

The church will take over space in the mall that was the former Elder-Beerman.

Mosaic Church will start holding services in the mall in January, if it is safe to do so with the pandemic, said Pastor Roz Picardo. The space is about 75,000-square-feet, so there is room to social distance inside.

The church had previously been holding services in the Regal movie theater at The Greene, the Regal Fairfield movie theater and parking lots across the Dayton-area, Picardo said. Picardo and his co-pastor Wayne Botkin founded the church almost three years ago.

Picardo said they wanted to have a church space that people would feel comfortable in, as a traditional church is not comfortable for everyone, especially if they haven’t been in a long time.

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The Mall at Fairfield Commons stated there would be more information released about the new tenant next week, but declined to comment further.

The church is still working out zoning of the space with the city of Beavercreek. It is currently zoned for retail. Mosaic Church has applied for a conditional use permit, according to Beavercreek records.

As retail stores close, malls have been filling the vacancies with different types of businesses, like churches, escape rooms, office spaces and fitness centers. The already bleak outlook for retail was made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

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With virtually all of the nation’s malls closed from mid-March through May or June, mall-based retailers classified as non-essential have taken a huge hit. Retail forecasting company Retail Metrics reported that mall-based retailers experienced a 256% earnings decline through the first half of 2020. Retailers not in a mall that were deemed “essential” suffered a 0.6% earnings slide, according to Retail Metrics.

The Mall at Fairfield Commons opened Round1 on the bottom floor of a vacant Sears at the end of 2019, which offers bowling, karaoke and other activities. Both the Dayton Mall and the Mall at Fairfield Commons, which are owned by Washington Prime, also recently added a family game center called The Yard and are focusing attention on events and expos that draw shoppers.

In recent years the Mall at Fairfield Commons has lost retailers like Charlotte Russe, Crazy 8, Jeggings Park, Locker Room by Lids, Treasure Trove, Jos, Go Calendar and Trendzy.

Mosaic Church will open in the former Elder Beerman space at The Mall at Fairfield Commons. STAFF/BONNIE MEIBERS
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Mosaic Church will open in the former Elder Beerman space at The Mall at Fairfield Commons. STAFF/BONNIE MEIBERS