Costco, Whole Foods are both coming to area

Costco Wholesale submitted plans to build a member’s-only retail warehouse in the planned Cornerstone of Centerville development near Wilmington Pike and Feedwire Road.

The application filed with Centerville calls for a 154,000-square-foot store with attached tire center, a free-standing fuel station and 736 parking spaces. Total footprint would cover about 16.7 acres.

Twelve miles west, in Washington Twp., Whole Foods officials announced they have signed a lease for a new store at the intersection of McEwen Road and Miamisburg-Centerville Road (Ohio 725).

The approximately 45,000-square-foot store will be Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods’ eighth location in Ohio.

Costco, the nation’s second-largest retailer, also has seven other locations in Ohio.

The discount retailer had been rumored for months to be the high-profile first anchor tenant of the 156-acre multi-use Cornerstone project, which is bounded by Wilmington Pike, Feedwire, I-675 and Brown Road.

On Monday, Cornerstone developer George Oberer Jr. still would not confirm that Costco is coming, but said construction in the development will begin this fall or winter.

“I am contractually prohibited at this point from identifying or discussing several prospective tenants,” Oberer said, citing “multiple confidentiality agreements.”

Centerville city planner Steve Feverston confirmed Costco’s preliminary plat application and the Oberer Companies’ amended development plan “to accommodate this building parcel.”

Headquartered in Issaquah, Wash., Costco, has more than 450 locations in the U.S. and 634 around the world.

“We’re looking forward to making a series of announcements about tenants with national and regional interest in the weeks to come. We’re very pleased with the high level of interest,” Oberer said.

The Dayton Daily News last month reported that the Cincinnati-based El Rancho Grande restaurants chain will sell its location at 1020 Miamisburg-Centerville Road in Washington Twp. to make way for a new shopping center with a Whole Foods Market.

Founded in 1980, Whole Foods Market is the nation’s top retailer of natural and organic foods. The company operates 355 stores in 40 U.S. states, plus the U.K. and Canada.

The new location will offer area residents high-quality natural and organic groceries, said Scott Allshouse, the company’s Mid-Atlantic regional president.

“Ohio is a state that we’ve loved being a part of. We look forward to it continuing with our first Dayton location,” Allshouse said in a statement.

“Whole Foods Market and our team members are very active in their communities,” he said. “Whether it’s through offering local products by local vendors or organizing ‘5 percent days,’ where 5 percent of proceeds on a dedicated day go to a nearby nonprofit, our work in the Dayton area will be no different.”

Allshouse said Whole Foods stores stores combine the concepts of a “plentiful farmer’s market, knowledgeable butcher and fishmonger and made-from-scratch bakery all in one place.”

Whole Foods Market had sales of about $12 billion in fiscal year 2012. It employs about 76,000 people.

For fiscal year 2014, Whole Foods Market expects sales growth of 12 percent to 14 percent, according to company materials.

In a July conference call with analysts, the publicly traded grocery chain outlined its plans to expand to 1,000 stores nationally. Whole Foods plans to open an estimated 32 stores during fiscal year 2013, and from 33 to 38 stores in fiscal year 2014, according to company materials. Those stores include a second location in Columbus.

Cornerstone, which will include retail, office and residential segments in multiple phases, is being built on land originally owned by the Dille family. The family homestead, now vacant, still stands on the property. Oberer’s plans call for some of the stone from the home to be incorporated into features of the development.

The property was annexed by the city of Centerville from Sugarcreek Twp. in Greene County. Centerville won legal battles that went all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court to annex the land and, later, to use tax-increment financing to pay for some infrastructure improvements including roads and utilities.

Centerville city manager Greg Horn said city officials will meet this month with Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools officials about allocation of the TIF receipts during the first few years.

A Costco employee said the company does not comment on plans for individual new stores.

Feverston said the Costco plan will go before the Centerville Planning Commission, which meets next on Oct. 29. The amended overall Cornerstone plan will require city council approval.

The average Costco store has about 200 employees.

The company reported net sales of $102.9 billion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 1, a 6 percent increase from the $97.1 billion reported in fiscal year 2012.

Costco operates on the concept that offering its members low prices on a limited selection of nationally branded and select private-label products in a wide range of merchandise will produce high sales and rapid inventory turnover, according to a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Washington Twp. zoning manager Ryan Lee said Whole Foods Market has not yet filed a site plan for zoning approval, but he has had preliminary discussions about the project with an engineer and a store representative.

According to those talks, the 45,000-square-foot store would take the place of three lots at the corner of McEwen and Miamisburg-Centerville roads, including the former Smokey Bones restaurant, El Rancho Grande and the nearby Cubby Hole bar on McEwen, he said.

“We are excited to see what synergy that brings to the redevelopment along Miamisburg-Centerville,” Lee said.

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