Greene County and the city of Xenia have partnered to find a buyer to develop about 14 acres of county-owned land along West Main Street, and ALDI grocery store will relocate there to be the anchor tenant.
County commissioners will consider approving the purchase agreement with Nashville-based BSM Development at their meeting today. BSM will buy the land for $825,000, according to Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson.
Huddleson said growth in the retail sector is important to a city, and “the correct type of retail growth is critical.”
“The county has worked hand-in-hand with the city throughout the process to make sure that this project results in the best utilization of the property and increased options for its residents and visitors,” Huddleson said.
BSM, which has developed several properties in the Dayton area, including the recent addition of Giordano’s in Beavercreek, was selected among the bids that were submitted to the county late last year.
The undeveloped land comes in three parcels and is situated between West Main Street and Greene Way Boulevard on the city’s “western gateway,” according to county records. The project includes connecting Hospitality Drive to Greene Way Boulevard.
ALDI, currently at 201 N. Allison Ave., will relocate to the new site with plans to build a bigger store similar to the Beavercreek location, Huddleson said.
Xenia City Manager Brent Merriman said this is “a really good example of a public, private partnership,” and a positive sign that county and city officials can work together for the betterment of the community.
Merriman said ALDI is already working with city and county planning officials and they will have a “very aggressive timeline.”
No other stores have been named as potential tenants, but the aim is to have a mix of retail and dining options.
“We want to see a certain level of quality and diversity of options. We’ve tried to impress on the developer that we want to see products that are new to the market,” Merriman said.
The announcement represents one of the more significant commercial development projects to happen in Xenia in several years, but it doesn’t come without controversy.
Part of the central and southern parts of the city of Xenia have been labeled a food desert by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A food desert area means residents there do not have easy access to fresh produce and other foods needed for a healthy diet.
The current ALDI location is about a block north of the designated food desert area. The store will move away from the designated area and set up shop within a mile of Kroger and Walmart.
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Merriman said the city has worked with ALDI on potential relocation sites for 18 months, including sites in the downtown and east side areas, but “the bottom line is they made a market-based decision to be closer to their competitors.”
“We’ve tried to encourage a broad distribution of those services. In the end it was their decision where they want to be in town,” he said.
A representative for the developer said BSM Development will release more information about the project soon.