While the Sears closure isn’t great news for the area, Miami Twp. has been planning for a possible shuttering for years.
Sears wasn’t counted on to be a major player in the Dayton Mall’s future as far back as 2015, when an economic development board created by Miami Twp. and Miamisburg adopted a master plan for the area.
“Miami Township and the Miami Crossing Joint Economic Development District have been planning for this possibility for several years,” said Chris Snyder, Community Development Director for Miami Twp. “The closure of the Sears store will be a challenging time for the employees and the mall, but the community has laid the ground work for the transformation of this highly valuable area.”
The Sears site covers more than 15 acres of ground, and the JEDD has been in discussion with Seritage, a real estate investment trust set up by Sears Holdings, in relation to what will come of the property.
“We cannot comment at this time regarding specific plans for the site beyond the current redevelopment of the former Sears Auto Center facility, but we can say that this was not an unexpected decision by Sears and that planning for this transition has been underway for some time,” Snyder said.
In public forums, officials associated with compiling the plan spoke of Sears’ role in the area’s future declining and redeveloping the area surrounding the mall. The first move in the strategy was announced last year when a deal was struck with Outback Steakhouse to convert the closed Sears Auto Center into a restaurant.
“We have a dynamic and thriving business community and many opportunities moving forward to enhance the District,” Snyder said. “The decision by Sears removes a level of uncertainty regarding the status of the store and will allow planning for the future of the site and its place within Miami Crossing to be accelerated.”
The Sears property was built in 1971.
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