You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Restaurants, development planned for former McMurray’s site

A proposed development on the site of the former McMurray’s Irish Pub could bring two franchise restaurants to Springfield, including a Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, but at least one neighbor believes the development could hurt property values.

The site at East College Avenue and North Limestone Street is owned by City Commissioner Kevin O’Neill, who hopes to have construction begin in October and the development completed next spring.

The proposed development is 6,400-square-feet with four, approximately 1,600-square-foot storefronts, two of which could be combined into one larger location.

“We’re leaving our options open to do that,” O’Neill said.

A fire gutted the popular McMurray’s Irish Pub, 122 E. College Ave., in June 2013. It was later demolished and relocated next door to the former Woods-Allgier Funeral Home, 625 N. Limestone St.

Cost estimates for the project are still being formulated, O’Neill said. The storefronts would face North Limestone Street.

A Jimmy John’s franchisee has purchased in the Springfield area, according to a restaurant representative, but no other information was available. The chain specializes in delivering sandwiches, particularly near college campuses. As of June 2014, it has about 1,900 franchises nationwide, including six Dayton-area locations.

Another national franchise is considering the development, O’Neill said.

“They’re looking pretty seriously,” he said.

Paddy’s Backdoor Pizza, also owned by O’Neill, is considering opening a storefront in the location. The business currently works out of a much smaller kitchen in the new McMurray’s building.

“We struggle every day to try to make it work,” he said.

A public hearing and first reading will be held at tonight’s city commission meeting as part of a request to rezone the property for parking for the proposed development.

The City Planning Board unanimously approved July 7 rezoning less than an acre near the site, including three properties from residential to community commercial district. The rezoning would make the properties consistent with the property at 625 N. Limestone St., also owned by O’Neill, and create shared parking for both the development and the new McMurray’s Irish Pub location.

The building behind the bar might be converted into a building for its catering business.

O’Neill has owned the property since 1992 and said he wants to enhance the corridor.

“We can grow that entire area,” he said. “That’s the throat of downtown Springfield, from north to south.”

However, fellow City Commissioner Karen Duncan said the development could hurt the property value of her home located around the corner at 500 N. Fountain Ave. The home is listed for sale for $495,000. She spoke at the planning board meeting last month.

“It’s a disadvantage to me personally,” Duncan said. “I understand why the planning board voted as they did. They made the decision they made based on what’s the best thing for the whole community. As a private citizen, I have my right to express my opinion.”

Duncan is concerned it will bring much more traffic to the neighborhood and College Avenue, which currently doesn’t see a lot of cars.

“It’s residential traffic, it’s very few cars and they’re relatively going slowly,” she said.

Neither O’Neill nor Duncan will vote on the issue at the city commission meeting in two weeks. They weren’t permitted to speak with planning board members or other commissioners about the issue.

The neighborhood has transitioned from homeowners to renters over the past 10 years, Duncan said.

“There’s been a drastic change,” she said.

The College Hill Neighborhood Association isn’t opposed to the development and believes most of the traffic will be Wittenberg University students on foot, said Robert Goodfellow, association president. He wished O’Neill luck on the proposed development.

“It will look better than that bare lot sitting there,” Goodfellow said.

The development can do nothing but help Duncan’s property, O’Neill said.

“I guess the fear would be in the unknown,” he said. “She doesn’t know what it’s going to be.”

The new development would be a welcome addition on the nearby Wittenberg campus, especially the Jimmy John’s, said senior Sean Kelleher, who was playing disc golf on Monday afternoon. The late-night delivery will be popular with students, he said.

“It will be great,” Kelleher said. “At a lot of my friends’ schools, Jimmy John’s is like the go-to late-night food. I’d rather eat a bunch of subs than greasy pizza.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

New Carlisle seeks to fill empty council seat, welcomes new member
New Carlisle seeks to fill empty council seat, welcomes new member

The city of New Carlisle has a new city council member and will interview a handful of candidates to fill one more vacancy. The current opening is from the departure of former New Carlisle Mayor Lowell McGlothin, a longtime council member who won a race for Clark County commissioner in November. McGlothin had to resign his New Carlisle seat to take...
Springfield residents react, protest Trump’s inauguration
Springfield residents react, protest Trump’s inauguration

Some local residents watched Friday’s inauguration of President Donald Trump with enthusiasm. Others said they were worried, and marched in protest. Some, attending the event in Washington, said they were just glad to be part of an important American event. Springfield High School teacher Zach Raines and a group of three students watched the...
Gloomy weather expected for inauguration in DC
Gloomy weather expected for inauguration in DC

By Eric Elwell, Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist It will be gloomy and rainy in our nation’s capital Friday as hundreds of perhaps thousands attend the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. The wet weather in the Miami Valley Thursday night and early Friday will head to Washington, D.C. Rain there is expected to develop by mid to late...
Residents to protest Trump in downtown Springfield on Inauguration Day
Residents to protest Trump in downtown Springfield on Inauguration Day

A demonstration will be held downtown Friday by residents who say the want to demand inclusion from President-Elect Donald Trump on his Inauguration Day. The event will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday on two corners of City Hall Plaza — the southeast corner at Limestone and High streets and northwest corner at Fountain Avenue and Main Street...
Inauguration 2017: Local students arrive in Washington
Inauguration 2017: Local students arrive in Washington

Southwest Ohio students are arriving in Washington, D.C. for the Inauguration of Donald Trump. Students from Oakwood High School and Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati were on a flight this morning from James M. Cox Dayton International Airport to Washington, D.C. Students from Springfield left today, too. Sixteen-year-old Oakwood students...
More Stories