A new, $658,000 retail store is under construction at a long vacant site as part of a new shopping development on the city’s east side.
A nearly 10,000-square-foot Dollar Tree store is being built at the former Roberds site at 3000 E. Main St., according to Springfield building permits.
It’s the first of three outlots expected to be developed as part of the new shopping development, which might also include a large anchor tenant in the back — similar to the Hobby Lobby development on Bechtle Avenue, Springfield Planning, Zoning and Code Enforcement Administrator Stephen Thompson said.
The 1.6-acre parcel is being developed as part of the larger 21.2-acre parcel, he said. The development recently got several variances for setback and exterior material types to be used different from the Eastern Edge corridor plan requirements, he said.
The developer is in talks with other possible stores looking to locate at the site according to their attorney, but Thompson said no plans have been submitted.
“(Dollar Tree) is the only one that’s there right now for sure,” he said.
The city is beginning to see more development outside of the Bechtle Avenue shopping corridor, Thompson said. It’s the first major development on the east end since Walmart was developed on East National and Tuttle roads more than 10 years ago.
“It’s a good thing to see development happen on other sides of the city that haven’t been developed for a while,” Thompson said.
Roberds went out of business in 2000 and closed all of its Miami Valley locations, including the one on East Main Street. It then served as a flea market and a mattress store before become abandoned for several years.
The building drew complaints from residents and Springfield News-Sun readers nominated the site as one of Clark County’s top five eyesores for an investigative story in 2012. It was razed in 2014.
“It was just a sea of concrete for a while,” Thompson said. “It’s good to see a new tenant going in there and more options on the eastern edge of town.”
The national retailer currently has one other location in Springfield at 2204 N. Bechtle Ave., which is an extremely busy store, Thompson said. There’s also a Dollar Tree location at 1620 E. Ohio 36 in Urbana.
Dollar Tree couldn’t be reached for comment on Friday afternoon.
Springfield resident Mike Brown remembers shopping at the furniture store located there years ago. The development is good for the east side of town, said Brown, who does the majority of his shopping at the Walmart on Tuttle Road but also drives to the Dollar Tree and other retail stores on North Bechtle Avenue.
“I’ll definitely go there to shop once they get it done,” Brown said. “It will be nice to get something down here finally.”
The new location will hopefully alleviate some of the traffic at the Bechtle location, Springfield resident Debra Wilson said.
“It’s so crowded you can barely get out of there,” said Wilson, who was shopping at Walmart on Friday. “I think it’s a great idea. The more stores we have, the more jobs we’ll have.”
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