Two new restaurants on Bechtle

Two new restaurants have plans to move into the Bechtle Avenue strip, which local officials consider the largest commercial area in the community.

The city issued permits last month for Sake Japanese Steakhouse, a Dayton-area chain of restaurants, to renovate and move into the former Cici’s Pizza location at 1985 Bechtle Ave.

The city also is considering a proposal for a new McDonald’s restaurant in the Meijer lot off Hillcrest Avenue.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” said Bryan Heck, city planning and zoning administrator. “This is a major retail corridor and with the volume of traffic, people traverse that area. It has lead to even when existing businesses move out, a new one comes in.”

In September, for example, the T.G.I.Friday’s at 1720 N. Bechtle Ave. closed, but the building was purchased by Columbus-based wings restaurant Rooster’s just a week later.

The City Planning Board will vote Monday on a request to amend the shopping center plan to allow the McDonald’s on a nearly 1.1 acre out lot by Meijer. Then city commission will vote on the proposal, most likely in January, said Heck, who has recommended approving the change.

Meijer wants to create a series of out lots and market that area, he added. The plan is to have four total out lots in the Meijer property, which is nearly 27 acres and valued at $6.2 million, according to the county auditor’s office.

Heck said Meijer already has one out lot created, which was approved in 2000. That lot doesn’t have a tenant.

“It’s a good opportunity for small retail and restaurant uses,” Heck said. “It’s a good business model.”

McDonald’s is still in the beginning stages of the project, but typically a McDonald’s location has about 60 people on staff, restaurant spokesman Phil Saken said in an e-mail.

McDonald’s employs more than 4,400 people in the greater Miami Valley area. It has seven current locations in Clark County, including one inside the Walmart on Bechtle Avenue. Saken said there are no plans to close any of the current locations.

The fast food chain has already invested $3.2 million recently to renovate four existing area restaurants earlier this year.

“We’re consistently looking for opportunities to expand the ways in which our restaurants serve customers,” Saken said. “While we are in the early stages of this project, we are enjoying our partnership with Springfield, and we’re proud to serve the area.”

Sake Japanese Steakhouse already has four restaurants in the Dayton-area, but this is the first in Springfield. The renovation of the building will cost $65,000.

Dayton manager Jennifer Wu said she didn’t know the exact date of opening or number of jobs that would be tied to the Bechtle Avenue location.

But the 4,250-square-foot restaurant will boast 10 hibachi grill tables, a sushi bar and regular dining, she said.

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