Amusement, shopping, warehousing part of new plan for Piqua mall

Piqua Center to open amusement park, boxing training center, new restaurant, warehousing space.

Owners of the former Miami Valley Centre Mall in Piqua are reimagining use of the 500,000-square-foot building that once was a destination location with local and national retail stores.

Piqua Investment Partners LLC―which is a partnership between the locally-based Bruns Construction and the Minnesota-based Caspian Group―has rebranded the mall as the Piqua Center, located at 987 E. Ash St. in Piqua, after taking over ownership of it from the Kohan Group last year.

The Piqua Center will have mixed use going forwards, with approximately 86,000 square feet of space dedicated entertainment and dining and 192,000 square feet for retail and boutique space, with the remainder being space for warehousing and e-commerce.

Momentum is moving in a positive direction for the vision for the facility’s space, said leasing manager Saul Zenkevicius.

The main challenge they’ve had is overcoming the stigma that nothing would be done substantially with this facility, he said.

“We just have to overcome 10 years of stagnation and decline of this property,” Zenkevicius said.

One of the most popular additions to the facility will be its new amusement park, Hero Day, which also has a facility in Lima. The Hero Day Inflatable Theme Park plans to open in March.

Owner Brad Gossard saw an opportunity to reach kids and young adults in this area, saying his customers typically range in age from early adolescence to college-age young adults.

“We really wanted to get into this market, because we’ve got Sidney, Piqua, and Troy all right here,” Gossard said.

In addition to large inflatable playgrounds and obstacle courses, the amusement park will include a slam ball basketball court, a zip line, dodgeball and ninja courts, and a ball pit with 125,000 balls.

Above the play areas is a mezzanine for parents to watch their kids from a birds eye view, though Gossard also encourages the parents to get in on the fun.

“The adults can play. The kids can play,” Gossard said.

Hero Day will be open Thursdays through Sundays, focusing on private events during the other days of the week. They can host seven birthday parties at one time, he said.

Hero Day will be taking over the space where the mall’s old movie theater was located. In order to renovate that space, builders had to excavate the space and fill it with 100,000 tons of gravel due to the movie theater’s previously slanted seating areas.

Current physical occupancy at the mall is shy of 50%, Zenkevicius said, but they will be finishing up more than 100,000 square feet of renovation in the next two months.

“By summer, we should be close to our 80% mark,” Zenkevicius said. The mall has about 70% of its space lined up in leasing agreements.

More tenants will be moving in over the summer, including Smile Back Training Center, which offers training in boxing and kickboxing, grappling and self-defense. Do It Best Hardware will also be on the retail side near American Freight. The space for Las Marias, a new Mexican restaurant, is currently under construction right now next to Dunham’s, and it will include indoor and outdoor seating.

On the warehousing side, the Piqua Center has leased space with RSC Construction, Glassco, and more to fill the empty spots anchor stores like Sears and Elder Beerman left.

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