Kristin Mullins, president and CEO of the Ohio Grocers Association, said she was not surprised that DLM was building a store in the Greater Cincinnati market.
“Dorothy Lane Market has always been an exceptional and outstanding organization,” Mullins said. “I knew he was looking to expand ... they were on the lookout for a new opportunity.”
She said DLM is a nice market with upscale products and great customer service along with their Killer Brownies, meat and produce. Mullins said these markets all bring something different and unique to the table for their customers.
“All of their departments are above spec,” she said. “Smaller grocers know their clientele and they know what they are craving for.”
Brittain Ladd, a global retail consultant based Dallas, Texas, said, “a large majority of consumers are looking for a unique destination, a unique format, a unique assortment of products and a new experience.”
Ladd stores such as Dorothy Lane Market can be successful and be competitive if they have the right look and feel.
“I believe it’s a format that could be scaled across several states because they have the right assortment of products and right experience,” Ladd said. “They’re not trying to be Kroger. They need to be the ‘anti-Kroger.’ They need to have an identity and mission and stay true to both.”
Traditions Building & Development Group is co-developing the project with Western Row Land Developers, the property owners. This new 70-acre mixed-use development will feature 80,000 square feet of specialty retail and restaurants, including the gourmet grocer.
“Dorothy Lane Market will be a wonderful anchor for our new walkable community, which will create an exciting destination for upscale retail and restaurants and the latest in lifestyle living opportunities,” said Tom Humes, president of Traditions Group and project co-developer.
The development will feature five lakes, a waterfront boardwalk and walking paths with a central green connecting DLM, restaurants and retail shops to a boutique hotel and residential lifestyle community (up to 120 residences) on the site as well as nearby neighborhoods. The golf course that was previously there closed in 2007.
“We appreciate the vision that Ellen Zopff Todia and the entire Zopff family have as landowners, and the work of the Traditions Group team in developing the project,” Mayne said, adding that the DLM store could become“an exciting food destination” for Mason and Greater Cincinnati.
The city of Mason also announced the purchase of 27 acres adjacent to and part of the mixed-use development for an “innovation-driven” business park to attract key industry sectors in tech and biohealth.
Mason City Council moved forward on the purchase that put the mixed-use project in motion, including the purchase of the future business park property and authorizing incentives to further infrastructure and shared access. The project is subject to final agreements between all parties and receiving all necessary planning commission, governmental and final Council approvals.
“There has been considerable interest in developing this property over many years. After much work and collaboration, I think we’ve found a partner and a concept that provides the best mix of uses to benefit residents and the tax base by preserving these 27 acres as a significant future employment center,” said Eric Hansen, Mason city manager. “The city was able to leverage our interest in growing future business and employment opportunities to secure unique residential and commercial destinations.”
The new park, which will be part of a 70-acre mixed-use Planned Unit Development (PUD), is located along a key business corridor on Mason-Montgomery Road known for healthcare and technical investments.
“This development and partnership will act as a touchpoint for the City’s global business attraction work, as well as our startup strategy. Preservation of this property and the business park design connections to the mixed-use development is another way Mason can both attract and scale targeted companies,” said Michele Blair, Mason economic development director.