East Dayton business wants to fill grocery void after destructive fire

A local company wants to bring a new grocery and convenience store to an East Dayton property, located a half a mile from where Food for Less burned down last year.

Davinder Gandhi plans to renovate a laundromat that has been vacant for more than five years at 2229 E. Third St. into a business called One Stop Grocery.

The shop would sell canned goods and other food items and convenience store staples, Gandhi said.

The store could help fill some of the need resulting from the destruction of Food for Less by a massive blaze in November, city of Dayton staff said.

RELATED: Demolition of Food for Less store underway following fire

City staff said the project would increase food access to an area that lost its only grocery store and would return a long-abandoned property to productive use. The renovations on the 2,400 square-foot building could run as much as $100,000, Gandhi said.

Gandhi said his family owns and operates a convenience store in Enon. He said he hopes to open his shop in March or April.

Staff, however, said they are concerned about allowing a convenience store to operate in the neighborhood since One Stop Grocery is seeking a transfer of an existing liquor license from Sam’s Beer & Wine, located two blocks away.

The city is objecting to the transfer of the license. But the state is in charge of issuing liquor permits.

City officials say Sam’s has been a “severe nuisance” of criminal activity, and police claim transferring the license could negatively interfere with “public decency, sobriety, peace or good order,” according to a Dayton planning staff report.

In any event, the city of Dayton Board of Zoning Appeals earlier this month approved a use variance in support of the grocery and convenience store operations.

The property was zoned transitional, which prohibits retail uses.

RELATED: Dayton grocery fire: Neighbors scramble to find food, way to pay bills

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