Dorothy Lane Market to enter Cincinnati market as anchor of $150M mixed-use development

Dorothy Lane Market to enter Cincinnati market as anchor of $150M mixed-use development

Dorothy Lane Market, the gourmet grocer that has become a Dayton institution, plans to open its first Greater Cincinnati location as part of a more than $150 million mixed-use project.

Dorothy Lane Market, known by devotees as DLM, will anchor a to-be-named mixed-use project at the corner of Mason-Montgomery and Western Row roads, land that was formerly the Western Row Golf Course. Traditions Building & Development Group is co-developing the project with Western Row Land Developers, the property owners.

The 70-acre mixed-use development will include a total of 80,000 square feet of specialty retail and restaurants, a boutique hotel and about 120 for-sale residential units. Tom Humes, president of Traditions Group and project co-developer, said he wants the development to create a welcoming experience and lifestyle opportunity for shopping, eating and living. The best anchor for that project is Dorothy Lane Market.

“What Dorothy Lane stands for could not more accurately portray what our community stands for,” Humes told me.

Norman Mayne, owner of Dorothy Lane Market, said Mason has always been an area that was attractive to the gourmet grocer. But for the Mayne family, which opened its newest store nearly two decades ago, Mason was always a place to locate.

“(We thought) ‘Gee, someday in this lifetime, it would be wonderful to have a store in Mason,’” Norman Mayne told me.

Calvin Mayne, Norman’s son and president of DLM, said the grocer has been presented lots of opportunities by communities and developers over the years. With this development, they liked that the Zopff family had a vision to do something special with the land. Add in Humes and his firm’s experience and the city’s work on the project and it all came together.

The residential component of the development is still being finalized. Humes expects to build about 120 residences, with a mix of single-family detached and attached homes. All the homes will be upscale with a high level of design. Pricing has not been finalized at this point.

The development will have five lakes, a waterfront boardwalk and walking paths with a central green connecting DLM, restaurants and retail shops to the boutique hotel and residential lifestyle community, as well as nearby neighborhoods.

Humes has been working with the Zopff family, which owns the property, for about four years to put this project together. Ellen Zopff Todia, who leads Western Row Land Developers, approached Traditions in the summer of 2017 about partnering.

“We’re very happy to have finally found the right project and partnership for this land,” Todia, daughter of Zopff and president of WRLD, said in a news release.

“What we’ve really done is taken Ellen’s goals for the land, to create something special to honor the history of her father and the Zopff family, working together with a great team of people and entities, and craft a vision for the project that has led us to where we are today,” Humes said.

In addition to this mixed-use portion of the development, the city of Mason is purchasing 27 acres of the former golf course for a business park that is designed to attract companies in the tech and biohealth industries. Here, the city plans office buildings, structured parking and collaborative open green space.

This office campus is expected to have space for at least 200,000 square feet of office, research and development and laboratory space. City officials believe the business park could be home to about 800 jobs.

Eric Hansen, city manager of Mason, said this development project is different than others. The retail piece will generate a lot of excitement from residents, but that is just part of the economic development puzzle.

“In time comes the job creation to build on that,” Hansen said.

Humes says this project has been the penultimate public-private partnership.

“We’ve worked together to create something we hope will be very special for the Mason community,” Humes said.

DLM has been family owned and operated since it was founded in 1948. In that time, it has grown to three locations in Oakwood, Washington Township and Springboro, which opened in 2002.

The project is subject to final agreements between all parties and receiving all necessary planning commission, governmental and final council approvals. The project is expected to go before the Mason Planning Commission on Nov. 2. Pending those approvals, groundbreaking on the Dorothy Lane Market and the first homes is expected in 2022.