Cabela’s & Kroger Building Stores at Cornerstone of Centerville

By Mark Fisher

Staff Writer

Cabela’s, a Nebraska-based chain of outdoor stores, on Monday submitted plans to build a 72,000-square-foot store at the Cornerstone of Centerville development, Centerville city officials said Monday.

The region has become a hotbed for outdoor retail stores. National and regional outdoor retail chains including Bass Pro Shops, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Dunham’s Sports are also in various stages of developing stores along the Interstate 75 corridor from northern Cincinnati to the northern Miami Valley.

They join retailers such as Gander Mountain in Huber Heights, Woodbury Outfitters near the Jefferson Outlet Malls in Jeffersonville, several Dick’s Sporting Goods stores, and the recently opened Field & Stream store in the Austin Landing development in Miami Twp.

If plans are approved, Cabela’s would become the third and final retail anchor store in Cornerstone of Centerville North, joining Costco, which opened last year, and Kroger, which submitted plans Friday to open a new store at the site. Both the Kroger and Cabela’s stores would face Feedwire Road east of Wilmington Pike, and would be built east of the existing Costco store.

Centerville city officials said there is no precise timetable for the Cabela’s project, but workers could break ground as early as this spring. A typical Cabela’s store employs about 200 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees, a company spokesman said.

“It’s a nice addition” to the Cornerstone project, Centerville City Manager Greg Horn said Monday. “Cabela’s is another quality anchor, with a very recognizable name, but it’s also new to our region.”

Cabela’s operates a store in the Columbus area and is in the early stages of building an 82,000-square-foot store on Liberty Way and I-75 in West Chester Twp. north of Cincinnati. The retailer of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear expects to open the West Chester Twp. store in fall 2015.

Cabela’s spokesman Nathan Borowski declined to provide details of the proposed Centerville store, saying in an email, “We haven’t made an official announcement regarding a Dayton location, and I cannot speak about potential new-store locations.”

George Oberer Jr. — CEO of Oberer Companies, developer of the Cornerstone of Centerville project — said he is still “in the final stages of negotiations” with both Kroger and Cabela’s. The deals “are not finalized, but certainly we’re optimistic they will be soon.”

Oberer said from its inception, the Cornerstone of Centerville mixed-use development was designed to serve as a regional draw. “We wanted to bring some regional players to the market that haven’t been here before,” and Costco and Cabela’s fit that profile, he said.

The 225-acre Cornerstone of Centerville project near the I-675/Wilmington Pike interchange will include retail, office and residential components and is expected to be built in multiple phases spanning 10 to 12 years. The initial section called Cornerstone of Centerville North is primarily focused on retail and includes the Costco Warehouse store that opened Nov. 13, 2014.

When the project is fully built, Cornerstone will create an estimated 2,600 to 2,800 new jobs and generate annual sales of $170 million, its developers say.

In an interview last month regarding the chain’s new West Chester Twp. store, Cabela’s spokesman Borowski said the chain is looking to expand its customer base and offer a distinctive experience to consumers.

“We want our stores to be more than just a retail store where the customer comes in, purchases a product and leaves,” Borowski said. “We want it to be a destination store where they can come in and learn about the outdoors.”

Cabela’s has been growing rapidly. Of its 64 stores in the U.S. and Canada, 14 opened in 2014, and plans call for opening another 17 stores in 2015 — including the West Chester Twp. facility.

Plans for both the Kroger and Cabela’s stores will be presented to the Centerville Planning Commission on Jan. 27.

Staff writers Drew Simon and Chelsey Levingston contributed to this story.