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New retailers planned for Ashland's Melody Mountain

Oct. 12, 2012 @ 11:40 PM

ASHLAND -- Three undisclosed major retailers will be locating on Melody Mountain adjacent to Wal-Mart and O'Charley's, according to a Dayton, Ohio, developer.

The $10 million project will bring about 300 retail jobs and 75 construction jobs, said Bo Gunlock, vice president of asset management for R G Properties of Dayton. The firm developed the property bringing in Wal-Mart, O'Charley's, Outback and Chick-fil-A at a site overlooking the Ashland Town Center Mall.

"The project is shovel ready," Gunlock said Friday. "This was a long time coming. We were ready to proceed in 2008 before the economic downturn. Construction will start in March, but site work should start before then, depending on weather. We want to have the stores open before Christmas (2013)."

Gunlock declined to name the retailers that will occupy a 55,000 square-foot building, a 50,000 square-foot building, a 12,500 square-foot building and another 4,000 feet of retail shops.

The project also entails a second left-turn lane from River Hill Drive onto U.S. 23 and completion of a sidewalk from Central Avenue up to O'Charley's, he said.

"Anything like this, especially with a developer who has made a commitment to our area, is a good sign," said Bill Hannah, executive director of Ashland Alliance. "It's a great commitment on their part to our area. It will bring more retail stores to the site."

The developer is leaving the announcement on which companies will be filling the buildings up to the retailers, said Kevin Gunderson, an Ashland city commissioner. "They plan to start construction after the first of the year," he said. "They want the stores open by the Christmas shopping season."

"This is really exciting for Ashland," said Chuck Charles, the lone candidate for Ashland mayor. "I'm glad they're coming here. I think this is an indication the economy is turning around."

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