Jun. 11—CENTERVILLE — The operator of a Dayton-area franchise of an Ohio-based business specializing in desserts says he is targeting a fall opening.
The proposed Whit's Frozen Custard on Ohio 48 on the north end of Centerville's Uptown district is awaiting final approvals, said franchise owner Jeffrey Neace.
Neace is redeveloping the vacant former service station at 199 N. Main St. into a community gathering spot with a large outdoor area and a vintage atmosphere.
The site is in the Centerville Architectural Preservation District, which has required meeting certain guidelines, he said.
"The process has taken longer than we'd hoped for," said Neace, a U.S. Army veteran and University of Dayton graduate who initially aimed to open this summer.
The Whit's franchise "is an excellent re-use of what was an eyesore," Centerville Development Director Michael Norton-Smith said.
"Jeff has been very motivated and excited about getting that location up and running," he added. "We're excited that that type of a use will be in Uptown."
Last week the city's planning commission passed some changes. Once final approvals come, Neace said he expects "a flurry of activity."
Neace has said the Centerville Whit's will have "a modern retro feel to it" with the aim to "make it very family friendly."
The site is within a mile of about 6,000 students in Centerville public and private schools, he said.
Neace was granted a franchise from the Granville-based company with more than 30 Ohio sites, nearly all of them in small towns.
The closest locations are in Lebanon, Trenton and Washington Court House, the company's website states.
The menu features a variety of sweet treats, hot dogs, sandwiches and chili, as well as no sugar, vegan and gluten free options, according to the Whit's website.
Whit's Frozen Custard started in 2003 in Granville, northeast of Columbus. Aside from its Ohio locations, it has sites in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.