That ‘other’ fast-bake pizza chain in the region is growing rapidly, too

Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 @ 7:52 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 03, 2018 @ 6:45 PM

Pizza wars rage on throughout the Miami Valley

It may be outnumbered in the Miami Valley’s fast-bake pizza restaurant market by a ratio of about 14 to 2, but MOD Pizza says it is experiencing its own rapid growth across the nation. 

>>FOOD NEWS: Panera Bread expanding delivery to more locations around Dayton

The Seattle-based MOD Pizza is now the only chain competitor left in the local fast-bake pizza market to Kettering-based Rapid Fired Pizza, now that Cleveland-based PizzaFire has shut down its restaurant on Far Hills Avenue in Kettering.

>> Here’s your guide to the best pizza in Dayton

But Rapid Fired has aggressively protected its home turf, opening more than a dozen Dayton-area locations in the last two years, including its most recent addition in Xenia. MOD Pizza operates restaurants on North Main Street (Ohio 48) in Englewood and in the Cornerstone of Centerville development in Centerville. 

>> RELATED: PizzaFire restaurant closure ‘is permanent,’ realtor says

 

>> NOW OPEN: The Dayton area’s newest brewery

MOD Pizza officials reported yesterday, March 13 that nationwide, the company added 110 restaurants in 2017, bringing its total to 302, while same-store sales grew by 5.2 percent. System-wide sales reached $275 million, up more than 81 percent, and the company’s net revenue reached $219 million, up 68 percent over 2016. MOD Pizza expanded into seven new states and created 2,600 new jobs in 2017, company officials said in a release. 

>> 4 Dayton Mall-area restaurants that have shut their doors

MOD Pizza is scheduled to offer grand opening giveaways starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, at 7240 Outfitters Way in West Chester Twp. GREG LYNCH/STAFF(Staff Writer)

RELATED: Pizza wars poised to re-ignite with ‘fast-casual’ chains eyeing SW Ohio

Locally, MOD Pizza opened in Englewood location in April 2017, and its Centerville location in September 2017. It also operates a location in West Chester across from the Liberty Center.

3 restaurants gearing up to open at The Greene

To support its rapid growth, MOD raised $33 million in equity in 2017 and has raised over $185 million in total equity capital since its inception. 

>> 5 restaurants that shut down at or near the Mall at Fairfield Commons

Zachery Johnson, Kayla Kelley and Michelle Rahn create pizzas at the new MOD Pizza, which is scheduled to offer grand opening giveaways starting at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, at 7240 Outfitters Way in West Chester Twp. GREG LYNCH/STAFF(Staff Writer)

RELATED: New fast-serve pizza chain coming to Cornerstone (April 2016)

“2017 was an amazing year for MOD as we added 110 stores to our system-wide store base, making it the second year in a row during which we grew by 100 stores or more,” Scott Svenson, co-founder and CEO of MOD Pizza, said in a release.

Last year, the MOD Pizza pizza-and-salad brand was named winner of the Future 50 Pacesetter award, which recognizes the outstanding performer among the onetime Future 50 chains.

>> 6 restaurants that closed at The Greene

MOD Pizza is open in West Chester Twp. GREG LYNCH / STAFF(Staff Writer)

>> RELATED: New fast-serve pizza chain coming to Cornerstone (April 2016)

MOD — an acronym that stands for “made on demand” — was founded in 2008 by Scott and Ally Svenson, the husband-and-wife team that formerly founded Seattle Coffee Co., a United Kingdom operation that was subsequently sold to Starbucks. Scott Svenson served after the sale as president of Starbucks’ European operations.

RELATED: MOD Pizza confirms 1st Dayton-area restaurant will open in Englewood (August 2016)

Scott serves today as CEO of MOD, and Ally is brand vice president.

MOD is among the pioneers of the fast casual pizza segment, in which individual pizzas are made on demand, then cooked in an 800 degree oven in less than three minutes. Made-to-order salads also are available, as are milkshakes, house-made lemonades and iced teas, and local craft beers and wine.
MOD Pizza will open its first Dayton-area location in Englewood, and its second in Centerville. Photo from MOD Pizza Facebook page

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JUST IN: Downtown Dayton developer lands state funds for $18M project

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 10:14 AM

Developer Weyland Ventures plans to spend about $18 million converting the Dayton Motor Car building into new offices. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Developer Weyland Ventures plans to spend about $18 million converting the Dayton Motor Car building into new offices. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The developer behind one of downtown’s hottest new dining and drinking destinations and some of its newest housing has been awarded funding for another project.

The Ohio Development Services Agency today announced it has allocated $1.8 million in state historic tax credits to support the renovation of the Dayton Motor Car building at 15 McDonough St.

Kentucky-based developer Weyland Ventures proposes spending more than $18.2 million to convert the six-story building, just east of the Oregon District, into modern offices for high-tech, creative design and other firms and users.

MORE: As $8M project wraps up, here’s what’s next for developer

Within five years of operation, the building could house about 260 full-time employees, according to Weyland Ventures’ application for state historic tax credits.

“Dayton is kind of our second city at this point,” said Mariah Gratz, the CEO of Weyland Ventures.

Weyland Ventures used about $1.9 million it was awarded in December 2014 to rehab the old Weustoff and Getz building at 210 Wayne Ave. into the Wheelhouse Lofts, which offers 40 apartments.

The building is also home to the popular restaurant and bar the Troll Pub at the Wheelhouse, which opened around St. Patrick’s Day.

Weyland Ventures has completed many projects in Louisville that have helped transform its downtown.

Weyland Ventures says the motor car building, like many others in Dayton, is outdated.

But the firm said it has experience repurposing similar concrete industrial buildings and likes its open floor plates and abundant natural light.

The building, which is about 80,000 square feet, offers in-demand features, like large windows and flexible space configurations, the developer said.

RELATED: The $6M ask: Developers seek funds for Dayton office, housing projects

Gosiger, a robotics and technology company headquartered at 108 McDonough St., plans to occupy space in the building. Bill Weyland, the principal of Weyland Ventures, and the owner of Gosiger have been friends for decades.

Weyland Ventures plans to rehab the exterior of the building and put in new HVAC and mechanical and electrical systems, which will remain exposed inside.

The building’s eastern facade will be cleaned, repaired and repainted. The historic windows will be repaired or replaced.

Weyland Ventures hopes to get construction underway by the end of the year, with a roughly 12-month construction schedule, Gratz said.

Converting the building into offices will help build on the momentum in downtown and the Webster Station area, which is a hotbed of new housing, restaurants and breweries, the firm said.

Weyland Ventures’ development of the Wheelhouse and the Dayton Motor Car building are part of its efforts to create a new district called Oregon East.

The new district seeks to offer a mix of housing, entertainment, dining and drinking establishments and other amenities.

RELATED: Developer acquires 158-year-old Oregon District church

Future projects are expected to fill in some of the space between the historic structures with new construction, likely of housing and other components that make it a place where people want to be, Gratz said.

Weyland Ventures also has acquired Saint Paul Lutheran Church, located at 239 Wayne Ave., and is looking for tenants.

“We think it could make a fantastic restaurant or entertainment venue,” Gratz said.

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Wright State could make firing decision on former provost today

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 9:34 AM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 9:15 AM

Former Wright State provost Sundarum Narayanan is on paid leave from the university.
Former Wright State provost Sundarum Narayanan is on paid leave from the university.

Wright State University’s board of trustees is expected to meet today to decide whether to fire long-suspended former provost Sundaram Narayanan.

But, new documents obtained by this news organization through a public records request show Wright State president Cheryl Schrader wanted the board to terminate Narayanan’s position as a faculty member earlier this month. In a letter dated May 21, Schrader asked trustees to fire Narayanan at the board’s June 8 budget meeting.

» RELATED: Wright State to layoff up to 40; expects $10M loss next year

Trustees are expected to meet with Narayanan and his attorney at today in a closed-door executive session in the Wright Brothers Room of the student union. An agenda for the meeting does not specifically mention Narayanan but states that trustees will discuss employment matters and the evaluation of university personnel.

Narayanan has been on paid leave for more than three years during a federal investigation of possible violation of immigration laws. 

He was one of four university administrators initially suspended in May 2015 because of the federal probe, which a Dayton Daily News investigation revealed was related to the university’s use of H-1B temporary work visas to secure employees for an area IT staffing firm in possible violation of immigration rules.

Schrader’s recommendation came just over a month after a special hearing board was convened to determine whether Narayanan was guilty of “substantial and manifest neglect of duty.” The board reviewed more than 1,000 pages of document’s related to Narayanan’s case, according to a May 3 letter from the special board to Schrader.

» RELATED: Wright State trustees approve 2019 budget: A breakdown of funding by department

The special board of six university employees unanimously agreed that Naraynan “failed to execute proper oversight” while serving as provost, according to a letter from the special board to Schrader dated May 3. But, the six employees believe the university “did not meet its burden of proof” to find Narayanan guilty of “substantial and manifest neglect,” according to the May 3 letter.

Two members of the special board voted that Narayanan should be fired and four members of the board voted that Narayanan should be suspended without pay.

In her May 21 letter to trustees, Schrader said that she agreed with the minority of the special board.

“In my judgment as President, based upon my career and experiences in academia including both faculty and administration roles, I find that I firmly agree with the minority of the hearing board members, that there IS sufficient evidence,” Schrader wrote.

» RELATED: Wright State pilot program saves students thousands on textbooks

WSU board of trustees chairman Doug Fecher has said trustees will listen to what Narayanan and his attorney have to say during the Wednesday meeting before making a final decision on his employment. Fecher didn’t rule out the possibility of trustees making a decision the same day though.

“I’d like to hear what they have to say and then the board will have to go from there,” Fecher said last week. “Until I hear what’s said at that meeting, I can’t comment.”

Attorney Ted Copetas, who represents Narayanan, previously told the Dayton Daily News he could not comment on what plans they have if the former provost is fired.

“We simply hope to convince the board (of trustees) to follow the recommendation of the hearing board, which is based on facts and evidence,” Copetas said. “We’ll have to evaluate our options after the board of trustees makes that decision.”

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WHIO Traffic Center: Crash on I-75 N in Montgomery County closes 2 lanes

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:53 AM
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 2:10 PM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic.

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • I-75 North at Wagner Ford Road exit in Montgomery County, a reported accident is clogging northbound traffic. The accident was reported about 1:38 p.m. 
  • This accident, on I-75 North at Wagner Ford Road, on Wednesday afternoon. (Marshall Gorby/Staff)

Surface Street Incidents

  • In the 2700 block of South Smithville Road in Dayton, live wires are reportedly down on a trash truck as of 6:15 a.m.

>> RELATED: WHIO Weather App

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Valley Street between Stanley Avenue and Brandt Street will be closed for reconstruction through late October. This is the first phase of a project to reconstruct Valley Street from Stanley Avenue to Rita Street.
  • Arlington Road between Pleasant Plain and Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE, March 5 - Sept. 30. All ramps for I-70 will remain open. 
  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, RAMP CLOSURE, March 12 - Sept. 30. The official detour is: I-75 north to US 35 east to Jefferson/Main Street to Ludlow Street to US 35 west
  • I-75 between Northwoods Boulevard and the Miami County Line, Nightlylane closures June 4 - July 9 between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Two lanes will remain open in each direction. 
  • I-75 between SR 48 and Needmore Road, Nightly lane closures April 29 - July 31 between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Will become double lane closures at 10 p.m. 
  • SR 48 between First Street and Riverdale Street, Lane closure April 2, 2018 - April 1, 2019. One lane will remain open in each direction.

GREENE COUNTY

  • State Route 235 between Dayton Yellow Springs and Enon Roads, ROAD CLOSURE for six months. The official detour is U.S. 68, West Hyde, and West Enon Roads.
  • Trebein Road from U.S. 35, Lane restrictions April 16 - August, 2018 for construction of a right turn lane. One lane will remain maintained at all times with flagging operations. 

WARREN COUNTY

MIAMI COUNTY

  • N. Market Street between Foss Way/Kirk Lane and Stonyridge Avenue, ROAD CLOSURE March 5 at 7 a.m. - Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. 
  • US 36 westbound between Scott Drive and Kienle Drive, Lane closure March 26 - June 30. One westbound lane will remain open. 
  • US 36 between Scott Drive and Aerovent Drive, Lane closure April 26 - August 31. 

DARKE COUNTY

  • Arcanum Bears-Mill Road between Folkerth Road and Erisman Road, ROAD CLOSURE June 4 - August 3. The official detour is: SR 49 to US 36/US 127 to US 36
  • SR 49 between Rossburg Lighsville Road and SR 47, Daily lane closures May 28 - July 2 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • SR 722 between Gordon-Landis Road and SR 49, Dailylane closures May 28 - July 2 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Sweitzer Street/ West Fourth Street between Pine Street and Sycamore Street, ROAD CLOSURE May 21 - May 31, 2019. The official detour is: Pine Street to Washington Avenue to Broadway.
  • US 36/US 127 between Hogpath Road and Horatio- Harris Creek Road, Daily lane closures April 30 - August 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

MERCER COUNTY

  • SR 49 between Park Road and Zehringer Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE June 18 - 25. The official detour is: SR 119 to SR 118 to SR 219.
  • SR 117 between US 127 and SR 116, Daily lane closures April 23 - July 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. 

SHELBY COUNTY

  • SR 29 between SR 274 and Pleiman Road, Daily lane closures May 18 - June 30 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • SR 66 between SR 47 and Russia Houston Road, Daily lane closures May 18 - June 30 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • SR 66 between SR 48 and Schlater Road, Daily lane closures May 14 - June 22 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times.  

CLARK COUNTY

  • I-70 east Ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE March 15 - Aug. 15. The official detour is: I-70 east to I-675 south to SR 444 to I-675 north
  • Spangler Road south between Restoration Drive and I-70, Traffic pattern switch March 26 - August 15. Southbound Spangler Road traffic going to I-675 south and I-70 east will be moved to northbound side of I-675. Traffic will then be redirected to the southbound side of I-675 after passing over I-70. 
  • US 42 between Bershet Street and Short Street, ROAD CLOSURE July 9 - 13. The official detour is: SR 72 to I-70 to SR 41.

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY

  • US 36 between Zimmerman Road and Kite Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE June 11 - August 10. The official detour is: SR 235 to SR 29 to SR 560.

LOGAN COUNTY

  • SR 347 between Rogers Road and C - 154, ROAD CLOSURE June 29 - July 7. The official detour is: SR 347 to US 33 to SR 739 to SR 347.
  • SR 47 between County Road 12 and SR 292, BRIDGE CLOSURE June 4 - 25. The official detour is: County Road 5 to SR 540 to SR 292 to SR 47.
  • SR 274 between Morris Rose Road and SR 235, Daily lane closures May 1 - June 29 between 7 a.m. 5 p.m. 
  • SR 235 between SR 720 and SR 117, Daily lane closures May 1 - June 29 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • SR 68 between SR 508 and Gunn Town Road, Daily lane closures April 23 - June 29 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

AUGLAIZE COUNTY

  • US 33 between SR 29 and I-75, Daily lane closures March 26 - July 31 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. One lane will remain open in each direction. 

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Watch: Deputy frees bear trapped in car near Lake Tahoe

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 1:09 PM

WATCH: Deputy Rescues Bear Trapped in Car

A sheriff’s deputy had to rescue a bear that trapped itself inside a car near Lake Tahoe.

>> Read more trending news 

The bear got locked inside a Subaru Outback in Carnelian Bay, officials said in the Facebook post.

The bear destroyed the car’s interior so badly that the doors couldn’t be unlocked, so the sheriff’s deputy had to break a window.

A Placer County Sheriff's deputy had to break the window of a Subaru Outback near Lake Tahoe to rescue a bear trapped inside.(Placer County Sheriff's Office)
Police dash camera video from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office showed the brave trooper breaking the window, allowing the bear to jump out and run into the forest.
A deputy had to help rescue a bear trapped inside a car near Lake Tahoe by breaking the car window, after the bear destroyed the inside of the car trying to escape.(Placer County Sheriff's Office)

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