“It’s a rebirth of what uptown used to look like.”
That’s how Alan Kyger, Oxford director of economic development and executive director of the Oxford Community Improvement Corporation (OCIC), described the development uptown with new, taller buildings, specifically the new project at 9 W. High St.
Miami University students venturing to Qdoba Mexican Grill for a meal Monday noticed a sign on the building thanking customers for their support and noting that the property would be redeveloped.
According to Mike Burke, owner of the property at 9 W. High St. since 2003, the building that houses Qdoba and Cold Stone Creamery will be torn down and new construction will begin, including ground floor retail space as well as student apartments.
“It’s been something that’s been on our plate from the very beginning,” Burke said.
Burke said the combination of current mortgage rates, additional competition from restaurants, and the prices available with the construction industry were the reasons the decision to start construction happened now.
Both Burke and Kyger said the new property would be a building that fits in with the historical city.
“We intend to build a very historically relevant building that everyone in Oxford will be happy about,” Burke said.
Kyger said the property used to house a Burger King and the front was redone before Qdoba and Cold Stone moved in. He sees the design of the buildings as a “rebirth,” as many old, mixed-use buildings in Oxford were replaced by one-story buildings and are now being replaced again with mixed-use buildings.
Burke said the addition of Chipotle in uptown Oxford was not the reason for the closing and that Qdoba was still busy after Chipotle’s opening.
“We could have stayed there and battled it out and made each other’s lives miserable,” Burke said.
Scott Webb, the architect for the project, said the new building will contain apartments to house about 50 students.
“It looks like it will be a pretty significant building,” Webb said.
Senior Narmar Doyle, an avid Qdoba-goer, was upset about the closing, which he heard about through friends still in Oxford.
“I love Qdoba,” Narmar said. “Sometimes I get Chipotle, but with all the times I got Qdoba I don’t think I could give all that business to Chipotle.”
He also said he liked Qdoba because of the good service they offered.
According to Burke, the new building will not be ready for occupancy until 2011. Both Qdoba and Cold Stone have the option of returning to fill the retail space on the ground floor.