Landmark Lofts, Hilliard’s mixed-use development at Cemetery Road and Franklin Street, continues to add retail tenants.

Rita’s Italian Ice is slated to open in July at 5254 Franklin St. and will join Yabo’s Tacos, Daylight Donuts & Cafe and Renovo Fitness.

Rita’s Italian Ice has 520 shops in more than 30 states, said Sara DeYoung, senior manager of field marketing for Rita’s Franchise Co.

The chain sells Italian ice, frozen custard and specialty creations, according to its website.

The Landmark Lofts shop would be the fifth Rita’s location in central Ohio, according to its franchisee owner, Hilliard resident Jan Bell.

She said the company reached out to her to open a shop in Hilliard after she expressed interest in a franchise two years ago.

Rita’s other shops are on Henderson Road in northwest Columbus and in Gahanna, Powell and Westerville, said Bell, who worked as a nurse before turning her full-time attention to a Rita’s franchise. All but one of Ohio’s six Rita’s shops are in central Ohio, DeYoung said.

The 1,400-square-foot Rita’s Italian Ice in Hilliard is expected to open between July 7 and 15, Bell said.

The shop will be on the east side of Franklin Street, north of Cemetery Road.

“There’s definitely a place for us in Hilliard,” Bell said, adding she believes Rita’s can compete against an increasing number of related businesses in Hilliard.

Tim Kauffman, executive director of Destination Hilliard, agreed Rita’s has a place in Hilliard.

“The addition of Rita’s Italian Ice to the Landmark Lofts makes this mixed-use development even more attractive to Hilliard residents and visitors alike,” he said. “With Daylight Donuts and Yabo’s Tacos already in place, tasty dining options abound.”

In addition to the opening of another business at Landmark Lofts, an upcoming capital-improvements project on Franklin Street will upgrade the road from Landmark Lofts north to Main Street.

When completed next year, all of Franklin Street will have sidewalks, curb ramps, street lights and street trees between Main Street and Cemetery Road, said David Ball, director of communications for Hilliard.

The project includes storm-sewer and water-main replacements and sanitary-sewer lining on the section of Franklin Street between Landmark Lofts and Main Street, Ball said.

The engineer’s estimate for the project is $2.38 million, said Hilliard service director Albert Iosue.

Bids for the project are scheduled to be opened Thursday, June 27, Ball said.

Legislation authorizing the construction is scheduled for a July 8 first reading by Hilliard City Council.

Work is scheduled to begin in August and conclude in August 2020, according to Letty Schamp, Hilliard’s deputy city engineer.

The project would be financed at $1.68 million in 2019 and $710,000 next year, Iosue said.


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