Ongoing Project #2- 1999 to Present- Easton Town Center

Post Update 7/10/2013.

Easton Town Center

Easton Town Center
Easton Town Center was in the planning stages as far back as 1990. The area where Easton would be built was mostly undeveloped land at the southwest corner of Morse Road and I-270. Les Wexner of Limited Brands fame imagined a large mixed-use development for the 1,300 acre site, to be anchored by a central retail complex. Some of the intial designs resembled more traditional malls, but as planning evolved, the retail complex emerged as an outdoor town-center style shopping experience. While some parts of the large site were developed as early as 1996, such as Easton Market, Phase I of the town center most recognized as simply “Easton”, did not open until 1999, with Phase II opening in 2001. Easton Town Center was eventually nationally recognized for its design and has since been copied around the nation. Today, Easton remains successful and continues to evolve and grow with new shops and fashion names.

Easton Town Center Stats

Start of Construction: 1997
Opened: 1999
Current Status: Under Construction
Cost (1999-Present): $1.0-$1.3 Billion
Stores: 240+

In this aerial, the land that will become Easton is mostly farmland and scattered buildings.

In this aerial, the land that will become Easton is mostly farmland and scattered buildings.

Easton aerial in 2002.  This shows the explosion of development at the site, with the Town Center in the center of the image.  The 270 Easton exit ramp has also been constructed.

Easton aerial in 2002. This shows the explosion of development at the site, with the Town Center in the center of the image. The 270 Easton exit ramp has also been constructed.

The area has filled in a bit more in this 2011 aerial.  Phase III is supposed to be built on the northeast corner.

The area has filled in a bit more in this 2011 aerial. Phase III is supposed to be built on the northeast corner.

Fenlon Square Expansion
Fenlon Square was recently completed on the northwestern side of the main Easton Town Center complex. Aimed to be Easton’s most family-oriented area, Fenlon Square includes several new stores such as doll-crazed American Girl and a new concept Build-a-Bear. Other tenants include clothing stores C. Wonder, Children’s Place, Flip Flop Shops, Hot Mama and Stride Rite Shoes. Food stores/retail include Le Chocoholique and Fuzziwigs Candy Factory.

Easton Gateway, or Phase III…
Easton Gateway, or Phase III, will be built on a 54-acre site just south of 161 to the east of the main complex. The Gateway will add 542,054 square feet of new retail space and parking for nearly 3,000 vehicles. Some tenants include REI, the outdoor store, and Costco. Construction will begin later this year and be completed in 2014.

Easton Gateway


January 2-3, 1999- Snow and Ice




New Year’s Day, 1999 dawned partly cloudy and cold in Ohio, a tranquil early January day in what had been until then a very warm fall and beginning to winter. Both November and December 1998 had been very warm months. December even had highs reaching into the 70’s early in the month, a truly rare occurrence. However, by the end of December, conditions had taken a turn.

On December 21, 1998, a cold front moved through Ohio, bringing copious amounts of rain. Most cities in Ohio received more than 1″ of rainfall, with several getting 2-3″. This front was the beginning of a very active period that would last for the next three weeks into mid-January. This pattern is not uncommon in La Nina winters, where the Midwest and Ohio Valley, in particular, are often much wetter than normal.

In any event, temperatures fell behind the front and remained generally below normal through the rest of the month of December, though no significant snow events came with the colder weather. That was about to change.

National radars on January 1, 1999 showed blossoming snow in the Great Plains, with cold air pushing south and abundant moisture pushing north from the Gulf of Mexico. Forecasts called for a significant winter storm beginning late on the 1st and lasting through the 2nd. The storm arrived a bit later than expected, but arrived in most areas during the overnight hours of the 1st/2nd as heavy snowfall. The snow initially fell at the rate of at least 1″ per hour, and thundersnow was reported from Cincinnati up through Dayton and Columbus.

During the day on the 2nd, warm air began to affect upper layers of the atmosphere, and the snow gradually began to change over to sleet and freezing rain, with an accumulation of ice of up to 1/2″ in some areas on top of the snow. By then, though, the damage was done. 4-6″ of snow fell in the Cincinnati area, with 6-10″ along the I-70 corridor. Up to 12″ fell to the north of there. Gusty winds created blowing and drifting snow at times, particularly in the northern areas that received less of a coating of ice.

Temperatures turned colder as the storm passed, and what precipitation remained changed back to snow showers by the 3rd of January. Temperatures would remain in the low to mid-teens for highs during the next two days before another storm would set eyes on the state.

Snow Totals for January 2-3, 1999

Dayton: 7.5″
Columbus: 6.6″
Cincinnati: 4.2″

For more January weather records, go here: January Weather
And for more of the most extreme weather, go here: All-Time Weather