Sunday, July 21, 2024

Kettering Jewelry Business Expands Far Hills Site, Adding Jobs

Kettering, OH—James Free Jewelers, a longstanding fixture on Ohio 48, is set to double the size of its Far Hills Avenue location, which it has occupied for over 35 years. The expansion will not only increase the store’s footprint but also bring new job opportunities to the area.

Significant Expansion Plans

Owner Michael Karaman announced that the store at 3100 Far Hills Ave. will undergo a significant expansion, adding 15,000 square feet to its existing 15,000-square-foot space. The new addition will be two stories plus a basement, built on land previously occupied by Hanson Audio. “We’re very excited about the addition,” Karaman stated. “It’s going to be a very beautiful expansion.”

Architectural Consistency

The expansion will maintain architectural consistency with the current building, ensuring a seamless aesthetic. This extension is necessary to accommodate a new section dedicated to Rolex, the store’s largest and most prominent brand. As an official Rolex dealer, James Free Jewelers needs additional space to enhance its offerings and customer experience.

Job Creation and Economic Impact

Currently, the jewelry business employs 69 people across its Kettering and suburban Cincinnati locations. The Far Hills site, which employs 33 workers, will see an increase of four new jobs once the expansion is completed next June. “It’s great news for James Free and for the community,” Karaman remarked, highlighting the positive economic impact of the expansion.

Historical Context and Development

James Free Jewelers has been operating at the Far Hills site since 1988. The expansion has been in the planning stages for over a year. The land for the expansion was purchased by Lasada, Inc., a real estate company owned by Karaman. In 2022, Lasada acquired the 0.72-acre corner lot at Rockhill Avenue from Hanson Audio for $900,000. While Karaman did not disclose the total investment for the expansion, the project marks a significant commitment to the local community.

Construction Progress

The Hanson building was demolished last year to make way for the new structure. Cement has been poured for the basement and first floor, and steel framing is currently being installed. The project is progressing steadily, with completion expected by June next year.

Previous Acquisitions and Approvals

In addition to the current expansion, Lasada purchased a lot adjacent to James Free in 2013, located at 100 Cushing Ave., for $140,000. This 0.2-acre site was rezoned from residential to business in 2015 to allow for additional parking. The home on this property was demolished to create more space for customers.

Recently, Lasada received approval from Kettering to combine its Far Hills lot with the corner property on Cushing, facilitating the ongoing expansion. Construction commenced shortly after this approval, demonstrating the company’s commitment to growth and development in the area.


The expansion of James Free Jewelers not only underscores the business’s growth but also signifies a robust investment in the Kettering community. With new job opportunities and enhanced facilities, the store is poised to continue its legacy of excellence in the jewelry industry.

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