This expansion is the next stage of evolution of the shopping, dining and entertainment destination, setting the stage for residential expansion in 2019. Credit: Courtesy of Easton Town Center

Easton Town Center announced Monday that a 16-acre, $500 million expansion is currently underway over the next four years to set the stage for residential expansion in 2019.

The expansion will feature popular local and national retailers, breweries, restaurants, entertainment venues, hotels, public event spaces and social gathering areas in the northeast quadrant between the Town Center and Easton Gateway.

This expansion is the largest Easton has had since the 2001 debut of its Fashion District, and the most recent since the 2014 expansion that added popular chains such as Costco, Whole Foods and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

The expansion, which will exceed $500 million in development costs over the next four years, reflects the continuing demand from local and national companies that want to be part of the environment already created at Easton, according to a press release.

The new expansion’s centerpiece will be RH Gallery, a relocation and high-end renovation of its current Restoration Hardware Easton location — the first RH Gallery in the state of Ohio and one of only 17 in the country. The new store will be a freestanding, 40,000-square-foot three-story building that will offer a large collection of home furnishings in a gallery setting, an interactive RH design atelier, a private workshop or studio, with professional design services and rooftop terraces with a cafe.

“RH Gallery is an extraordinary concept and we’re so pleased it will anchor this important next step in the evolution of Easton Town Center,” said Jennifer Peterson, chief executive of Easton Town Center. “With the next-closest RH Galleries located in Chicago and Nashville, we are confident this will be a strong draw for customers from throughout the region.”

The new expansion also coincides with Easton’s 20th anniversary in June 2019.

“Twenty years is certainly worth celebrating,” Peterson said. “Easton Town Center is a place that is now embedded in the personal history of many people. It may be a memory of a tree-lighting with family, attending a summer concert, finding the perfect engagement ring, visiting the Easton train with grandchildren, enjoying a great movie with a spouse or having dinner with a prom date.”

Construction is already underway on expansion components such as roadway and infrastructure work, a new six-level parking garage, a public green space known as The Yard, which is intended to be a leisure destination for live music and entertainment, and Merchants Row, an extension of Worth Avenue that will have streetscapes with new shopping and dining areas.

With the expansion, Easton aims to establish a new residential community, while also increasing office employment in in Columbus and Central Ohio.