Thursday, April 27, 2000

Union Twp. looks to lease office space

Centre Pointe could house administration

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        UNION TOWNSHIP — One of the first tenants in the new Centre Pointe office building in the booming Union Centre development might be the township whose officials created the business district.

        Butler County's Union Township is negotiating to lease 15,000 square feet in the just completed office building next to Interstate 75 at the Union Centre Boulevard interchange.

        The administration shares offices at the Cincinnati-Dayton Road headquarters with the township's police and courts. It has run out of office and parking space, Township Administrator David Gully said.

Five-year plan
        Mr. Gully said that when the administration building was opened, the township's population was 30,000, but now exceeds 60,000.

        “It's an interim move,” he said of the five-year lease he is negotiating with Higgins Development Partners. It owns the four-story Centre Pointe Office Park off of Muhlhauser Road, next to the soon-to-be-opened Marriott Hotel.

        “The township really needs a new town hall and administration. But it's going to take at least five years to construct them in our future downtown area,” he said of plans to develop the area around the southeastern Butler County I-75/Union Centre Boulevard interchange.

June move possible
        Officials with Higgins Development Partners declined to discuss the lease talks. But Mr. Gully said he is optimistic negotiations will go quickly and township officials might move in by mid-June.

        He said the move would immediately benefit residents by easing parking problems and offering more public meeting space, which also could be used by Lakota schools and other groups that have sought larger meeting rooms in the area for years.

        Moreover, the township's growing police department and the Butler County area courts would easily expand into the current administration building, converting it into a justice centercomplex, he said.

        “One-half of the space would be for meeting rooms,” he said of the proposed administration offices.

Olde area left out?
        Some shop owners in Olde West Chester, near the township offices, have complained too much township attention goes to building up the new Union Centre area at the expense of their businesses.

        But Annette Przygocki, manager of Kil'n Time pottery studio, said the entire southern area of Union Township, which will change its name to West Chester Township on June 28, will benefit from the Union Centre development.

        “Maybe in the future they'll focus a little more on us but I think the growth in Union Centre can only help us,” Ms. Przygocki said.


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