Monday, November 27, 2000

Retailing driven by new road

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        LIBERTY TOWNSHIP — Nearly a year after the Michael A. Fox Highway opened, commercial development near its interchange with Cincinnati-Dayton Road is beginning to take root.

        At Hamilton-Mason and Cincinnati-Dayton roads just south of the highway, several fast-food places, a sit-down restaurant and a gas station are under construction, a strip center is planned, and a Thriftway store that closed earlier this year is being converted to a Kroger supermarket.

        The Kroger store should open in mid-December.

        “Liberty Township is such a growing part of the geographical area it really makes sense to be there,” Kroger spokesman Steve Jagers said. “With the growth of Liberty Township and the entire Butler County area included, we think that's a real opportunity for us to expand.”

        Kroger took control of the shuttered grocery about six weeks ago and has been remodeling it since. The store will feature a Fifth Third bank and a drive-through pharmacy in addition to standard supermarket departments. Hours have not been set, but the store will likely be open 24 hours, Mr. Jagers said.

        It will be the 100th Kroger store in the Cincinnati/Dayton region. The Cincinnati-based supermarket chain also operates nearby stores on Tylersville Road and Ohio 4. Neither of those stores will close, Mr. Jagers said.

        Though Thriftway lasted only about two years in the location, Mr. Jagers and Liberty Township officials say the highway and a strong residential base should make the new Kroger store successful.

        “I think Kroger will realize it was a very important decision on their part,” Liberty Township Administrator Nell Kilpatrick said. “They have a strong local following.”

        Other stores under construction at the intersection include Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits as part of a Shell gas station, Donatos Pizza and Antonio's on the Hill, a midrange sit-down Italian restaurant.

        “People out here have been asking for these type restaurants for 25 years,” said Mark Sennet, a West Chester Township real estate agent. “It's one of the few corners left that's zoned and has a traffic light and has a highway.”


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- Retailing driven by new road
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