Monday, December 25, 2000

Office, shopping complex planned

Liberty Twp. to get major development

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer


        LIBERTY TOWNSHIP — For years this affluent bedroom community has dreamed of luring its first major retail development.

        Now, thanks to the opening of Michael A. Fox Highway, Liberty Township officials say they have attracted an upscale project by the same firm that developed Rookwood Commons shopping center in Norwood.

        Township officials have announced that Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate plans to build an estimated $60 million, two-phase project that might include a Target department store, offices and eventually an upscale hotel in this Butler County community.

        The 60-acre shopping and office complex will be built off the northeast corner of the highway's Cincinnati-Dayton Road exit.

        Later stages of the development are tentatively scheduled to include the township's first upscale hotel, which could be located just east of the shopping complex, near where Fox Highway connects with Interstate 75.

        “We want to do something really spectacular there,” said J.R. Anderson, director of development for Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate. “This will not be just throwing up another shopping center.”

        Fox Highway, which opened in December 1999, and Liberty Township's affluent demographics attracted the developer.

        “The site is regional. And we knew the highway was going to pull in a lot of people,” Mr. Anderson said.

        Mr. Anderson said more details surrounding the retail and office development will be determined next month.

        He said Target was a potential anchor retailer but declined to name others. He said it is too early to estimate a time line for the development.

        Township Administrator Nell Kilpatrick said that for a township that receives less than 5 percent of its property tax revenue from businesses, news of an expansive retail and office complex is “fantastic.”

        She said township trustees hope this development will be the beginning of a wave of new businesses in the southeastern section of the township, designated by officials as the future commercial center of the community.

        For the township's more than 27,000 residents, up from 9,249 in 1990, a giant shopping complex could mean fewer drives into northern Hamilton County to shop or enjoy a sit-down restaurant meal.


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