Saturday, February 15, 2003

Developer plans 'Millworks' complex


$225M for shops, offices, films

By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

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A Mount Lookout developer promises a $225 million makeover of the historic Cincinnati Machine plant in Oakley, a development that will include shops, office buildings and a movie theater at the factory site.

Vision Land Development Inc. and former Thriftway President Richard Lindner Jr. expect to complete a purchase of the 52-acre site next to the Center of Cincinnati retail center by the end of June. The site was sold in 1998 by Milacron Inc. to Unova Inc., which has been phasing out operations there.

Although the group is still figuring out the design and retail mix for "Millworks," Vision Land partner Kent Arnold promises a project that more closely resembles Easton Town Center in Columbus than Center of Cincinnati's enormous discount stores and large asphalt parking lots.

In addition to the factory site, Vision Land will look to acquire abutting property that could add another 10 to 20 acres. Arnold said Vision Land has enough to build 1 million square feet of retail and a half-million square feet of office space.

Mayor Charlie Luken said Millworks, if done right, could bring the city a unique shopping destination and alternative office site in Cincinnati for large companies that don't choose downtown.

"If we can make it happen, that's great news," Luken said. "I'm only hesitant because I sense there is tremendous competition in the marketplace to get this done."

E-mail kalltucker@enquirer.com.



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