Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Another lifestyle center coming

Two outdoor malls in works

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CRESCENT SPRINGS - The developer of Buttermilk Towne Center, a $55 million upscale shopping mall proposed here, says there's room for more than one outdoor "lifestyle" retail center in Northern Kentucky.

That contrasts with what another developer, Jeff Anderson, told officials in nearby Crestview Hills two weeks ago. Anderson said then there is only room for one center in Northern Kentucky - his.

Anderson, best known for building and expanding the Rookwood Commons shopping center in Norwood, said then that access and visibility make a redeveloped Crestview Hills Mall the best location for Northern Kentucky's first lifestyle mall. The retail concept features upscale tenants, walking paths, green space and trendy restaurants.

Representatives of Bear Creek Capital, a developer of retail property, met Monday night behind closed doors with Crescent Springs City Councilto discuss financing options for infrastructure for the 50-acre site they want to develop off Anderson Road near Interstate 75.

Bear Creek Capital principal Matt Daniels said developers plan to submit a traffic study to area planners within 30 days. The proposal would then go before City Council, which would have the final say.

"I think both projects could have a place," Daniels said. He said Bear Creek Capital looked at the Crestview Hills site several years ago but opted for Crescent Springs. The latter site has 30 percent more traffic, good access and "much greater'' visibility from busy Interstate 75, he said.

"The demographics ... are tremendous - much, much better than the Crestview Hills site, especially when you look at the past history of retail sales at the Crestview Hills Mall,'' Daniels said.

The 20-year-old Crestview Hills Mall has never been close to capacity and now has only six tenants. It's near several affluent Kenton County suburbs and next to Interstate 275.

Anderson wants to reach a development deal by year's end, start construction by April and open the 500,000-square-foot center by summer 2005.

Bear Creek Capital plans to close on the Crescent Springs site by year's end and break ground by spring, Daniels said.

Daniels said developers are working on a plan to move residents of the mobile home park that would be displaced by the project.


E-mail cschroeder@enquirer.com

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