Thursday, July 15, 2004

Staples gets first approval

Cold Spring planners reject outlet mall, though

By Patrick Crowley
Enquirer staff writer

COLD SPRING - City planners rejected one major retail development Wednesday night but voted to stand behind another.

The Cold Spring Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that City Council turn down plans for a $4 million outlet mall proposed near Cold Spring Crossing shopping center along the AA Highway.

But the commission unanimously recommended that council approve a 16,000-square-foot Staples office supply store proposed in Cold Spring Crossing, a shopping center being developed at the intersection of the AA Highway and U.S. 27.

Council has 90 days to vote on the commission's recommendations.

Former Campbell County Judge-executive Lloyd Rogers has proposed building an outlet mall with 77 stores on 10 acres adjacent to the center.

But following a recommendation from the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission, city planners rejected the plans because the mall does not fit in with the city's overall land-use development plan.

Several residents also spoke out against the project and questioned if an outlet mall would be successful.

"I don't think this is the kind of development we want in our community," said resident Tom Freppon.

Mike Schwartz, a Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission staff member who advises the city, said that for Rogers' development to be consistent with the city's plan, a new road would have to be built to connect East Alexandria Pike and the AA Highway.

There are no plans for such a road, Schwartz said.

"Until such time," he said, "development of the site in question for commercial activity would be premature and inappropriate."

Rogers said he will likely submit a scaled-back version of the plan, possibly with just 28 stores.

That might appease city planning commission members, who said the project is too big for the proposed development site.

The Staples store will be built by CMC Development of Cincinnati, which developed the Cold Spring Crossing center.

It already includes a Kroger, Kohl's, restaurants, smaller retail sites and a Home Depot store under construction.

Greg Land, a principal at CMC, said it might be a few years before apartments and office buildings proposed for the site are constructed because of the weakness in the local apartment and office space markets.


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