Thursday, September 2, 2004

Shopping center advances

Developer purchases 46 acres

By Cindy Schroeder
Enquirer staff writer

CRESCENT SPRINGS - Construction of a $56 million shopping center can proceed after developer Bear Creek Capital of Montgomery bought 46 acres here Tuesday.

Bear Creek plans to open the 325,000-square-foot Buttermilk Towne Center in July 2005 with Rhodes Furniture and Remke Markets as the anchors. Developers say the project, which also will include a Mimi's Restaurant, is about 70 percent leased, and they expect to announce other tenants in a couple of weeks. The project will include retail, offices and restaurants.

"Now that we've closed, we can move forward with the project,'' said Greg Scheper, Bear Creek's director of acquisitions and governmental affairs.

Bear Creek representatives would not disclose the purchase price, and public records on the transaction were not immediately available.

Developers will start distributing the $500,000 that was set aside to help relocate residents of the Crest Mobile Home Park - one of six properties Bear Creek bought - within the next few days, Scheper said. The 129 families in the mobile home park will receive payments ranging from $1,500 to $5,500, depending on their circumstances.

"We had to wait until we owned the property to start paying" relocation assistance, Scheper said. "We know the tenants of the mobile home park have waited a long time for their money, and we're anxious to get it to them.''

Bear Creek principal owner Matt Daniels said the few families who have not yet left the mobile home park will move within 30 days.

Last week, Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission staff recommended the Kenton County Planning Commission approve Bear Creek's preliminary development plan for the shopping center site. The area is along the southeast side of Anderson Road from Beechwood Road to about 250 feet east of Buttermilk Pike.

Tonight, the Kenton County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the issue at 6:15 p.m. at its Fort Mitchell office. That body is expected to make a recommendation to Crescent Springs City Council.

Crescent Springs Mayor Claire Moriconi said council will hold the first of two readings on an ordinance to approve the stage I plan on Sept. 13. She said she is awaiting advice from the city attorney on whether council should hold a special meeting for the second reading of the ordinance.

Bear Creek resubmitted the plan after Kenton Circuit Judge Douglas Stephens ruled council should have approved a plan through an ordinance, which would have required two separate votes.


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