By Travis Gettys
CRESTVIEW HILLS - From summertime dust to mud this fall, shoppers and retail workers have coped with construction hassles while an upscale shopping center is built to replace the old Crestview Hills Mall.
"Our biggest concern is which way we come in and go out each day," said Geri Willis of Taylor Mill, a sales associate at Dillard's.
The department store remains open while work continues a few feet away on a replacement building scheduled to open in mid-March.
"There was a period of time when (the parking lot) was without much lighting," Willis said.
Developer Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate has reacted quickly to a "handful" of complaints about the project, including fixing the parking lot lights, said Crestview Hills city Administrator Dan Groth.
"They bend over backward to help," he said.
Plans for the $73 million Crestview Hills Towne Center, which will replace the moribund Crestview Hills Mall, call for the existing site to be graded flat. Dust from the work so far has coated cars parked near the project.
"We're digging through rock and, when you expose it, it's dry," said J.R. Anderson, director of development for the real estate company.
The Cincinnati-based developer has paid for trucks to sweep up and spray water on the dust in an effort to minimize the mess. But there's only so much they can do, Anderson said.
Long stretches of late summer dry weather put construction ahead of schedule while making dust worse, Anderson said.
Recent rains have turned the dust into mud and have slowed the project to on-time instead of ahead of schedule.
"We can't win, ever," Anderson said.
Meanwhile, customers who use an automatic teller machine owned by Cantle Federal Credit Union must find a new place to withdraw money.
The machine sits above a storm sewer line that will be replaced, Anderson said.
Several tenants have already signed leases, including Abuelo's Mexican Cantina, Banana Republic, Doc Green's Gourmet Salads, Mama Fu's Noodle House, Moe's Southwest Grill, Old Thyme Herbs and Talbots.
Developers are negotiating with several other prospective tenants, including Ann Taylor, Bed Bath & Beyond, Borders Books, J. Jill and Starbucks.
Workers will spend any remaining good weather building parking lots on the east, south and west sides of the new Dillard's, Anderson said.
Work probably will shut down for the winter on Dec. 1.
"For a long-term gain, there's only a short amount of pain left," Anderson said.
The new shopping center is expected to open in October, 2005.
OHIO ELECTION RESULTS:
Ohio provisional ballots may decide presidential election
Voters repeal amendment on gay rights
Ohio Supreme Court: GOP's justices appear to be buttressing majority
Voinovich has no trouble winning 2nd Senate term
Sycamore levy passes; four others fail
Kerry effort falls short in Ohio
Ohio Republicans aim to maintain grip in House, Senate
Ohio election briefs
Ohio Issue 1 passes
Turnout heavy in suburbs
MU students hit the polls
HAMILTON CO. RACES
Cincinnati school levy passes
Hospital tax leading despite opposition
CLERMONT CO. RACES
Clermont County: Republicans remain choice in early count
Clermont County tax issues: Long lines delay counting
BUTLER CO. RACES
Fairfield levy passes
Butler commission: All incumbents being returned
Butler levies: Support strong for health, social care funding
Butler County Sheriff: Jones likely successor to Gabbard
WARREN CO. RACES
Heavy turnout, long lines delay vote count
Kings levy passes by slim margin
Indiana governor: Daniels prevails after tough, costly slugfest
Ballot misprint may affect Ind. school board race
KENTUCKY ELECTION RESULTS:
Alexandria: Voters stick with City Council's six incumbents
Bellevue City Council: Two incumbents losing seats with 4 of 5 precincts counted
Covington: Sanders and Stricker joining City Commission
Campbell County: Ward holds on to retain seat on Circuit Court
Florence City Council: One newcomer, five incumbents win seats
Independence: Four who opposed insurance tax win
Newport: Mayor, all four on council will be keeping their seats
Suburban schools: Campbell, other area boards get fresh faces
Villa Hills, Taylor Mill: Taxes to fix, replace city streets rejected
Urban schools: Newcomer ousts incumbent, snags Newport board seat
N. Ky. election briefs
Popular president dominates Kentucky
Ky. Senate: Bunning wins - but race was close
Ky. House: This time around, Davis prevails
Issue One: Kentucky overwhelmingly says yes to no-gay-marriage
State's determined voters brave long lines, waits, rain
23rd Senate District: Westwood survives challenge by Groob
Ex-Gov. Carroll wins Frankfort seat
State Senate: Republican Thayer wins a full term in new seat
67th House District: Keene's win preserves spot for Democrats
IN THE TRISTATE
Shelter director traveled from needing to helping
Help Habitat by hiring yard rakers
Father inspired mission journey
Cone throw may bring legal action
Police dogs could get TV time at competition
Harrison man charged in auto fatals
Exhibit to spotlight 350 years of Judaism in America
Medal of Honor graves get special markers
Local news briefs
Neighbors news briefs
Good Things Happening
Gay Weber designed jet engines for GE
Time of change in Crestview Hills
Waltz or swing, timid students learn to let go
Florence Freedom has a deal
$545,000 grant to bolster Ky. health-care work force
N. Ky. news briefs
Jewelry gone after autopsy of corpse
N.Ky. schools' education guide available online
Murder counts filed in wreck that killed 2