Miller-Valentine Group is the latest commercial developer to invest in Liberty Twp., and has reached an agreement to buy 88 acres of land east of the Liberty Way and Interstate 75 interchange, according to the company.
While the property’s development is still in planning stages, Miller-Valentine wants to attract and build mixed uses including retail, medical office and hotels, said Brian Copfer, senior vice president for Miller-Valentine, which has offices in Dayton and Deerfield Twp.
The property, also east of Cox Road and north of Liberty Way, neighbors land owned by Great Traditions Land & Development Co. of Sharonville for retail development and land bought last year by Cox Road Investments LLC, which is believed to be for development by a hospital system.
Great Traditions is currently building a Cabela’s outdoor sporting goods store in the area along Liberty Way in West Chester Twp., which is set to open this fall.
West of the highway, construction is in full swing on the approximately $350 million Liberty Center, the mega shopping, dining, residential and office complex by Steiner + Associates of the Columbus area. Liberty Center is scheduled to open its first phase in October.
“There’s no question there’s a lot happening anywhere between West Chester and the Austin Landing area,” Copfer said. “I don’t see development prospects slowing down soon.”
In addition to closing the purchase deal, Copfer said next steps are to finalize concept plans for the Liberty Twp. site. He did not disclose the purchase price, but the land is currently owned by Hen-Jur LLC, which purchased it in 2002 for $5 million, according to property records obtained from the Butler County Auditor’s Office.
Miller-Valentine is already working with an anchor office tenant for the site, he said.
At the time the Liberty Way interchange with I-75 and Ohio 129 was completed in 2009, it unlocked 600 acres of developable land in both Liberty and West Chester townships, said Caroline McKinney, economic development director of Liberty Twp.
“We’ve always talked about Liberty Center having a catalyst effect on development nearby and I think we’re seeing just that starting to happen,” McKinney said.
No plans have been submitted to the township by Miller-Valentine, or for the land owned by Cox Road Investments, she said.
The first phase of Liberty Center opening this fall consists of about 1.1 million-square-feet of space being built in Liberty Twp. at the intersection of Liberty Way, Ohio 129 and Interstate 75. Three anchor tenants — Dillard’s department store, dinner-and-movie theater CineBistro and Dick’s Sporting Goods — have been announced along with AC Hotels by Marriott for opening at the site. Previously announced restaurants include Brio Tuscan Grille, Cheesecake Factory, Kona Grill, Pie & Pints, Rusty Bucket and Flip Side.
It is described as one of the biggest developments in Butler County history.
Great Traditions last year submitted plans to develop retail and dining on 18 acres off Liberty Way in West Chester Twp., directly across the street from Liberty Center, that would be anchored by Cabela’s Inc.
Meanwhile, Liberty Twp. is also the site of two expansion projects at Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus. The hospital is spending $160 million to add a fourth floor and a proton therapy and research center for cancer treatment.