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Liberty Township: Liberty Center

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3 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

What's crazy is that last week I drove I-75 N to the Fox Highway for the first time in years, and didn't even notice Liberty Center.   It somehow has terrible visibility despite being at the  junction of two highways. 

 

 

Really, Easton's wasn't all that good from 270 or even Morse until recently. It didn't look like much was going on. And somehow The Green looks small from 675 unless you look from the right angle.

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Liberty Center would have made a lot of sense if we were a state/region that was booming, or if it was the centerpiece of a true new urbanist development — like if Liberty Township went all-in on new urbanism and form-based codes and wanted to make Liberty Center into a true town square.

 

But we are a slow growing state and region, and Liberty Township seems to be perfectly happy being an auto-centric suburb with little walkability and transit access. So all Liberty Center did was further divide all of the commerce that was happing at all of the other malls and strip malls in Cincinnati’s northern/northwestern burbs.

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^Exactly. Growth rates have been slow in OH for a while now, all this does is shuffle the deck instead of drawing in new people.

 

This development would have done a lot better in Mason. There was a comment a couple years back from West Chester Twp. trustees (quoted in the Cincy Enquirer) saying that they thought it was moronic to put residential in their "town square" BS they have near the library off Union Centre Blvd. And 5+ years later, look at how much development has happened there since they blocked the residential building... NONE!

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.3268145,-84.4307572,3a,60y,233.86h,86.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sX8ceMnCCUimvs479IuAvDw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

I can't imagine Liberty Twp. trustees are any more progressive than their friends to the south.

Edited by SWOH

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9 hours ago, GCrites80s said:

 

Really, Easton's wasn't all that good from 270 or even Morse until recently. It didn't look like much was going on. And somehow The Green looks small from 675 unless you look from the right angle.

 

You definitely can't see Northgate Mall from I-275.  Its construction predated the circle freeway.  Then somebody snuck a strip mall into the sliver of land in between I-275 and Toys R Us, pilfered Northgate's prized JC Penny, and the rest is history. 

 

You can do anything, but lay off of my JC Penny. 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, SWOH said:

This development would have done a lot better in Mason.

 

Not preserving land for the Butler County Hwy to be extended eastward to I-71 - or at least very close to it - is the dumbest thing in Warren County History. 

 

I rode with my grandfather to Western Row Golf Course back in 1991 or thereabouts.  There wasn't jack squat out there.  All they had to do was preserve a ROW. 

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6 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

Not preserving land for the Butler County Hwy to be extended eastward to I-71 - or at least very close to it - is the dumbest thing in Warren County History. 

 

I rode with my grandfather to Western Row Golf Course back in 1991 or thereabouts.  There wasn't jack squat out there.  All they had to do was preserve a ROW. 

 

But to what end? To foster more sprawl? They'd spend beaucoup tax dollars on a new highway to continue to reshuffle the deck. Extending that highway would be a net tax loss in the long run. 

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That whole area sprawled anyway. All of the land between I-75 and I-71 is now subdivisions.

 

If they would have extended the Butler County Highway to I-71, it would have made navigating the northern burbs much easier. Right now if you are driving from Columbus to Hamilton, you have to get off I-71, spend 15 minutes driving on back roads, then get back on the Veterans Highway. It's one of those planning things that drives you crazy because it would have taken minimal effort to preserve the ROW in the early 1990s if county leaders had any vision. But instead, they let the whole area get gobbled up by Drees and Fischer and M/I.

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My understanding is that there were deliberate efforts by City of Mason and Warren County leadership to not preserve the R/W, as some did not want the highway. I do not have any documentation or evidence, although I think there were references in newspaper coverage from the early 2000s.

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1 hour ago, taestell said:

That whole area sprawled anyway. All of the land between I-75 and I-71 is now subdivisions.

 

If they would have extended the Butler County Highway to I-71, it would have made navigating the northern burbs much easier. Right now if you are driving from Columbus to Hamilton, you have to get off I-71, spend 15 minutes driving on back roads, then get back on the Veterans Highway. It's one of those planning things that drives you crazy because it would have taken minimal effort to preserve the ROW in the early 1990s if county leaders had any vision. But instead, they let the whole area get gobbled up by Drees and Fischer and M/I.

 

Yes, but if they had built the highway then the current sprawl there would've been displaced to the north. Plus, the highway would've facilitated even MORE sprawl to the north. 

 

The best thing Warren County could do is develop downtown Mason in the same way that Dublin has. Build housing, retail, and restaurants and make it into a real city. That higher density development would pay for itself and subsidize the existing unsustainable sprawl. 

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It's pretty tough to argue against having preserved the ROW to link the Fox Highway with Kings Mills Dr., or whatever it is called.  It didn't have to be a fully grade-separated expressway, or have a big interchange with I-71.  The way it is now is a worst-case scenario.  

 

Then there is the whole matter of the botched VOA Park...were we really so strapped for funds that they had to sell off a quarter of it for a strip mall?  

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3 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

It's pretty tough to argue against having preserved the ROW to link the Fox Highway with Kings Mills Dr., or whatever it is called.  It didn't have to be a fully grade-separated expressway, or have a big interchange with I-71.  The way it is now is a worst-case scenario.  

 

Agree to disagree. We need more highways to maintain like we need a sharp stick in the eye. There is no argument for building such a road, other than to facilitate more sprawl. 

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Everybody's already driving up in that area.  Mason did everything it could to create the Atlanta-ish suburban mess it now enjoys.  They severed the railroad that could have been a nice commuter link to the city, then they cut themselves off from I-75.  

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I don't know if it's true, but growing up I always heard that Hamilton was "the largest city in America not connected to an interstate". Poor connectivity really hurt their manufacturing industry and made it harder for their citizens to commute when jobs left the city. Middletown had similar issues.

Had Butler Veteran's been extended all the way to 71, I don't think the sprawl in the Mason/ West Chester area would have been any better/worse. But it would have strengthened the most urban areas in Butler county. 

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The big difference would have been if the Colerain Expressway had been built.  They started building it down in Northside and bought up a bunch of land but not enough.  Making that I-74 and not building I-74 as it currently exists probably would have been more useful, even though Northside, College Hill, and N College Hill would have been damaged.  

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The case for/against highways... a bit off topic, but an interesting discussion for sure!

The smartest option seemed like the 1950's way highways were pitched to Americans... build them to the edge of cities, not through them.

 

That being said, for this particular set of highways I agree not keeping the ROW out to I-71 for OH 129 was short sighted.

But what would be even dumber is if they give up the possibility of building a highway as shown below... again I am NOT a highway advocate by any stretch of the imagination, but I am a hub airport advocate and am hoping one day, Cincy/Dayton could get a great hub airport right where AK Steel and Suncoke sit now.

 

(please excuse my very poor drawing skills, but what's in the purple blob would be the hub airport [terminal is lime green, runways are black], the red line is the highway, and the red circles would be interchanges... the highway would run from Oxford State Rd's end into Cincinnati-Dayton over to OH 48/US 42 intersection)

 

If that airport and highway happened, Liberty Center would probably be doing great!

 

Airport.PNG

Edited by SWOH

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^^^I think Corpus Christi, Texas was actually the largest, and Hamilton was the second or third.

 

SR 4 was one of the options considered for routing of I-75, but was more expensive than going through farmland in Eastern Butler County. There's a story that ODOT held an open house about the routing on a Friday evening when Hamilton High School was holding a football game and a city council election was being held the following Tuesday, so all the local officials were at the game and ODOT went with the cheaper alternative. I don't know if SR 4 routing would have been good for Hamilton or Middletown's urban cores, however.

 

Connecting SR 129 between I-75 and I-71 with a toll and no interchanges would have been interesting, but probably even less desirable to locals in Warren County. 

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And locally Lexington has no interstates with 323,000 people. It has New Circle Road, which is partially grade separated and partially stop lights, and even that road doesn't connect to I-75 or I-64 or really go anywhere.

 

If we are talking about short-sighted, the fact that Cincinnati built their airport on the south side and Dayton build theirs on the north side instead of combining forces on one airport roughly between the two (ala DFW) was insanely short sighted. 

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If you get off 75 at Newtown pike, that is major road that gets you to circle 4 in less than 5 mins.  They have been adding lanes on circle 4 and the grade separated part of it essentially is a highway at this point.   While 75 does not go through the middle of downtown, I think the only reason the city hasn't sprawled completely over to it is the urban growth boundaries they have in place to protect their horse farms.

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Looks like there won't be a Forever 21 in the area between Florence and Beavercreek anymore... they effectively left Cincy altogether.

 

Tbh I'm surprised they are closing at the Dayton Mall but leaving The Greene location open (which is about ~5 miles from their Mall at Fairfield Commons location, which they are also leaving open). Dayton Mall would have been a great compromise location for shuttering The Greene, which has to be higher rent, and Liberty Center.

 

Kenwood is not a surprise given the rent, and Liberty Center is not a surprise given the rent + weak sales.

 

 

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^I've actually seen the opposite, and am hoping I'm correct, but know you're in there more frequently than me.

 

 

(they thought the same thing since two anchors closed)

 

The Google reviews are still positive, 4.0 stars out of 5 with many people saying they like the mall. The Ross store is opening in a couple of weeks, and The Room Place is supposed to open shortly after.

I've heard they do not own the former Sears or E-B which is unfortunate. The location is solid, with some demolition or rework they could make it at least feel not dead. It'll be interesting to see what happens, but am hoping for the best with Dayton Mall.

 

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Unfortunately the Ross appears it is going to be outside entry-only and its buildout is going slower than expected. Most likely the furniture store will be done first. I don't think the furniture store is going to do much for foot traffic inside the mall due to the nature of that business.

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Liberty Center faces $700K debt payment shortfall

 

Liberty Center could be more than $700,000 short on debt payments by January 2021 if fund projections don’t increase, the Journal-News reports. That’s according to a forecast from Cincinnati accounting firm Clark Schaeffer Hackett.

The shortfall is projected to arrive by July 2020, when payment is due on an Ohio Water Development Authority loan, according to the firm’s cash flow projections. The Liberty Community Authority, which pays the debts with fees it collects from businesses, faces its next shortfall for that payment.

 

MORE

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On 3/19/2014 at 1:56 AM, SAF said:

Liberty Center keeps getting better and better.  I'll bet the location at the SCPA will be scrapped.  Prosperous suburban areas are so much easier to deal with than urban cities with their outrageous rules and taxes.  And for the record, as it's been alluded to multiple times, I do not work for Steiner.  I don't even live by the site.  I live near Kings Island.  I just love retail.  And love the northern 'burbs.  Of course, I studied hard so that I don't have to work a retail job.

 

Really hoping this guy returns to reassure us everything is going to be ok 🤣

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I love how gung-ho they were about this development then just fell off the face of the earth the moment it opened and became clear it was going to struggle.

 

I still remember my one and only visit shortly after opening and seeing water damage in the residential buildings, the hotel and on that weird rooftop park space and just knowing this things was thrown up to make a quick buck (which seems to not even have happened) with no care really for the future.

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1 hour ago, nicker66 said:

 

Really hoping this guy returns to reassure us everything is going to be ok 🤣

 

It's unlikely since the company he worked for is no longer involved with the retail aspect of the development.

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Every time I've come back to Cincinnati I've checked on this development since its so close to where I used to live. It really is an accomplishment that Steiner has been able to create a brand new mall that is just as depressing as Cincinnati Mils! 

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It seems like a dumb point but they really need to put in that pedestrian bridge to Lakota East HS.

Teens + wealthy white parents = '80's style mall culture

 

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48 minutes ago, SWOH said:

It seems like a dumb point but they really need to put in that pedestrian bridge to Lakota East HS.

Teens + wealthy white parents = '80's style mall culture

 

image.thumb.png.22506df576e13f479c1ba119c24d3c66.png

 

Nonsense, this is an easy walk

Edited by seaswan
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Quote

 

Egelanian said Butler County’s Liberty Center is another example of how turbulent the market has become. Six years after its opening, it’s now owned by its lender, Apollo Real Estate Finance Inc., and managed by a third-party operator.

 

“It’s going to have to be repurposed in some way,” Egelanian said. “Will it stay a shopping center? Most likely. Will it function at the high end as it was intended to? Probably not.”

 

 

https://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/i-team/king-of-kenwood-will-election-controversy-leave-a-mark-on-sycamore-township

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 “Will it stay a shopping center? Most likely. Will it function at the high end as it was intended to? Probably not.”

 

I think more developers need to read UrbanOhio as a sanity check. The consensus here (literally over a decade ago) was that this was not going to be a successful "upscale" development.

 

On 5/21/2008 at 12:34 PM, CincyDad said:

"If we're going to bring retail in, it needs to be the crown jewel of Butler County and Southwest Ohio."

 

"upscale apartments"

 

"an upscale theater"

 

I love all the rheteric in all the proposals.  Why doesn't anyone ever say the trueth.... "we're building a bunch of basic appartments, along with some basic stores, basic restaurants, and a typical, standard theatre.  You know, the common, basic stuff you see everywhere". 

 

Because after the proposal is accepted, that's what they will end up building.

 

On 5/22/2008 at 2:28 PM, CincyDad said:

I don't understand why the region does not concentrate on bringing in high-paying jobs first, with retail to follow. By high-paying jobs, I mean $70k+.  Anything less, you are just going to promote more Sears and JCPenney demographics.  And anything less, you are not going to attract out-side people to move to the area and bring a demand for more upscale amenities.

 

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I was at liberty not too long ago. 

 

The only saving grace about liberty mall is the outdoor portion. Feels like a tiny urban shopping district which I wish downtown cincy could have one day in the future. Also, they have a North star Cafe which makes me jealous. 

 

The actual mall is in this awkward phase of tri-county and Kenwood.

 

The food court is really nice, and so is the Dillard's H & M, and Dicks they have there. 

 

That said there is a good amount of vacant retail spots, closed food court resturaunts, and awkward businesses like an event space, photography studio inside the mall that make you feel like your back in tri-county mall. 

 

Forever 21 is nearly closed in the outdoor portion as well. 

 

I'm not sure what liberty mall future is, but I just have a bad feeling that this will be forest fair mall 2.0 in the next 10 years..at the very least the inside portion of the mall. 

 

 

 

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