New Huber entertainment district closer to reality, officials say
Voter approval of a liquor local option will move plans for a Huber Heights entertainment district forward, city officials said.
The Shoppes at The Heights - a proposed shopping and dining complex still in conception - needed the nod of voters to gain the liquor licenses city officials and developers said are needed to attract tenants.
The measure passed 63.9 to 36.1 percent, according to unofficial results.
"It will enable us to take the next step in the development of that project," said Councilman Mark Campbell of the election results. "Without that passage, we wouldn't have had the ability to develop that. So it was a very critical element of the big picture."
Cities have a certain quota of available liquor licenses, and Huber Heights has just one available D-5 permit for beer, wine and spirituous liquor seven days a week, which is the type sought for the new entertainment district.
More available liquor licenses sought ahead of Huber Heights project
With a new $100 million retail development coming to Huber Heights, the city is seeking to make more liquor licenses available for the district.
The increased liquor license availability would be for the Shoppes at The Heights, which is a mix of retail, office and hospitality businesses proposed for development next to Interstate 70 and Route 201. The developers on the project are 201 Corridor Management LLC and JJ Cafaro Investment Trust LLC.
The restaurants and hotels that could be coming to the area would likely take what's left of the most desired types of liquor licenses available for the area, so the city is seeking the state to approve up to 15 more liquor licenses available for applicants in a "certified entertainment district" where the Shoppes at The Heights will go.
City Manager Robert Schommer said it's common to have extra liquor licenses available for areas where there are clusters of restaurants.
The added availability, which the state is currently considering for approval, is a necessary part of the project, he said.
"If you are a restaurateur and you're looking into building your restaurant in this new complex of shops and you can't get a liquor license, that would certainly cause a problem," Schommer said.
In order to apply for the state to make more licenses available, Schommer said the application has to be for a region that's a minimum of 20 acres with a minimum of $50 million in investment coming to the area.
$100M Huber Heights project further detailed
A developer presented initial plans for a $100 million retail and office center project in Huber Heights, speaking Tuesday night at a city council meeting.
The proposed Shoppes at The Heights, next to Interstate 70 and Route 201, would be a mix of retail, office and hospitality businesses, to be developed by 201 Corridor Management LLC and JJ Cafaro Investment Trust LLC.
The work session was the first time the project was presented to the city officials.
Al George, vice president of JJ Cafaro Investment Trust, told city officials the project will probably break ground in early 2018 and be open for business in the summer of 2018. The project is still in a flexible stage and specific details like what buildings will go where is still in flux.
"We're still in the middle phases of how this project will turn out," he said.
The center would be built just northeast of the Rose Music Center and sit behind Meijer along Route 201. The developers bought 15 acres for the project and have an option on 55 of the 70 acres they want for the project.
The development would be a boon for the region leading to a massive construction operation, as well as new jobs, shopping options and more office space.