CINCINNATI - Dewey's Pizza and Graeter's have signed letters of intent to anchor Harrison Green, a planned new retail complex on Harrison Ave. in Green Township.
The five-acre development is on the southern edge of the failed Legacy Place project, a $125 million regional shopping center that a Blue Ash developer proposed in 2005.
That controversial project was opposed by environmental activists and ultimately done in by the recession. But Green Township officials have been talking to Neyer Properties since 2010 about developing the parcel next to Legacy Place. It acquired the site for a possible park and township administration building. Neyer Properties obtained an option on it when it tried to lure Christ Hospital and Children's Hospital Medical Center to the Harrison Ave. corridor.
But the latest plan involves a 17,000-square-foot strip center built around a public fountain. The Dewey's restaurant would be the pizza chain's first on the West Side. The Graeter's store would be its third with a drive-through window. A later phase could bring an office building to the site, or a bank, school or daycare center, said Adam Goetzman, director of planning and development for Green Township.
"We've got a quality development partner," Goetzman said. "They're working with, us on architectural (designs) and zone change and aligning a quality tenant base."
The project is subject to the approval of a zoning change this summer, with an anticipated open date in fall 2014.
Neyer Properties will buy the property for less than what the township paid. Goetzman couldn't recall the details but said Neyer agreed to pay "north of $1.5 million" for the land. The township expects to recover any loss on the sale of the property through increased tax revenue produced by the development.
Neyer Properties could not be reached for comment. Marketing materials for the project emphasize the 100,000 people who live within a 10-minute drive of the site and the 30,000 cars that pass it on Harrison Ave. each day. It calls the site "a ‘Home Run' location for retail and restaurant businesses."