Story first seen on WLWT
DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Picture this; a new entertainment district with the feel of Hyde Park Square combined with Washington Park and Over-the-Rhine.
It already has a name, the District at Deerfield.
Ground hasn’t been broken yet, but the vision is there, and all of the permits are in order.
“What we’re trying to convey here is the walkability, the family. You see people walking dogs. You see a nice, green, lush environment. It’s very relaxing,” Michael Twombly, retail associate for Onsite Retail Group, said.
The District at Deerfield is scheduled to be built between Mason-Montgomery Road and Wilkens Boulevard, just north of Natorp Boulevard in Deerfield Township.
Developers said the focal point will be a 2-acre public square owned by Deerfield Township.
“This is a true public-private partnership with Deerfield Township,” Ryan Silverman, vice president of Silverman and Co., Inc. “I would say that the public square component is almost a hybrid between Hyde Park Square and Washington Park. It’s much larger than Hyde Park Square. Not quite as robust as Washington Park but a similar concept in that it will be sort of a downtown focal point.”
Surrounding the square will be a community entertainment district. That designation gives developers seven liquor licenses for restaurants and bars.
“A big focus of this district is al fresco dining. We really are looking at patio spaces. Our sidewalks are extremely wide, so you can get a lot of seating out there, as well as allowing people to walk freely amongst all of the restaurants and shops there,” Twombly said. “Imagine grabbing ice cream and going and sitting at the park and watching a yoga class or a music event or ice skating or tree lighting. It’s all about that community walkability, that al fresco dining.”
Josh Rothstein, a retail specialist for Onsite Retail Group, said people in the Greater Cincinnati area have really embraced Over-the-Rhine, but it’s challenging for your average consumer to go down there.
“So what we’re doing is extracting all the elements that make OTR, OTR. The walkability, the excitement, the people going from restaurant to bar to shop, and we’re bringing it to Deerfield Township,” Rothstein said.
Rothstein said many up and coming chef-driven concepts want to replicate what they have in an urban setting.
“So we’re taking the urban setting and plopping it into the comfort of a suburb,” Rothstein said. “If you’re going to take a Friday night and go out to eat or go get some ice cream, it’s a lot more fun to go to Buzz Bull Creamery than UDF because it’s Instagram worthy. It’s sought after, there’s only one of them, and that’s what we want to recreate here.”
Developers said ground will be broken on a new road connecting Mason-Montgomery to Wilkens in the next 30-45 days. It will take about 60 days to complete Parkway Drive.
“Then our first phase will be 242 ultra high-end apartments that will be located North of Parkway Drive,” Silverman said.
Construction on the entertainment district is scheduled to begin about a year later.
Developers have high hopes for the District at Deerfield.
“It’s such a well-balanced market. It’s a major retail hub. It’s a major employment hub. There’s 3,000,000 square feet of office space in this general vicinity,” Silverman said.
He said 150,000 people with high incomes live within a 5-mile radius of the site. Silverman said another bonus is that Procter and Gamble is currently undergoing a $350,000,000 expansion, and it’s adding more than 1,350 employees.