Story first seen in Journal News
DEERFIELD TWP. — A $140 million mixed-use development coming to Deerfield Twp. will have the “experiential qualities” to combat e-commerce’s growing retail dominance and other mixed-use communities in the area, officials with the project said.
The District at Deerfield is billed as a dining, shopping and entertainment destination with “suburban convenience featuring urban amenities” by the site’s developer and leasing agent.
That translates into 95,000 square feet of street level retail and restaurant space, plus 362 apartments on a 28-acre property between Mason-Montgomery Road and Wilkens Boulevard, just south of the township’s Deerfield Towne Center.
“There’s obviously plenty of other retail in not only the immediate vicinity but also the tertiary area, but none of that other retail or restaurant activity is anything necessarily special,” said Joshua Rothstein, principal at OnSite Retail Group. “What the employees, residents, shoppers and commuters are looking for in Deerfield Twp. is not the run-of-the-mill national chains that they can get off of any interstate exit. They’re looking for something unique.”
With that in mind, OnSite Retail Group is looking to bring to the project “homegrown, unique, chef-driven” concepts that are otherwise found in neighborhood districts like Hyde Park Square, Over The Rhine, or Mariemont Square, Rothstein said.
“While retail has proven to be in a state of flux, the one thing that has really stayed true is that it isn’t necessarily the department store or the shopping mall itself that is the draw or is the anchor, it’s the synergy amongst the shopping and dining experience that draws people,” Rothstein said. “We’re looking to replicate the synergy that has been successful in (other) neighborhood districts … and Deerfield Twp. offers us the perfect palette to paint that picture for these people.”
The development will feature active open space within a public “town square” surrounded by green space and several outdoor seating opportunities for dining just a quarter mile north of the Interstate 71’s Fields Ertel/Mason Montgomery Road interchange.
An extension to Parkway Drive is expected to break ground soon and be completed this summer, according to Rothstein. That will be followed by construction of 242 luxury apartments in four, four-story buildings, he said.
Next up will be the retail and restaurant space with 120 loft-style apartments overhead, plus a 150-room hotel nearby.
“We’re going to wait until Phase One is finished and we get (the mixed use portion) 65 percent leased,” Rothstein said.
Earlier this month, the Warren County Port Authority voted to subsidize development of the first planned apartment building at the District at Deerfield.
The resolution agrees to enable developers of the building as much as $750,000 in sales tax savings on the $28 million apartment building.
The District at Deerfield’s location delivers on the elements that have long been established as critical to the success of any retail development — a densely populated area, high concentration of employers and accessibility via highly traveled corridors, according to Ryan Silverman, vice president at Blue Ash-based Silverman & Company, which is developing the project.
“But in today’s eCommerce, click-to-buy world, checking off those boxes alone will not equate to success,” Silverman said. “The future of brick-and-mortar retail will hinge heavily on experiential qualities.”