North ‘B’ Street in Hamilton, a major artery of the city, to reopen in May

North B Street, the site of the much-anticipated Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill complex, is expected to reopen in May. Pictured is North B Street at Black Street in front of the Spooky Nook project. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

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North B Street, the site of the much-anticipated Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill complex, is expected to reopen in May. Pictured is North B Street at Black Street in front of the Spooky Nook project. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

Street closed since 2020 for Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill construction

Motorists have had to detour around the Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill project for nearly two years because North ‘B’ Street has been closed to traffic.

Soon, they’ll be able to drive past the 1.2 million-square-foot redevelopment project of the former Champion Paper Mill company.

“Our anticipated opening date is going to be sometime in May,” said Hamilton Director of Engineering Rich Engle.

It could have been open sooner, but Engle said the utility portion of the project ― which was funded mostly by the city ― has been impacted by supply chain issues, thus lengthening the closure.

“I know there’s been a lot of interest from citizens, and also from others about the North B Street closure. We do not have the traffic control panels delivered yet,” Engle said to City Council on Wednesday. “We need those traffic control panels and traffic signals operational before we open (North) B Street.”

PHOTOS: Spooky Nook under construction

Engle said the traffic control panels should be delivered by the end of this month. Once the city has receipt of them, the contractor will be back on-site to install the control panels. The impacted intersections along North B Street include Main Street, Park Avenue, Black Street, and Rhea Avenue.

North B Street has been closed from Park Avenue to Black Street since May 2020 for utility work and road work. There have been shorter closures north of Black Street for similar work.

In all, the city has paid $15 million for its portion of the project, which includes replacing all underground utilities, transferring overhead powerlines to underground conduits, rebuilding sidewalks, installing curbs, and paving the road.

The traffic control panels will be the last piece needed to be installed in order for the road to reopen, Engle said.

In addition to the city’s contributions, Butler County and the Butler County Visitor’s Bureau have also contributed funds toward the project.

The $165 million Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill development is anticipated to open this year. First the hotel and convention center on the east side of North B Street this May. Next, the multi-use sport and event complex on the west side of North B Street is expected to open later this year. Both buildings are around 600,000 square feet.

Spooky Nook corporate spokesperson Mackenzie Bender said construction is “continuing as expected.”

“The hotel will be opening in early May and will be ready to go for the (Greater Hamilton) Chamber’s ‘Play Ball’ event,” she said. “We’re currently projecting a summer opening timeframe for the Mill 1 side.”

Mill 1 is the multi-use and sports complex. Bender said they will announce specific dates related to the opening as it gets closer.

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