Journal-News got an inside look at one of two apartment buildings opening at Liberty Center. Pictured is The Grant building. A total 238 apartment units will be available at both sites. CHELSEY LEVINGSTON and GREG LYNCH/STAFF

First residents, office tenant move into Liberty Center

Following the grand opening last fall of Liberty Center in Butler County, the mega retail complex is seeing its next wave of tenant openings this year.

Liberty Center’s October 2015 opening at the intersection of Ohio 129, Liberty Way and Interstate 75 fulfilled more than five years of planning, design and construction. It is believed to be one of the largest developments in Butler County history with the potential to create about 3,500 new full- and part-time jobs once full occupancy is reached by 2018, according to local government officials.

Primary developer Steiner + Associates owns more land for future phases of development, as well as more room within the existing phase to build infill development.

Anchor retailers Dillard’s department store and Dick’s Sporting Goods were the first to open doors at the center last October. Cobb Liberty Luxury 15 and CineBistro movie theaters, AC Hotel by Marriott, Funny Bone Comedy Club and Restaurant, and more have opened since then.

Here are three business updates at Liberty Center:

1. The first residents move in

The number of pre-leased apartment units has now risen to about 40 of the total 238 units that will be available, including about 10 now-occupied apartments ready to move in at The Grant, said Alecia Fuller, property manager of the residential space for Towne Properties.

Liberty Center has two apartment buildings, The Fillmore and The Grant. The first group of residents moved in at the beginning of the month, Fuller said.

The Grant, with about 89 units, is located on Foundry Row above The Gap, Fuller said. The Fillmore’s multi-color apartments on Blake Street are above the future Starbucks location. There are a total 18 floor plans to choose from between both buildings, she said.

One bedrooms range from $1,050 to $1,400 a month depending on floor plans, finishes and other criteria, she said. Two bedroom, two bathroom units range from $1,400 to $1,900. A three bedroom, two bathroom apartment available for rent starts at $2,100, Fuller said.

Towne Properties has also partnered with TriHealth, Liberty Center tenants and other companies for special services, programming and events for residents, Fuller said.

2. First office tenant now open

Financial Services firm Northwestern Mutual was the first office tenant announced for Liberty Center and has relocated its West Chester Twp. office a short distance to Liberty Center. The office space opened at the end of February, according to Liberty Twp.

The township has not received building plans for any other office tenants to date, said spokeswoman Caroline McKinney.

A total approximately 75,000 square feet of office space was built, part of a four-story office building with street-level retail. More medical, financial and corporate tenants are being recruited for the site, Todd Pease, vice president for Jones Lang LaSalle, the commercial real estate firm representing office developer Daimler Group, previously told the Journal-News.

3. New retailer announced

National retail chain It’Sugar will open its first Ohio store this month at Liberty Center, according to the company.

Founded in 2006, It’Sugar sells sweet, sour, chocolate, gummy and other types of confections, according to the retailer. Plans are for the store to open in the rooftop garden area of Liberty Center.

The new, nearly 1,500-square-foot Liberty Center location set to open March 18 will join over 90 It’Sugar retail sites.

“We’ve been looking for locations in Ohio and specifically in the greater Cincinnati area, and chose Liberty Center because of its strong mix of retail, restaurant, and entertainment offerings,” Jeff Rubin, chief executive officer and founder, responded in an email to this news outlet’s question about why the Butler County location was chosen.

Other retailers and restaurants poised to open soon at Liberty Center include Northstar Café, Starbucks and H&M, according to the developer and companies.

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