Demolition starting new life for Hamilton shopping center called ‘a challenge for years’

Workers from Construction Design Management, based in Bowling Green, Ky., are demolishing most of the Hamilton West Shopping Center and building an 85,000-square-foot indoor, climate-controlled, self-enclosed store unit, occupying 5.7 acres, said Matt Williams, one of the four partners. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Workers from Construction Design Management, based in Bowling Green, Ky., are demolishing most of the Hamilton West Shopping Center and building an 85,000-square-foot indoor, climate-controlled, self-enclosed store unit, occupying 5.7 acres, said Matt Williams, one of the four partners. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

The former Hamilton West Shopping Center, described by Mayor Pat Moeller as “a challenge for years,” is getting a facelift.

Workers from Construction Design Management, based in Bowling Green, Ky., are demolishing most of the long-languishing strip shopping center and building an 85,000-square-foot indoor, climate-controlled, self-enclosed store unit, occupying 5.7 acres, said Matt Williams, one of the four partners.

Williams said his company is a commercial real-estate developer that focuses on self-storage.

Moeller said there was a time when the 55-year-old center on North Brookwood Avenue was considered “the plaza, the mall” in the city, but over time, it has fallen into disrepair. He called the center “a large business development” that hopefully can attract businesses and revenue to that part of Hamilton.

Construction Design Management purchased the 27.3-acre property for $2.3 million last year. Since then, the developers have made improvements to the parking lot filling in the pot holes, what Moeller called “craters” and what city leaders said drove away potential customers.

A large portion of the back of the shopping center has been demolished, leaving only a Dollar Tree and Golden Dragon Restaurant. Williams said the facades will be the last to be demolished because they serve as “buffers” to reduce flying debris.

Williams said the goal is to have the storage units open in three to four months. He said customers will be able to drive their vehicles into the unit and use carts to move their items.

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He said developers are creating some green space and hope to plant grass and trees.

Eventually, Williams hopes to sell the outlot parcels to businesses that could “complement” the storage business.

City Manager Joshua Smith has said he hopes the revamp of the property can attract restaurants like Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread, Starbucks, and Five Guys Burgers & Fries.

Smith has said the “right developer is at the reins of the reinvention” of the center.

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