Construction should start this summer, and Bethany Station’s first tenants should open by summer 2017, Romano said.
“We’ve got 25 percent of the space filled, but nobody’s comfortable being identified … just yet,” Romano said.
That includes a third of the office space in one building and a couple of restaurants and retail locations.
Planning has been in the works for two years for the Butler County project, which sits within the Bethany Overlay District, an area created by township trustees to add stricter, more specific zoning regulations on those looking to develop there, Romano said.
“We’ll be the first development inside that (overlay) district, and we wanted to make sure that when it comes out of the ground that it matches the township’s aspirations,” Romano said. “It took a while to find a match between high ideals on paper and what the market will support in the near term.”
The site is expected to generate 300 construction jobs and 250 permanent jobs and represent about $13 million a year in economic impact, Romano said, citing a 2014 study.
The development will feature a nearly 1-acre pocket park with a retention pond on its north side facing Bethany Road with open space, gathering areas and walkways that make the site “heavily oriented to pedestrian traffic.”
Liberty Twp. Trustees approved the project’s preliminary development plan during their most recent meeting.
“I think Bethany Stations fits into the overlay vision perfectly,” said Trustee Tom Farrell, who previously served on the township’s zoning commission while the district was being created. “From the building materials to the building heights to the pocket park, I think it has everything that the Bethany Overlay envisioned.”
Farrell said the area surrounding the Cincinnati-Dayton Road and Bethany Road intersection is a hot commodity, one he said will “change significantly” in the next two years.