New sports bar, entertainment space planned for key Main Street block in Hamilton

Another entertainment venue is now planned for a key block in Hamilton’s Main Street corridor.

HUB on Main is a proposed craft brewery and sports bar with a large outdoor entertainment area. It is planned for the 500 block of Main Street, on a property for which the city in recent years has sought a developer. It also is to occupy properties that Hamilton purchased for about $30,000 in October from the estate of the late Hamilton dermatologist, Dr. Louis Luke Barich.

HUB stands for “Hamilton’s Urban Backyard.”

Hamilton in 2017 bought 501 Main St. and in early 2018 purchased 509 Main St. It demolished the building that was at 509 Main St., before purchasing 515 Main St. in 2019 “to help make the entire property more attractive to a potential developer or project,” Mallory Greenham, the city’s small-business development specialist, wrote in a memo to council.

The city in mid-2018 sought proposals for the building at 501 Main St., and at the time, business owners occupying surrounding properties expressed hope that a new business could enliven the block that has a large gap of grassy properties. Only two responses were received, and the city rejected both.

Under the proposed agreement between the city and HUB on Main LLC, the company will create an “open-air entertainment and ‘backyard’ gathering space.”

The corner building at 501 Main would be converted into a cocktail bar with an apartment on the second floor. The company’s total project investment is to be about $580,000, and the company would pay $1 for the properties.

Dan Bates, the president and CEO of the Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said the development is significant, close to the the intersection of Main Street with Millville and Eaton avenues that will soon host a 25-foot-tall sculpture called “Embrace.”

“That is a critical block,” Bates said. “And that is the kind-of missing piece that pulls the rest of Main Street together, all the way down to Eaton and Millville (avenues).”

“So I think with the sculpture going in hopefully next month, that’s going to be the gateway from the west to the downtown area,” Bates said. “If we can fill in those critical holes, I think it’s huge to really pulling the whole district together, so that then it becomes a viable district for shopping, dining, walking, all the way from Eaton to Martin Luther King (Boulevard).”

The project is to be completed in two phases: Phase 1 is completion of the street-level bar at 501 Main and the adjacent “food-truck park and outdoor entertainment area.”

Construction is to start this month with completion in June 2021. The first phase is estimated to cost $535,000. The second phase is completion of the apartment, at an estimated cost of $45,000, by June of 2022. The company would face fines of $10,000 apiece for missing either of those deadlines.

The city estimates it will receive an additional $37,500 in property taxes between 2021 and 2025 with the added investment.

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