Spooky Nook’s plans include riverfront brewpub, residential units, grocery store in Hamilton

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

This story first published in July and is being republished today after news that expected tourism because of Spooky Nook is causing officials to set up short-term rental rules in the city. This story is about things that will help drive that tourism.

Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill is courting local businesses with plans to add not only retail and restaurants, but also a riverfront brewpub, residential units and a fresh food market.

Recently released promotional material for the 1 million-square-foot project, which will be the largest indoor sports complex in North America when it opens in December 2021, show a 3,004-square-foot brewpub in the middle of Mill 2, the structure being renovated along the Great Miami River.

“We have always planned to have a microbrew pub concept as part of the project, and have been discussing the concept with a number of interested parties to determine the best fit,” Dave McLain, director of real estate development, told this news outlet Thursday.

Plans for the $165 million sports, entertainment and event complex on the west shore of the Great Miami River also include 100,000 square feet of residential development in the south end of Mill 2 with a micro-grocery concept on the street level below it, McClain said.

Plans for Mill 2, which include a hotel and convention center, also show a “bridgeview” cafe (2,433 square feet), two atrium boutiques (one at 1,001 square feet and the other at 906 square feet), a street-front retail/food hall (7,620 square feet), a lounge/commons (3,995 square feet), bar (1,554 square feet) and hotel walkway (4,410 square feet).

Plans for Mill 1, the area being constructed as the sports complex side of the project, show space for retail, a food court, a restaurant on B Street (8,153 square feet) with an optional mezzanine (4,539-square-foot), an area for gymnastics (10,603 square feet), day care (12,059 square feet), a medical building (22,700 square feet) and an area labeled for future development (11,400 square feet).

“As far as gymnastics and medical, we don’t have anything locked in there,” said Spooky Nook spokeswoman Mackenzie Bender. “Those are just place-holder labels for potential types of things that could go in that space.”

Spooky Nook officials are still developing plans for the site to feature a mix between “experiential retail tenants” and food-related tenants, McClain said. They are working to identify potential tenants that would have “the best synergy” for the project, including retailers and a day spa/salon to be located adjacent to the hotel.

“The goal is to have the right mix in order to maximize the guests’ experience,” he said.

Spooky Nook anticipates approximately seven to 10 outside restaurant/retail tenants in addition to its own food and retail offerings, McClain said.

“We have been meeting with potential tenants for the past year and anticipate that we will be signing initial letters of intent with a few in the very near future,” he said. “We continue to receive inquiries from many restaurants and retailers and encourage anyone who is interested to reach out to us while there are still spaces available.”

The restaurant and retail component of Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill, both Mill 1 and Mill 2, are “vital to the success of the project,” McClain said.

“Our goal is to provide an unforgettable experience to both the residents of Hamilton, as well as the visitors that will travel in from across the entire county for an event or tournament,” he said. “The restaurant and retail tenants will play an enormous role in providing that experience.”

The length of each lease is negotiable and may vary depending on the size of the leased space and/or the capital improvement cost incurred by the tenant to fit out the space, McClain said. For example, a full service restaurant may have a 5-to-10-year lease with additional options for extensions, while a smaller retail or food vendor could have a 1 to 2-year lease, he said.

The facility will also include 40,000 square foot orthopedic practice, according to promotional material for the site. Approximately 12,000 square feet of the facility will be dedicated to an early childhood/preschool center.

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