The latest on Hamilton’s mega sports complex, including a peek inside

The owners of the proposed Spooky Nook at Champion Mill development have offered a more detailed look at what the mega sports complex might look like.

In particular, the company, which has the nation’s largest indoor sports facility near Manheim, Pa., gives a far better idea of what the accompanying hotel and convention center would be like.

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Developers call separate parts of the former Champion Paper facility “Mill 1” and “Mill 2,” with Mill 1 being the sports complex itself, and Mill 2 being the hotel and convention center, located in the former factory along North B Street.

Mill 1 includes a rock-climbing wall, indoor soccer field, outdoor soccer field, many courts, indoor fields, weightlifting areas, fitness zones, and concession areas, among other things.

Mill 2, which appears 1 minute and 12 seconds into the 2-minute-and-43-second video, offers a look at the hotel, bar and a convention space with a lavish convention spaces, including a large one with a stylish swirled ceiling, a wall of windows and simple chandeliers.

The very long former mill building that sits between B Street and the Great Miami River is to be repurposed into the hotel and convention space, and is known as Mill 2.

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Both proposed facilities have an industrial feel, yet with elegant touches, similar to the ambiance of the original Spooky Nook. The complex is expected to draw athletes and their families from a 3.5-hour drive of Hamilton.

Spooky Nook officials weren’t available to comment Friday, but Hamilton Economic Development Director Jody Gunderson said things are moving along with the project, and the developers have said they are more encouraged with every trip here, which happen about every two weeks.

ExploreWATCH: The newest video showing the facility can be found here

“What you realize more than everything is redevelopment projects are very difficult, and that’s why you see lots of developers who decide that going to green spaces is a little bit more desirable,” Gunderson said. “But you don’t have that opportunity if you really want to be located in an urban environment.”

Working with a former industrial site “does take a little more time, and they’re really trying to be careful with restoration — they’re really cautious about what aspects of the building can be repurposed to keep that historic integrity as much as they can to the buildings. That is very gratifying.”

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Crews have examined condition of soils beneath the site and officials were pleasantly surprised to learn “for a site that is as old as it it was (dating to the 1890s), it was in pretty good condition, so we had just a few spots that needed to be cleaned up,” Gunderson said.

Bids are being sought for remediation of asbestos inside the buildings. In coming months, most work will be happening inside buildings.

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“Things are coming along very nicely,” Gunderson said. And Spooky Nook officials, “each time they come out, they seem to be more pleased with the direction that it’s going. They’ve got a lot of support from area (sports) clubs and some of the business activity that wants to be located, and operate out of the project itself.”

“They themselves say that each time they’re out here, they’re encouraged more than the time before, so that’s very good for us,” he said.

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