Centerville sets entertainment district hearing on 113-acre plan to aid businesses

Centerville's uptown plan includes a corridor of small businesses and is the focus of an estimated 10 million project designed to transform the historic town center in and around the intersection of north Main and Franklin Streets. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Centerville's uptown plan includes a corridor of small businesses and is the focus of an estimated 10 million project designed to transform the historic town center in and around the intersection of north Main and Franklin Streets. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Proposal aims to add liquor permits to historic area of Centerville and attract restaurants, nightlife and recreation.

CENTERVILLE — A public hearing on a proposed 113-acre entertainment district in the city is set for next month and a vote on the plan backed by the mayor is expected by mid-August.

Centerville City Council Monday night approved a measure on local businessman Patrick Beckel’s application for the district and set a hearing for July 12.

The entertainment district “designation will advance the city’s vision to create a vibrant, high-valued mixed uses of restaurants, retail sale establishments, nightclubs, entertainment facilities, office and residential destination in our community,” Centerville Mayor Brooks Compton said in a letter endorsing the application.

A city council vote is needed by Aug. 14, Centerville records show, on the plan that aims to attract more businesses and people to the town’s historic center by adding liquor permits in an area that is part of the city’s estimated $11.4 million Uptown improvement project.

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The vote will be “based on whether the proposed community entertainment district does or will substantially contribute to entertainment, retail, education, sporting, social, cultural, or arts opportunities for the community,” Compton’s letter states.

The city has outlined investment estimates topping $50 million, one of the two state requirements Centerville is using to gain the district’s designation, Development Director Michael Norton-Smith has said.

Ohio also requires the municipality where the district would be located to have a population of at least 20,000, a threshold Centerville meets by at least 3,000, according to U.S. Census data.

The city’s list of $50.47 million in investments includes public and private work. It ranges from $600,000 spent to repave part of Franklin Street to $5.8 million Vectren/CenterPoint Energy has done on system improvements in the city since 2015, records show.

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The investment amount “is a fairly conservative estimate” that “does not capture potential investment throughout the” area, city Communications Director Kate Bostdorff said.

That includes the recent announcement by Salar Restaurant and Lounge to expand from Dayton’s Oregon District and open a restaurant in Centerville, she added.

The proposed entertainment district “would mirror the existing 113-acre Architectural Preservation District” and its approval would provide access to 15 new liquor permits, Centerville records show.

Currently, the city has fewer than five in that area, Norton-Smith has said.

The application calls for the entertainment area to span about six blocks on Ohio 48, or Main Street, and about five blocks on Franklin Street, records show.

The designation would aid city business development strategies that call for “higher end bar with music, brewpub … (and) unique restaurants,” the application states.

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DISTRICT INVESTMENT

The following is the estimated investment Centerville has calculated as part of an application for an entertainment district.

•Past infrastructure $16.4M

•Uptown public work $11.466M

•Uptown private work $22.612M

TOTAL $50.47M

Source: City of Centerville.