State OKs Centerville Uptown entertainment district

Credit: Cosette Gunter

Credit: Cosette Gunter

Granting of new liquor permits likely to take weeks, state records show.

The state has approved an entertainment district for Centerville’s Uptown, a move its mayor said could enhance the area’s “long-term vitality.”

The Ohio Department of Commerce has notified Centerville officials the application for the 113-acre designation allowing 15 more liquor permits has been approved, according to the city.

But it may be several weeks before any new liquor permits are granted, as the approval process is likely to take at least two months, state records show.

The application for the district by business owner Patrick Beckel was approved unanimously by city council last month. It included Centerville’s historic business area surrounding Franklin and Main streets.

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“This district will help us bring people back out into our shops and restaurants and put us on the path of being able to gather for community and recreation in the most recognizable part of the city,” Beckel said in a statement.

Centerville officials said the designation will help spotlight and enhance the city’s history — which dates back to the late-1700s — while bolstering business in the town’s center.

“City Council has never lost sight of the fact that this area is home to our city’s history and future,” according to Mayor Brooks Compton. “By making the community more inviting to new businesses, we hope to secure the long-term vitality of this area.”

Applications for new permits take 10-12 weeks for the Division of Liquor Control to process, state records show. It also costs $2,444 in fees, according to documents.

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The entertainment district application required at least $50 million in investment to be approved by the state. It included the city’s Uptown plan, an $11.4 million, multi-year phased project to improve access, parking, business, greenspace and entertainment in the historic center of town.

Beckel operates Beckel’s Humidor, a West Franklin Street upscale cigar shop. After his plan for the application became known, Salar Restaurant and Lounge co-owner and executive chef Margot Blondet announced plans to expand from Dayton’s Oregon District and open a second location on West Franklin in Centerville.

The Uptown plan is the focus of work between the city, LJB, Inc. and MKSK, Inc. to create engineering and construction drawings for the area, officials said.

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Centerville officials were scheduled to hold a forum on the Uptown plan Monday night.

Work on the parking and streetscape enhancements will begin in 2022 and should be completed by 2028, according to the city.

Centerville estimates public and private investment will exceed $30 million, and city officials said they are seeking new businesses and redevelopment opportunities for the district.

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