Sheila McLaughlin reports:
Weeks after Steiner + Associates delivered Dillard’s as its anchor tenant for Butler County’s largest proposed retail project, the developer of Liberty Center has signed Cobb Theatres’ CineBistro, which will offer fine dining and drinks in six of its 16 theaters.
Yaromir Steiner, founder and chief executive officer of Steiner + Associates, said the theater will be the seventh CineBistro in the country and the first in Ohio. Cobb Theatres has opened the concept elsewhere in places such as Vail, Miami and Atlanta.
“This will be unlike anything this market has experienced,” Steiner said.
The 82,000-square-foot theater is expected to include 2,200 seats in 16 theaters.
Six of them will feature a chef-driven menu, seat-side dining and a full bar with an extensive wine list. Patrons younger than 21 will only be permitted in those theaters for special events.
The remaining theaters will offer restaurant-quality food and adult beverages.
Liberty Center, which expects to break ground in October, is set to open in 2015 on a 64-acre site at Interstate 75 and Ohio 129. The 1.1-million-square-foot first phase will include the cinema, Dillard’s, restaurants, Class A office space, high-end apartments and a 150-room hotel.
Steiner said a third major retailer is expected to be announced in coming weeks. The 200,000-square-foot Dillard’s store would be the largest in Greater Cincinnati and the first to be built from the ground up.
Monday’s announcement comes weeks after Butler County officials demanded that Steiner get signed commitments from anchor tenants before they would sign a final development contract and pay for $30 million in infrastructure improvements.
The project has been delayed for more than six months while commissioners and Steiner haggle over terms of releasing the public money.
Commissioner Don Dixon said county officials have been meeting with Steiner’s representatives weekly to resolve contract issues. Commissioners were aware that Steiner was trying to sign Cinebistro, Dixon said.
“It’s just another issue that was not really committed. Now it’s committed. So that’s a plus,” Dixon said.