Plans for Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill, a $144 million redevelopment project along the Great Miami River in Hamilton, Ohio, got a boost with news of additional funding. Preston Hollow Capital recently completed a $38 million tax-exempt bond financing for the City of Hamilton to support the creation of what will be a 1 million-square-foot, mixed-use sports and entertainment destination in metropolitan Cincinnati.
Spooky Nook will bring new life to the former home of Champion Paper, which had been one of Hamilton’s largest employers until it closed its doors in 2000, after more than a century in business. In a public-private partnership, the City of Hamilton and Manheim, Pa.-based Spooky Nook Sports LLC will transform 20 acres of the abandoned site with the development of a 650,000-square-foot sports complex and a 360,000-square-foot hotel complex that will include a 235-key hotel, retail offerings, commercial space and convention center accommodations.
“This kind of project is a game-changer for Hamilton, and for a former industrial site that has not received commercial interest for years,” Jody Gunderson, director of economic development for the City of Hamilton, said during testimony in a committee hearing of the Ohio Senate on May 21, 2019. The Hamilton Community Authority issued the bonds placed with Preston Hollow. With work already underway, Spooky Nook is on track to reach completion in 2021.
Spooky Nook will join the increasingly long list of adaptive reuse projects that are revitalizing communities across the U.S. Former industrial sites are particularly conducive to such conversions. Among the bevy of projects currently underway include developer Flyway’s Silo Studios, an 80,000-square-foot office and retail property that will sprout up in place of a former lumber mill in The Nations neighborhood of Nashville. And later this year, Jamestown and Grubb Ventures will commence redevelopment of the historic Peden Steel facility in Raleigh, N.C., paving the way for the transformation of mill and warehouse buildings into the Raleigh Iron Works mixed-use destination.