City Manager Joshua Smith, wearing a West Side All-Stars shirt, talked about the progress of the city with compliments to the founders of Municipal Brew Works, which he credited as a great corporate citizen who helped pave the way for the renaissance of the city . He also talked about the new Spooky Nook at Champion Mill sports complex on “B” Street, which will host a debut gala later this month.
Smith asked the people in attendance who represented Spooky Nook to stand and be recognized. The first floor of the Warehouse Hotel at Spooky Nook opens next week, he said.
The city manager said new businesses in Hamilton are fighting so many issues, such as supply chain issues, inflation and labor needs but are persevering. He asked for a round of applause for those businesses.
Smith also announced the vision for multiple hotels, residential space, office space and a grocer as an anchor on the riverfront at the Cohen Recycling site across the bridge from Spooky Nook. He didn’t release more details as it remains in planning stages. It will be a $300 million to $350 million investment in the next several years, he said.
In February, the City of Hamilton and Cohen Recycling worked out a land swap to allow for the development.
Redevelopment is also planned for the former US Bank building on High Street in Hamilton, and Ambiance Nail Salon will be joining the city as well, Smith announced at the state of the City event Thursday.
The Third + Dayton complex in downtown Hamilton is also growing this year and will have 200 apartments and at least 10 commercial spaces available, Smith said. It currently has 70-80 units. Third + Dayton will have spent $20 million the last 6 years.
The former Beckett Paper site will move forward with its tax credit application and the plan calls for preserving adding many of the large buildings but town houses to the property. The residential units will be unique, Smith said of the plan.
Also mentioned at the event Thursday is the expansion of Pinball Garage. Owner Brad Baker is already developing a larger space at the rear of the business that will have more space for patrons, more games, televisions and new restrooms.
Smith gave several shout-outs to small business owners and said Wildfire Hygge Goods, which now has a second location at 127 S. Second St., is a testament to supportive business owners who have had such success they expanded in the city.
A new bar called Pour House is nearly ready to open at The Marcum, across the street from Courtyard by Marriott. He said it will likely open to the public next week.
Agave & Rye has turned in its full set of plans for construction at the corner of Main and E streets — the former Ritzi Body Shop. The business will be developing the rear building on the property. Its sister business, Papi Jocho’s, which bills itself as “street dogs and cantina,” will open across the street in the Rossville Flats, Smith said.
Rossville Flats will also get Frost Factory and a wine bar. A block away, the 513 Bar is still in development stages, Smith said.
The city manager also mentioned High Main Laser Works, a laser cutting and engraving shop on Main Street that is making a lot of its products with the Hamilton logo and images.
Immortal Vibes bar, with a guitar theme, and Thyme Savor, which sells take-and-go meals, are two more businesses Smith said will be locating on Main Street.
Smith also announced a restaurant called Ambedough, which will sell bagels, breakfast items, sandwiches and cocktails. It will be in the former Preferred Puppies store in the 100 block of Main Street and will be open late-night.
Ambedough’s owners were in attendance at the State of the City address.
WEST SIDE GROWTH
Also opening in Hamilton is Nicc & Norm’s Sidecar Bar, located near Arches Saloon on South B Street. Smith said the business is getting close but still has some paperwork issues to get through. It is a speakeasy-style place with a menu with cured and smoked meats, craft cocktails, wine and more.
Panda Express, a fast-casual restaurant, will go in the former Steak-N-Shake location at 1485 Main St. and Smith said demolition on the building at the site begins soon.
Going into the former Domino’s Pizza building on Main Street near Milillo’s is a second Biggby Coffee location. And Jersey Mike’s sub shop will go into the Hamilton Meadows Shopping Center near Kroger, he said.
SMITH SAYS HAMILTON IS TELLING A GREEN STORY
As he finished the State of the City address, the city manager mentioned thyssenkrupp Bilstein is the second-largest employer with nearly 900 employees and it has helped the green initiatives of the city by recently going 100% carbon-free.
Smith mentioned that Saica, a cardboard box manufacturing company, also contributes with its net-zero waste objective.
He said Hamilton will have a total of six electric vehicle charging stations that should be ready by the end of this month, and there are plans to add more in the future.
Conversations are being had to continue pushing in the direction of going even more green, Smith said.