Spooky Nook’s first tenant will be a familiar face
Cincinnati Business Courier
Spooky Nook, the massive indoor sports complex and hotel under construction in Hamilton, has announced its first retail tenant as the project nears its targeted completion date by the end of this year.
Municipal Brew Works, which opened in Hamilton in 2016, inked a 15-year lease earlier this month to operate its second location from the development’s Mill Two, which will also house Spooky Nook’s 233-room on-site hotel. Owners Jim Goodman and Mark Jackson told me the expansion will allow Municipal to brew more experimental beers. Demand at its original site on High Street is so high that it doesn’t allow for a lot of that now.
“We’re very lucky right now in that our tanks are filled with beer because of the customer demand,” Goodman said. “But the consequence of that is it’s difficult to introduce new styles. This will allow us to have more innovation with our beers.”
Spooky Nook, a $165 million, 1 million-square-foot project at Hamilton’s former Champion Mill site, was first announced in 2016. Goodman said he was interested in the Spooky Nook project from “day one.” Municipal was one of the first to pay a site visit to Spooky Nook’s original site in Lancaster, Penn.
He said the Municipal is making around a $1 million investment in the project. It plans to have 30 taps, a seven-barrel system and to sell six-packs on site.
“The beauty is we’ll have all these people coming through here from a 300-mile radius. This is a marketing plan for us,” Goodman said. “When we expand into the rest of Ohio and into other areas, people from all over will have already heard of us.”
Municipal Brew Works will take up around 5,000 square feet, meaning Spooky Nook has around 55,000 square feet of available retail space remaining. Dave McLain, Spooky Nook’s general counsel and director of real estate development, said the company is close to signing two other vendors, including another local vendor. The idea, he said, is to offer a mix of “experiential retailers.” Spooky Nook’s hook, while offering the largest indoor sports venue in the country, is that it’s an all-inclusive experience.
“We want things from a retail standpoint where the guests can do something, not just buy something,” McLain said. “So we’re trying to get the right partners and the right fit between food and retail options. We want something that fits and brings energy to the building – keep our guest entertained at all forms.”
Spooky Nook CEO Sam Beiler said the project is still on schedule for a Dec. 31, 2021, completion. Spooky Nook officials were on hand in Hamilton Friday to give an overall update on the project.
Already, through letters of intent, there are events committed for 32 weekends in 2022, he said. Spooky Nook will include a fitness center, climbing/adventure center, hardwood, turf and sport courts for volleyball, field hockey, basketball and more at Mill One. Mill Two will include a 16-room conference center and hotel.
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