Liberty Center announces three new tenants, including Taste of Belgium restaurant

Shoppers walk through the Foundry at Liberty Center, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Liberty Center is celebrating their one year anniversary this weekend. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

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Shoppers walk through the Foundry at Liberty Center, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Liberty Center is celebrating their one year anniversary this weekend. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Liberty Center has added a new restaurant, a virtual reality concept and a new party venue to its list of tenants.

Mall General Manager John Taylor told the Journal-News these new establishments are great news.

“Any new signing at Liberty Center is big for us and big for the community,” Taylor said. “We’ve grown since COVID and coming out of COVID and positive momentum is always a plus.”

The new tenants are:

  • Taste of Belgium joins the restaurant lineup at Liberty Center with its full-service bistro. The Cincinnati-native and Ohio-exclusive restaurant has been serving its Belgian-inspired, locally infused culinary experience since 2007. Taste of Belgium will occupy more than 4,000 square-feet and offer waffles, chicken, beer and handcrafted cocktails. The restaurant will be located next to BIBIBOP Asian Grill with an expected opening in spring 2022.
  • Sandbox VR is opening its first Ohio location at Liberty Center. With a mission to expand the possibilities of human experience through immersive technology, Sandbox VR will offer a virtual reality, futuristic gaming experience recognized around the globe. Located between AC Hotel by Marriott and The Roosevelt Room, the 5,600-square-foot, full-body virtual reality facility is expected to open in summer 2022.
  • Shindig Park and The Alibi Room bring two new concepts under one roof in a 7,900-square-foot space in The Foundry, located between H&M and Anthony Vince. Shindig Park will offer a full-service event venue for parties, celebrations and meetings. The Alibi Room, a full-service bar, will focus on highly allocated bourbons, tequilas and flights. The Alibi Room will provide the same fun and familiar epic atmosphere following the success of its sister concept, Agave & Rye, which opened in 2019 at Liberty Center. Shindig Park and The Alibi Room are slated to open summer 2022.
ExploreButler County officials balk at Liberty Center tax break, development plans

The center announced the opening of the Elevate Office Suites co-working space on the second level of The Foundry in February, but Taylor said permitting has slowed construction. The 26,170-square-foot space will include flexible co-working spaces, private office suites and high-tech conference rooms. Construction is planned at the beginning of 2022 with an expected opening in the spring.

Liberty Center has been hit hard financially in recent years and asked the Butler County auditor’s office for a total property value reduction of $73 million this year. The new owners Apollo Global Management also wants to change the character of the development by switching a planned anchor store to apartments.

The county commissioners and Liberty Twp. trustees have been working with Apollo for months, trying to work out a deal that would bolster the finances of the center during these bleak retail times. Those talks ended last month with no agreement.

Part of the negotiations included the county offering to pay the center $6.8 million over six years in lieu of Apollo seeking property value reductions. In the midst of the negotiations Liberty Center applied for two value reductions, one of the mandated 2020 reevaluation and a second taking advantage of a new law that allows companies to seek relief based on the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Taylor said he could not comment on those issues.

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