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A "New Era" for Taylor Mill as Ground is Broken on The Districts

Pizza sauce sprinkled in the shape of a cross on a mound of dirt is expected to bring great blessings to Taylor Mill.

At least according to Cincinnati pizza icon Buddy LaRosa whose namesake pizzeria will soon open its largest Greater Cincinnati location at the site.

Using a ladle dipped into the pot in which the regional LaRosa's pizza chain's secret sauce was first concocted by an aunt, Buddy and his son Mike, who now runs the company, said this was the first time the ritual had taken place in Kentucky after successful blessings in Ohio and Indiana.

When the new LaRosa's opens in its new 6,000 square feet digs in the summer of 2014, it will be one of the anchors of the new Districts of Taylor Mill development. A 3,500 square feet Skyline Chili will also be on the site of the four-story piece of new construction. Both chains are owned by Holland Rosen Group which will relocate its corporate headquarters from Florence to Taylor Mill.

Ground was broken on the project Tuesday morning.

"This is extra special for me," Gary Holland, of Holland Rosen Group, said. He grew up in southern Kenton County. "It's great to be able to do things in a community to serve people you know and love."

He thanked the leaders of Taylor Mill for their instrumental role in securing the project's development. "This city gets it. They understand that it's a working relationship you have to have with your businesses," Holland said. "This is the type of city you would want to put your business in."

Holland Rosen Group operates the LaRosa's and Skyline franchises that will open at The Districts, in addition to multiple other locations of each brand across the region.

Tuesday's ceremony was attended by city officials, Kenton County Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghaus, the LaRosas, Skyline President & CEO Kevin McDonnell, State Senator Damon Thayer, and was emceed by Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Steve Stevens.

"This is a defining moment in the history of the City of Taylor Mill," Mayor Dan Bell said, calling it an economic development journey that will transform the city. "This is a new era."

The Districts will sit off the side of the newly reconstructed Taylor Mill Road, an $80 million three-phase project that added new lanes, traffic signals, and is expected to alleviate traffic congestion in the growing suburb.

Now that the majority of the road work is complete, its anticipated economic impact is beginning with projects like The Districts. Skyline will move its location from across the street at the Shoppes of Taylor Mill while LaRosa's will relocate its Latonia location. An additional 2,400 square feet of retail space will be available to rent.

"Not only was this (Taylor Mill Road) project important for safety and traffic flow, but it also sends the message that Taylor Mill is open for business," Thayer said.

The Holland Rosen Group's corporate offices will be on the third floor of the development which contains 8,000 square feet and spacious terraces with a view the Cincinnati skyline. The fourth floor will contain additional open-air terraces and will be home to another retail concept that is in the planning stages.

In addition to the 30,000 square feet housed in the main building, the development will include an outlot parcel for future retail/office use that will house a two-story commercial building. 

Holland and Rosen estimate that approximately 150 new jobs will be created under the development plan. "We think the City is primed for growth and development, and we're proud to be at the forefront of that initiative," Ron Rosen said. 

The new Taylor Mill business district will be defined by a welcoming downtown setting, traditional architecture, plentiful walkways, attractive landscaping, and easy vehicular access.

Following Tuesday's ceremony, the crowd reconvened at Pride Park where lunch was served. On the menu: LaRosa's and Skyline.

Story & Photos by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

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