Let’s set the record straight before getting into all the wonderful glory of the upcoming $300 million Liberty Center mega-retail project scheduled to open in my hometown. I personally believe that the $35 million remaining dollars needed for sewage and other infrastructure modifications should fall on the Steiner group who is developing the magnificent property. Government should not be involved with private business, and many of those $35 million in costs are due to the interrelationship that business has had to endure over the years from government seeking to mooch off its good ideas. The developers should front the entire cost of the project in exchange for government keeping its nose out of the entire affair and let the marketplace drive the project.
But as it is, the Liberty Center development is an impressive undertaking that is worthy of mention. I have described on these pages my love of Newport on the Levee and discussed how my wife and I enjoy spending our evenings there. I go to Newport because of the experience, because of the festive environment and wildly varied options. Other than Newport on the Levee I admire greatly the Americana complex on Brand Blvd in Burbank, California and La Isla at Cancun, in Mexico. Those are three examples of some of the finest examples of capitalism I have seen anywhere, and they are extraordinarily dynamic in what they offer shoppers. I believe that the upcoming Liberty Center will be among the best of its kind in the world as Steiner has presented it, so needless to say I am excited about it.
But I see already a desire from local politicians to grease their fingers and pick the pockets of the many businesses that Steiner is securing for this project, and I can already see the Lakota school system is ready to proclaim that the success of the upcoming project is a result of their silly government school, which is absurd. So let’s set the record straight on why the Liberty Center development will be a success, and why it will be one of the best such shopping complexes anywhere. The credit does not go to the local school, as the teachers union will undoubtedly attempt to proclaim, and it doesn’t have anything to do with politicians—other than the work to insert the Liberty Way interchange on I-75 in a key location under the tutelage of business investors. The credit goes to the fact that per capita there is a lot of wealth in the surrounding area of this proposed development, and the taxes are not yet so outrageous that residents have been able to keep a good portion of their money, and businesses have been able to turn a profit for all their risk. If there is one element that makes Liberty Way possible in Liberty Township, Ohio it is because wealth has gathered in that region as it has fled from cities and other communities filled with looting politicians who could not keep their hands out of their pockets.
Touted as the Easton of the northern Cincinnati area, the Liberty Center will include a 200,000-square-foot Dillard’s store, and about 370,000 square feet of specialty retail shops and restaurants, a 1,200-seat dine-in restaurant, luxury apartments and a hotel. Yaromir Steiner, founder and chief executive officer of the Columbus-based development company, said he also plans to build a chapel in a public square for non-denominational services, weddings and small concerts. The complex promises to feature a state-of-the-art movie theater among many other wonderful inventions of creativity.
I’m not a big shopper. I typically wear the same type of cloths for decades and couldn’t care less about fashion. But when my wife does talk me out of my reading chair for a night out, I do enjoy looking at all the products that are available in such dynamic markets. I see behind every new purse, every pair of shoes, every shirt, necklace, book, dinning ware, every product for sale in such large shopping complexes the result of someone’s mind. Without capitalism those minds have nowhere to exhibit their fine products. I even enjoy going to movie theaters to admire not just the movies on display there, but the movie posters advertising the films. Each poster is the product of someone’s creativity somewhere who attempted to sum up the contents of a movie with a still shot work of art on display to make a profit for the film studio. I love shopping complexes not for the things I can buy, but for the display of other people’s creativity.
Steiner intends with the construction of his shopping complex to attract such minds with their personal businesses, like the owners of the Apple Store, the Lego Stores, the Victoria’s Secretes, the high-end audio/visual stores, and many more. The attraction is of course the location and the type of people who will shop there—meaning they are primarily gainfully employed and not looking toward government assistance for their sustenance. That is an attractive demographic for businessmen and women. Also, the tax rates cannot be too high where the local schools, fire departments, and police departments have been kept in check protecting taxpayers from public sector union wages that are excessively greedy in socialist demands. In Liberty Township it is the Butler County Sheriff who handles the policing action. Liberty Twp. does not have its own police force, because it doesn’t need it. My neighbors have the Second Amendment, and criminals know it. That arrangement saves a lot of money and means businesses get to keep much of the profit they earn instead of paying for some cop to sit in a squad car and harass motorists with speeding citations 24 hours a day—7 days a week. The name of my community is not Tyranny Township—it’s “Liberty”—as in “Freedom” Township. Freedom is cheaper and far more fun. Tyranny is expensive as government workers expect to be paid excessively from those they seek to tyrannize. This is why there is a large concentration of wealth in the area for Steiner to provide such a retail experience.
The other two shopping complexes I mentioned, particularly the one on Brand Blvd in Burbank, California does well because the entertainment industry pays those workers well, and the shopping experience is primarily for them and their families. The one in Cancun is a tourist trap. Within two miles of that shopping complex is one of the worst examples of socialism I have ever seen, downtown Cancun, where all the workers live. Most of these shopping resorts in tourist towns are smoke and mirrors designed to appeal to travelers. The Newport complex and the one being built-in Liberty Township are different in that they host sustainable communities with the same level of appeal to dramatically increase the shopping experience of the neighborhood making every day like a vacation for local property owners.
But the credit does not go to any politician, or school. The credit does not belong to any government regulator, or administrator. The credit goes to the type of entrepreneurs who own and operate the 1,200-seat dine-in restaurant projected to be built at Liberty Center. It goes to the individual minds who take a risk with a business to offer the product of their minds with all the variety individuals can devise. It goes to the people who intend to lease space at Steiner’s development. It is they who will make the experience of shopping at Liberty Center a good one. Anybody else in the process is simply a barnacle hanging on for a ride from those who are productive, and enterprising.
Personally, I can’t wait to walk the grounds of Liberty Center and celebrate the best of what human beings can achieve. I will cherish every brick of every building for the productivity they represent, and sheer creativity of the many minds who contributed to their placement. I suspect that my wife and I will visit Liberty Center often. It would be my hope that a Joseph and Beth bookseller would find the site lucrative. They do such a great job of bringing in big name authors for book signings and speeches, that it would be a perfect venue at Liberty Center. But regardless, I am very much looking forward to the Liberty Center and the many evenings of joy that it will provide my family in the years to come. My appreciation of it will not be for one single political element, but for the creative souls brought under one tent by Yaromir Steiner. It is because of creative minds like his, that anything ever happens. And it also why Liberty Twp has the rare opportunity for such an endeavor, because to date, the looters, moochers, and scallywags of social erosion are not part of the economic factor—which is why it will be successful and a massive contribution to the culture of Liberty Township, Ohio.