Port Authority Starts Work At Former Jordan Crossing Site In Bond Hill
Economic Development Agency Purchases 25 Acres From Allen Temple Real Estate Foundation To Redevelop Site Of Cincinnati's First Mall; Project Represents First Investment From City Of Cincinnati's New Focus 52 Program Fund
The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority recently finalized the purchase of 25 acres in Cincinnati's Bond Hill neighborhood and today mobilized crews to begin removing structures no longer vital to everyday life in this historically important community -- including a 32-foot billboard-style sign that has marked the Reading Road/Seymour Avenue intersection for more than four decades.
Not since its midcentury heyday -- when Swifton Commons was the first multi-store open-air mall in Cincinnati -- has the site been a regular draw for visitors and community residents. The original department stores, specialty shops and restaurants closed after larger malls were built in the suburbs.
After Allen Temple Real Estate Foundation purchased it in the late 1990s and renamed it Jordan Crossing, the center had less than a dozen commercial tenants, but remained a welcoming presence for those attending worship services and community meetings. Its hulking 400,000 square feet structure was mostly vacant with an outmoded design and continuing need for upkeep.
The center clearly needed a new purpose, but time could not erase the core of its true value to Cincinnati -- its location, just six miles north of downtown in the center of the Greater Cincinnati region; and the strength of the communities surrounding the site that are seeing new investment and job creation as companies build on existing assets and access.
On Thursday, March 28, 2013, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory was joined by Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr., Laura Brunner, President, CEO, Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority; Hamilton County Commission President Chris Monzel and members of many organizations invested in Bond Hill. They celebrated through public ceremony the Port Authority's February acquisition of the site and its beginning of the massive redevelopment envisioned that began with the demolition of the original Swifton Commons billboard style sign and a shuttered fast-food restaurant near the site's Seymour Avenue border.
"This is an important day for the Bond Hill neighborhood," according to Mayor Mark Mallory. "This redevelopment represents the City's first investment injection from our new Focus 52 program fund, created just for transformational projects such as this one."
Laura Brunner, president and CEO of the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, said the city's place-based economic development strategy will strengthen city neighborhoods and create prosperity.
"Today represents the first step in a several year process to convert this key intersection back into a vibrant place to work, shop and live," Brunner said. "The Port Authority is prepared to be creative in how we work with the community to achieve a development that creates jobs and a sense of place."
She said the Port Authority will prepare and market the site for private development of office, residential, retail and a future hotel. When completed, the new redevelopment is expected to represent a $75 million investment.