City-Neighborhood Partnerships Continue Momentum In College Hill
Demolition Begins On Blighted Buildings In Business District; Former Kroger Purchased With Focus 52 Funding For Redevelopment
College Hill's business district got a double-boost Friday, with the demolition of several blighted properties and a major announcement about the neighborhood's main gateway.
Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. joined members of the City's Economic Development Division, College Hill Town Forum, College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation and College Hill Business Association to start demolishing six vacant, blighted properties along Hamilton Avenue.
The mid-block buildings have been an unproductive eyesore in a business district that neighbors have worked tirelessly to improve over the past decade.
"Tearing down these buildings creates new opportunities for redevelopment so we can keep the momentum going in College Hill," said Mike Cappel, president of College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation.
Demolition and remediation work will continue in the coming months, with the property being marketed for redevelopment in 2014. The City invested $1.5 million to acquire and demolish the six contiguous properties, and anticipates an eventual multi-million dollar investment at the site.
Also on Friday, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls announced that the City has completed acquisition of the former Kroger site at Hamilton Avenue and North Bend Road. The site was purchased thanks to the City's commitment of $700,000 Focus 52 funding.
Together with the former Shuller's Wigwam site and the former Eastern Star nursing home, there's now an 8-acre redevelopment opportunity at College Hill's main intersection.
Development of the parcels will be guided by College Hill's new Form-Based Code, which focuses on the form of the development, rather than on its use as is done with traditional zoning.
"The College Hill community participated through numerous hours of presentations, meetings, discussion and collaboration so they could choose for themselves what kind of development they wanted to see here," said Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls. "Form-Based Codes give neighbors a voice so they can dream big and expect better."
"Investing in our neighborhoods is critical to the growth and repopulation of Cincinnati," said City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. "College Hill is primed for new development, especially now that they are enacting a form-based code that will create the kind of pedestrian-friendly environment that's so sought after."
The City will be marketing the Hamilton Avenue & North Bend sites for redevelopment later this year.