CINCINNATI - Towne Properties, Al Neyer Inc., and the Clifton Heights Community Urban Re-development Corporation (CHCURC) are working together to bring a new multi-purpose development near the campus of the University of Cincinnati.
The $68 million development includes retail, housing, office space, and dining.
The property, currently, is mostly unused, except for a parking lot. It is prime real estate adjacent to the UC campus in between Calhoun Street and West McMillan Street.
The property has been the target for development for years. An eminent domain dispute, failed attempts by a different developer,and the economic downturn all contributed to the property staying undeveloped.
Now, the partnership of Towne, Neyer and CHCURC promises a sprawling design to offer something for everyone. It offers shopping and eating options for students and young professionals as well as an apartment complex, to be managed by Towne Properties. Another feature of the development includes a parking garage with 700 spaces. Parking anywhere near the UC campus always is a challenge.
UC has explored improving the immediate surroundings of its campus for decades. It is now investing in those dreams by creating urban development corporations to seek out projects in key locations.
The CHCURC received funding from the UC Endowment to buy the land in between the high traffic streets of Calhoun and McMillan. Towne and Neyer bring strengths to the project that meet the long-term needs of the university. Towne specializes in apartment development. This project includes about 160 market-rate apartments. This means they are full-size apartments in either the loft, one bedroom or two bedroom models. They are not dorms intended for students, but rather for young professionals.
Neyer concentrates on commercial construction with retail and parking garages. The plan also calls for a hotel that would develop the site on its own and target parents wanting to visit their college-aged children, people attending sporting events and even visiting professionals for the university.
Arn Bortz, a partner with Towne Properties said the location is ideal for the urban setting with people who are hungry for new entertainment, living, and business options.
"We have a passion for places like this." said Bortz. "The university has gotten stronger over the years. The standards have been raised. The student body is stronger. Research dollars flowing into the university have multiplied several times over and the university deserves an environment that is worthy of its reputation and what it's done to improve itself."
Construction is set to begin this summer with completion in the fall of 2012. It is also about a half mile from the proposed route for the Cincinnati streetcar line.
Bortz added, "We think we've put together the right kind of mixed-use program that will have a very, very long useful life and be a credit to the city, the neighborhood and the university."
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