Developers planning 101-acre subdivision in Green Township with 238 single-family homes

Hillview Golf Course to be closed by April

CINCINNATI - Residential developers are planning Green Township’s biggest new subdivision in a decade at Hillview Golf Course, which will be closed and sold to make way for the project.

The $60 million, 101-acre development will sport 238 single-family homes to be built at price points ranging from $250,000 to than $500,000.

“It looks like a good opportunity. It’s going to put us back on the residential landscape,” said Adam Goetzman, assistant administrator and director of planning and zoning for the township.

Spearheading the project is Joe Allen of Development Planning Inc., a land planning and civil engineering firm, and Rakesh Ram, broker and senior sales vice president for Coldwell Banker West Shell. Goetzman said Allen and Ram are seeking a zoning change to accommodate the project. Ram said a group of West Side investors is financing the project, but declined to identify them.

The group is hoping to have the development under construction by this summer and hope to move homeowners to the site in 2015.

“There is a pent up demand” for new homes appealing to empty nesters and move-up buyers on Cincinnati’s West Side, Ram said. “All our market studies and the builders’ market studies are showing that there’s not enough new housing coming on board.”

Driving demand are new health care investments in Green Township, like the new Mercy Health-Western Hills Hospital and outpatient facilities along Harrison Ave. by TriHealth, Christ Hospital and Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Hillview Golf Course co-owner Paul Macke said he has a contract to sell his 46-year-old course by May. He expects April 30 to be the last day in business at Hillview.

“We’re all sad to see it go,” said Macke, who owns the course with three other family members. “My Mom and Dad sacrificed everything, raised 11 kids here. At one time or another, just about everybody worked here.”

But Macke said the local golf industry is shrinking, thanks to a proliferation in weekend entertainment options.

“The reality is the golf course has not been supporting itself for probably the last 10 years,” he said. “The golf market has really changed.”

The subdivision has yet to be named, but Ram said four builders have claimed all of its 238 planned lots. Seventeen of the largest lots are 120 feet wide and reserved for custom “estate homes” built by Dennis Ott Builders. Ram declined to identify other home builders participating in the project.

A site plan submitted to the township shows 49 “empty nester” lots that will be 55 feet wide. The remaining 172 lots will be 70 and 85 feet wide.

Four existing lakes and 14 acres of green space will be preserved, according to the site plan. Ram said bridges, signage and other infrastructure will be themed give the neighborhood more character.

“And the views from this property; you’ve got some beautiful scenic vistas, the sunsets, it’s unbelievable. We’re excited,” Ram said.

This is the second attempt since 2007 to redevelop the Hillview course. Towne Properties LLC put the land under contract and revealed plans for an $80 million development with 293 housing units, including condos, patio homes and single-family homes with price points starting at $150,000.

Goetzman said the success of the project will depend on whether developers can secure “good commitments from good builders." He's heard that developers are talking with Drees, Inverness and MI Homes, among others.

“I’m guardedly optimistic,” he said. “The market is certainly coming back.”

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