CINCINNATI -- Sorry, beer fans. Don't expect to take gondola rides from Over-the-Rhine's Mohawk district to a scenic beer garden near Bellevue Park in Clifton Heights anytime soon.
On Sunday, an anonymous user on social news aggregation and discussion website Reddit speculated in a post that a real estate company associated with the cofounders of Rhinegeist Brewing might be buying vacant hillside property in the area to make the longtime rumor a reality. However, Franz Capital LLC president and co-founder Alan Krichavsky said he's more interested in building homes.
"We are very early on in our development plans," he said. "We are noodling around with some ideas right now. We are looking to build residential, attached homes. We want to make some more great places for people to live."
Franz has spent $5.5 million purchasing 29 parcels of land, most of it Mohawk and Renner streets in northern Over-the-Rhine near Central Parkway, since last year, according to the Hamilton County Auditor's website.
Most recently, the real estate and investment company bought a small parcel of land at 312 Mohawk St. on July 12.
Krichavsky did confirm, though, that Rhinegeist co-founders Bob Bonder and Bryant Goulding are associated with Franz Capital.
"Bob and Bryant are passive investors," Krichavsky said. "This is my full-time job."
The Ohio Secretary of State's website shows Bonder registered Franz Capital LLC and Franz Fund LLC last year. Bonder said the companies are not affiliated with Rhinegeist.
Krichavsky said a more than decades-long friendship with Bonder led to their joint business venture.
"We were college roommates," Krichavsky said.
After college, Krichavsky worked at capital investment firms in New York and San Francisco. He said he moved his family from the Bay Area to Cincinnati last year in order to start Franz Capital.
"I have kind of visited here many, many times, and I caught Cincinnati fever, so to speak," Krichavsky said.
Krichavsky said he originally planned to invest in properties throughout the Queen City but has remained focused on Over-the-Rhine instead.
"At the moment, it is still an area that is untapped," he said of the Mohawk district. "There's a lot of really really exciting things happening. I'm amazed by all the stuff going on and collaboration between (developers). It's been really, really invigorating."