CINCINNATI — A demolition ceremony Wednesday afternoon officially started a major re-development project in the West End.
FC Cincinnati's co-CEO Jeff Berding officially kicked things off by getting behind the wheel of an excavator to start the demolition of a building. It’s just the beginning of what will be an extensive transformation of the West End.
The $300 million, 8.5 acre mixed-use district will include a hotel, apartments, office space, stores, restaurants and a privately owned public green space.
"This district will create a community hub on the front steps of our home field, rooted in history and legacy that aesthetically inspires and emotionally unites our city with a vision for the future,” Berding said.
Galen Gordon lives in the West End and is a member of the West End Community Council. He said it's a major change for the community but it's also a huge opportunity for growth.
"FC so far has been a great neighbor for the West End. They've fulfilled the promises that they made to us just a few years ago,” Gordon said. “So, we’re hoping that it will continue, so we're really excited,"
Phase one demolition will include three buildings located south of Liberty Street between Central Parkway, Central Avenue and Wade Street.
"I’m excited that we have worked very closely with a lot of the property owners here along Central Parkway,” Berding said. “We have an exciting vision of what a new Central Parkway should look like, getting back to the beautiful boulevard that Central Parkway used to be."
Galen Gordon said he's had many conversations with neighbors about the new development.
"From the people who live here in the West End, the concern is just making sure that folks can still live here. That's really what the concern is,” Gordon said. “So beyond that concern of what's going to happen, we think it's a good thing, we really do."
Berding said they will soon bring on a master developer, an architect and a construction manager to the project.