CINCINNATI -- Walnut Hills continues to grow as developer Milhaus plans to open a 124-unit mixed-use apartment community in 2019 just off Interstate 71.
Poste is slated for construction on a three-block site bordered by East McMillan, Wayne, Kenton and Copelen streets, according to a news release. The apartment community will include 18 studios, 73 one-bedroom apartments, 28 two-bedroom apartments and five two-bedroom townhomes.
Two existing structures with a total of three occupied apartments will be demolished to make way for the construction, but the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation says they were extremely distressed homes brought out of foreclosure.
"The intention from the beginning was to invest in new, affordable housing rather than keeping them in these distressed units," said Thea Munchel, director of real estate and economic development for the redevelopment foundation. She said the Model Group would assist in relocating those residents in new housing that's "more accommodating to residents' needs today."
Walnut Hills residents have been asking the foundation to bring in market-rate housing to attract more retail tenants to the neighborhood, Munchel said. She estimates Poste's apartments will range from $800 to $1,400 per unit.
"We're working hard with Milhaus to get units set aside for (affordable) workforce housing," Munchel said, noting they'd be available to people earning 80 to 120 percent of the neighborhood's median income. "It's a challenge not just for this project but across the city."
Munchel anticipates the 18-month construction process will begin this spring, meaning tenants should be able to move in by the end of 2019.
Poste's pet-friendly apartments will feature nine-foot-high ceilings, wood-style flooring, solid wood cabinets, a washer and dryer in each unit as well as quartz countertops. The building will also boast amenities like a resident lounge complete with an urban workshop, bike storage and private garages and 4,345 square feet of commercial space.
Milhaus specializes in Class A urban infill, mixed-use and multifamily residential buildings. The Indianapolis-based company also constructed Northside's Gantry complex. The name, Poste, correlates with the prevalence of the Underground Railroad in this part of Cincinnati in the 1800s. According to Milhaus, Walnut Hills acted as a post in the network, offering a place for safety and community for all who came through. They hope Poste will act similarly to unite diverse individuals and their differing lifestyles into one community. Milhaus intentionally added an “e” as a distinguishable variation of the spelling while still connecting to the historical significance of this area in Cincinnati.
“At Milhaus, we focus on transforming neighborhoods and enhancing the lives of all residents along the way, and we’re looking forward to doing so with Poste as part of the redevelopment of the burgeoning Walnut Hills neighborhood,” said Jake Dietrich, director of development at Milhaus. “Given Cincinnati has seen steady population growth in recent years due to the booming job market, there’s a strong demand for high-quality rental communities in Walnut Hills and across the city.”
The apartment community is a part of the more than 250 new units set to break ground in Walnut Hills this year. Munchel said she expects work to begin this spring or summer at the former Anthem site at the corner of Taft Road and Woodburn Avenue.
Continuing to expand its footprint beyond Indianapolis, Milhaus is pursuing opportunities in new and existing markets across the U.S. to reach its goal of having 20,000 units in 10 markets by 2020. Milhaus currently has projects under development in Cincinnati; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and southwest Florida.