4th and Race redevelopment up for vote this week

Construction could start Sept. 17
Posted at 6:32 PM, Sep 03, 2018

CINCINNATI -- The City Council could clear the way this week for construction to get started on a new development at Fourth and Race streets downtown.

After years of delays, construction could begin on Sept. 17, according to Joe Rudemiller, a spokesman for 3CDC. First, the City Council must vote on an ordinance Thursday OKing the property sale and development agreement, which includes $9.5 million in grants.

The city demolished the former Pogue's garage in 2016. Since then, the lot has sat empty and fenced off. Fourth Street resident Dennis Chastang said the area doesn't feel whole since the garage was town down.

"It's really cut down on the foot traffic," he said. "I feel like I live outside of the main city, and I'm a block from the city center."

Redevelopment plans for the site have been in the works since at least 2012. They've gone through several different iterations. Now, 3CDC, Flaherty & Collins Development and the Greater Cincinnati Redevelopment Authority plan to build a block-long mixed-use development with 22,000 square feet of retail space, 264 residential units and a 574-space parking garage.

The developers said they were having trouble getting financing, causing at least some of the delays. 

Nearby businesses like Bromwell's have said they've suffered in the meantime. Its owner even threatened a lawsuit, asking the city to come up with a plan B.

The city ended its project agreement for the site in June. But with help from the Port Authority, the project got its financing and is back on, as long as the City Council signs off on the ordinance and grants. In a memo to the mayor and council, Acting City Manager Patrick Duhaney recommended that officials approve the plan, writing that it would "be beneficial to the Downtown neighborhood" and serve as "a catalyst connecting the east and west sides of the Fourth Street business district."

Neighbors like Chastang are eager for progress.

"The Fourth Street corridor, we need some help getting people down here on their lunch break or after work," he said.