New development projects transforming formerly industrial Lower Price Hill

Lower Price Hill was rocked with the explosion at the Queen City Barrel site just a few years ago.  The event brought attention to the deplorable state of many of the industrial properties along the Mill Creek corridor that run right through the residential neighborhood.

Following much discussion and debate the community worked with the city of Cincinnati to come up with a redevelopment strategy that would not only clean up the area, but set it up to be successfully economically in the future.

A key component to that development is the $25 million MetroWest redevelopment project which will eventually create 250,000 square feet of space and an estimated 400 new jobs.

This redevelopment process will occur in several phases over the course of its life.  The earliest phase is nearing completion and consists of the demolition and cleanup of the project site which should be complete next week says Sam Stephens, senior development office with the city of Cincinnati’s Department of Community Development.

Once complete, the construction phase can then ensue, but will be subject to market demands.  “The economy is the economy, but we remain optimistic,” says Stephens.  There is the possibility that one or two speculative buildings be built, but that is not the first choice for the city.

The new buildings will include a number of green buildings.

A complimentary project next door is also moving forward using LEED building construction.  The new Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) engineering office building is coming along with much of the steel work now visible.

“This shows the best of intergovernmental cooperation,” says Stephens who mentioned that the city and MSD engaged in a land swap so that the MSD received adjacent land for the additional office space they wanted, while the city received more property with the MetroWest redevelopment project.

The city is currently helping with the financing for the MSD office building project and will lease the building to MSD and eventually transfer the building and the land to the MSD once the lease is complete.

The city is currently engaging commercial realtors to help with the marketing of the MetroWest site, but the MSD has also been very aggressive in trying to find additional users who might be interested in the space.

Writer: Randy Simes
Source: Sam Stephens, senior development officer, City of Cincinnati Department of Community Development
Photography by Randy Simes
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