Affordable housing and new retail coming to College Hill

College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) broke ground on a new mixed-use development on July 11. The $11.1 million project, Marlowe Court, is located between Elkton Place and Marlowe Avenue along the 6000 block of Hamilton Avenue.

The new development will add 3,700 square feet of street-level retail space and 53 units of affordable senior housing to College Hill’s business district. Project partner Episcopal Retirement Services is managing the recruitment of residential tenants, all of whom will be seniors ages 55 and older. Once the building is complete, ERS will also take the lead on ongoing property management.

Local consulting and real estate firm Urban Fast Forward is charged with securing ground-level business tenants. Urban Fast Forward is currently conducting a market feasibility study with community input.

“I’ve been working in community development for quite a while,” CHCURC Executive Director Seth Walsh says. “And I am very impressed by how much community involvement there has been in this process.”

The anchor tenant for the building is First Financial Bank, and the search for businesses to fill the remaining two spaces continues. The building is slated for completion by November 2017.

 “We’re looking for a mix of services that will be attractive,” CHCURC VP Jake Samad says. “Restaurants, bars, entertainment, offices.”

This development furthers CHCURC’s long-term goal of adding density and vitality throughout the six-block business district. According to Samad, CHCURC aims to create “a walkable, livable neighborhood that provides opportunities for people to stay in the community, and attract new business.”

In addition to Marlowe Court, CHCURC is also working on a $32 million development called College Hill Station at the corner of Hamilton Avenue and North Bend Road. College Hill Station will break ground in the fall, bringing an additional 12,000 square feet of retail and 162 middle-income apartments to the neighborhood. 

“We couldn’t develop one without the other,” Walsh says. “The success of Marlowe Court allows us to do College Hill Station and begin revitalizing the other parts of the district. It becomes a ripple effect.”
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Read more articles by Kamal Kimball.

Kamal Kimball is a freelance writer and co-founder of Ampersand Creative Services.