Residents work for zone change for $100 Million Kenwood Towers project

It's not often that Cincinnatians circulate petitions against a zone change for a development project which may affect their neighborhood, but that's not the case in Sycamore Township. Homeowners and Kenwood Meadows residents Jim Huff and Larry Meyer are leading the charge to collect signatures to supporting a zone change that will allow Neyer Properties’ Kenwood Towers development, which includes the construction of a new building for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The proposed 12-acre, $100 million project would include a seven-story, 160-room hotel offering meeting and banquet facilities; a nine-story, 266,000 square foot office building and parking garage; as well as the proposed $47.3 million FBI Building, which is slated for construction this fall. Construction on Kenwood Towers could begin as early as spring, 2010.

The 100-foot setback from residential property lines, efficient traffic flow and green facets of the projects appealed to Larry Meyer who thinks the construction project will be good for the area with an anticipated $600,000 in additional property tax revenues going to the Indian Hill School District.

Sycamore Township unanimously approved the zone change. The proposed hotel and offices are to be located west of the FBI building along Interstate 71, just south of Montgomery Road.

Kenwood Towers is a mixed-use development of office space and a hotel with the goal of attaining a minimum of LEED Silver certification.

“The project will be certified under a new LEED system just released,” said Jeff Chamot, LEED AP and development project manager at Neyer Properties.  “The new system has a regional component to it that, in the Cincinnati area, weighs the credits relative to storm water diversion and on-site treatment much more heavily than in the previous system.”

The plans will incorporate bio-swales, or rain gardens, to capture and treat much of the rainwater on-site so it percolates into the ground versus being piped off-site. The real estate investment and development company is also exploring re-capturing roof rainwater from the buildings and garage and re-using it to irrigate landscaping, avoiding the cost and waste relative to using potable water.

Another green feature at Kenwood Towers will be the use of light shelves. They will be located on the building exterior above the windows. Light shelves are built adjacent to a window—inside or out— in a strategic location to help bounce daylight deeper inside tenant spaces. These also help heat the building in winter and block out heat in summer when the sun is higher in the sky, he added.

Writer: Jeff Syroney
Source: Neyer Properties
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