New plans have been announced to restore and renovate the iconic Crosley building at 1333 Arlington Street in Camp Washington.
The over 300,000-square-foot building was built in 1929 and designed by renowned architectural firm Samuel Hannaford and Sons for entrepreneur and industrialist Powel Crosley. In the facility, the Crosley Corporation produced cars, appliances, and radios and, at one point, the building housed the studios of local radio station WLW.
In years since it was decommissioned as a manufacturing facility, the building has housed a few other businesses, used mostly as warehouse and storage space. There were plans for its development a few years ago, but plans were abandoned in 2018. These days, the building stands vacant and blighted, a mass of broken windows and overgrowth, a favorite canvas for graffiti vandals and urban explorers.
The new project developer is the building’s owner, Crosley Renaissance LLC of Indianapolis. The new plan includes around 200 affordable apartments and artist lofts, with street-level commercial space. While the building will require extensive rehabilitation, no major structural changes are planned for the national historic landmark.
Sidney Nation is the executive director of the Camp Washington Community Board. She helped mediate the relationship between the developer and the community of Camp Washington, ensuring a mutually beneficial plan for development.
“In an effort to create better transparency on this project, Camp Washington Community Board has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the developer to make sure they work with the Camp Washington community to create a Community Benefits Agreement,” she explains.
“The completion of this project will set a community standard for future development projects in the Camp Washington community and will show that projects are required to work with the community to be successful in the neighborhood.”
“The Camp Washington Community Board is thrilled to see the project moving forward,” she says. “It’s been a long time coming!”
With increased deterioration over time, community leaders in Camp Washington have been eager to see the building brought back to life as a new community asset.
Robbe Bluestein has been a Camp Washington resident for twelve years and recently served as the community council president. This development is exactly the sort of thing he has always dreamt for the neighborhood.
“The impact that the Crosley manufacturing empire had on Camp Washington in the ‘good old days’ was powerful,” he says. “To see the symbol of their manufacturing impact on the economy of Cincinnati become an abandoned and abused shell is a disgrace. But no more: In my 12 years living in the shadow of this building and my eight years involved in governing Camp Washington, this is the most hope I have ever had.”
He adds, “To see this building come alive as home to hundreds of new Camp residents, the focus on making it an art-centric oasis, and adding much needed affordable and senior housing is fantastic. The one thing that we need as a community to grow and prosper is more residents to call this neighborhood home.”
The $50M project is slated to begin construction in October of 2022.