Two blighted Calhoun Street properties have been razed, possibly clearing the way for future development.
The former Hardee's and Arby's restaurants in Clifton Heights are part of a 3.2-acre strip of land between Ohio Avenue and Hartshorn Street that has been vacant for several years.Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation
(CHCURC), with assistance from the city, first started acquiring the properties in 1999.
All of the other property owners eventually sold their properties, but, despite numerous attempts - including the attempted use of eminent domain - owners ClifCor Company have remained the lone holdouts.
Original plans for the site were for McMillan Park, a $100 million project that would have brought 233 residential units and 45,000 square feet of retail within walking distance of campus.
Gaps in financing caused the project to stall in 2007.
Although ClifCor still owns the two parcels, CHCURC is currently working on a new deal with their preferred developer to address the redevelopment of the entire strip, a process that could take several months.
"We're in the middle of negotiations with Towne Properties
to partner on the development," says Matt Bourgeois, director of CHCURC. "It's too early to tell what the development plan will entail, but it will be a mixed-use building and will likely contain apartments, ground-floor retail, as well as possibly office and hospitality."
Despite the difficulties in developing the land, Bourgeois says that it's still a desirable setting.
"It's a large tract of cleared land in an urban setting, adjacent to the University of Cincinnati
," he says.
Writer: Kevin LeMaster
Source: Matt Bourgeois, director, CHCURCPhotography by Scott Beseler