The City of Cincinnati has obtained a Covenant Not to Sue (CNS) from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
for the Center Hill landfill in Winton Hills, making the site shovel-ready for redevelopment as the Center Hill Commerce Park.
The 60-acre site, located less than a mile west of the I-75 Towne Street exit at the intersection of Center Hill Road and Este Avenue, could support up to 500,000 square feet of new light industrial space.
"We're promoting a dense, light industrial business park, but recognize that some aspects of the site may not cooperate with this vision," says Michael Cervay, director of the city's Department of Community Development.
Cervay says that, at maximum density, the site could leverage $50 million in private investment and create 500 new jobs.
This level of development would bring the city over $1 million in annual property tax revenue and just under $500,000 in earnings tax revenue.
Between 1953 and 1977, the site was used as the primary landfill for the city's residential, commercial, and industrial waste. Because no constructed liners were used to protect the soil during the site's use as a landfill, six years of environmental investigation and remediation was required. The city has paid approximately $1.7 million and has leveraged more than $2.4 million in assessment cleanup costs to date.
The CNS is a key step in attracting future end-users, as it provides them with liability relief, Cervay says.
"This liability relief and the cleanup required to obtain it are critical to unlocking more affordable financing and insurance options for businesses interested in the location but wary of implications of locating on a brownfield," he says.
The city is currently conducting a geotechnical analysis of the property to further ensure prospective end-users that the site is ready for construction.
Writer: Kevin LeMaster
Source: Sam Stephens, senior development officer, City of Cincinnati Department of Community Development