$22M American Can Factory redevelopment to welcome first residents this September

On Monday the public was invited to tour the long-delayed American Can Lofts as part of Northside’s Fourth of July festivities. The $22 million redevelopment of the 180,000 square-foot 1920s-era American Can Factory resumed in 2010 with the help of a $1.6 million federal grant. The prominent Northside structure (map) is now poised to welcome its first residents in September.

Monday’s visitors toured six units on the building’s second floor, all of which featured high ceilings, loft designs, and the factory’s huge windows. The odd layout of the building required creative adaptations and so units of all shapes and sizes will be available to the project’s first renters.

Most of the factory’s features that survived its 30-year vacancy were retained, including pillars, original staircase railings, and a spectacular covered assembly area that will be used for indoor parking.

Organizers promise that the grand opening of the American Can Lofts in September will be marked by another public event, and future tours of the building are not to be missed. What has long stood as one of Cincinnati’s most notorious eyesores has been remade into one of its greatest assets, and portends the future redevelopment of the region’s other abandoned industrial properties.

The Cincinnati-based developers of this project are familiar with working with large warehouse structures. In 2003, Bloomfield/Schon + Partners completed the transformation of the former Ford Model T Factory in Walnut Hills into 115,000 square feet of office space.

Once complete, American Can Lofts will include 110 apartments ranging from $600 to $1,300 per month, 75 parking spaces, and 12,000 square feet of office and retail space. Developers state that future retailers may include a brew pub, restaurant and health center. Other amenities will include a bocce ball court, conference rooms, music rehearsal room, artist space and an exercise room.

The project was also assisted financially by an $8.7 million loan from the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), and additional grants from local and state sources. Those interested in leasing information can email Info@AmericanCanLofts.com or call (513) 827-5638.

Photographs by Emily Schneider for UrbanCincy.

  • Being an idiot, I forgot about the openhouses. The Bridgeview Condos, on Spring Grove on the west side of Hamilton, were open, too. You guys get over there at all?

  • Joe

    One of my co-workers was at the open house on Monday and was disappointed with the “value” of the apartments commenting that they were extremely small starting at around 600 square feet and that the rents $700 to $1300 of the units were comparatively much higher than some other developments. Does anyone else think that this is a little steep for what you are getting? How could a middle-income family with children ever afford to live in these kinds of developments, at this cost rubric it would be $2000 an month for a 3 or 4 bedroom unit apartment. Possibly this is part of the reason (along with the dismal schools and the persistence of criminal activity) why families cannot or will not move back to the urban core.

  • Jared

    I think its unlikely families with children are their target demographic

  • @Joe: The smallest unit is a 615sf one-bedroom unit and costs $525/month. The largest unit is a 1,513sf three-bedroom unit and costs $1,400/month. Both average out to less than $1 per square foot and you get a secured parking space, fitness room, conference room, art room and bocce ball court. So yes, I do consider these to be priced about right.

    As for families living in the urban core, I would say that has more to do with availability of quality public schools (or the perception thereof) than it does with affordable housing. There is tons of affordable housing all over most cities’ urban cores…and it’s affordable because people don’t want to live there. And I contend that families don’t want to due to the issue of public education. Just a hunch though.

  • Greg

    Just as FYI to the author. This was not a loan from HUD; it was a private loan that was backed by a HUD loan guarantee. Not the same thing at all.

  • I agree with Randy – those pricing points almost too cheap. In other cities yo could never find such a high quality product in such a good location for anything under $1/sf. Its undheard of. Lets hope this development isn’t an island and is over time folded into the neighborhood fabric.

  • Jake Mecklenborg

    Greg, Randy added the bit about the loan after I sent him the article so I don’t know if you’re right or he is.

    I can understand the complaints about the building, but what people are forgetting is that this building is targeted toward people without kids who make under $100K per year, not New York trust funders. Also, it is apartments, not custom condos, so the developer will be buying interior furnishings in bulk. If this exact same building was in Hyde Park or Oakley, then the market might have existed to outfit the entire interior with exotic materials. But the people who toured the building on Monday were generally enthusiastic about it.

  • Some of my kid’s best friends live in Northside. There are tons of families in Northside and none that I have met seem to be suffering a lack of education nor high housing costs. In fact the affordability and inclusiveness of Northside are what make it so attractive to families.

  • Lisa

    I went to both open houses. The Bridgeview condos were amazing. Very stylish and nicely designed. Am not really looking myself but would seriously consider them if I was.

    I thought the American Can apts were maybe a little ambitious in price given the location (and I live in Northside so I’m not an urban hater – just in comparison to our normal price points) but it is too hard to really make a judgement on that since the units were just dry walled and not close to being completed. They seemed reasonably sized, unique in layout, awesome windows and cool lofts. I’m glad they had an open house, but it was really just a sneak preview. I think that is what they probably need to cost though being new units with what sounds like nice amenities and abundant natural light in each unit.

    I moved to Nortside from the burbs a few years ago and find it to be quite pleasant. My kids like it too.