PHOTOS: 16 Panorama Showing Over-the-Rhine’s Evolution

As the winter comes to an end, work has begun or will soon begin on a number of new developments around Over-the-Rhine. Today, we’re sharing 16 panoramas, taken over the past month, that show how the neighborhood is evolving. You can click on each of the images to view them full-screen and read the full description about each project.

Editor’s note: These photos were taken by Travis Estell for UrbanCincy between February 11 and March 8, 2016.

Cincinnati’s Mandatory Minimum Parking Requirements Stall $15M Development

An Over-the-Rhine development has hit a potential challenge after a 3-3 vote at last month’s Historic Conservation Board meeting.

Grandin Properties had been planning to convert the historic Strietmann Biscuit Company building, located at 221 W. Twelfth Street, to an 88,000-square-foot office building, but must now request a zone change since it does not meeting the city’s mandatory minimum parking requirements.

In a strange twist, the vote from the Historic Conservation Board actually threatens the historic nature of the building and the surrounding neighborhood, as providing the parking being requested would necessitate that a portion of the building be converted to parking, or a nearby historic structure be demolished to make room for a parking structure.

As such, the developer is requesting to rezone the property from CC-A (Community Commercial – Automotive) to DD-C (Downtown Development – Support), which would give Grandin Properties more flexibility when it comes to the provision of parking.

In a letter submitted to City Council, the developer indicated that despite entering into agreements with 3CDC to secure 175 parking spaces for the development, which is a five-minute walk from the Washington Park Garage and City Center Garage, a split vote for a parking variance may imperil the project if the zone change is not secured.

Further supporting the developer’s case is the fact that the 126-year-old structure is located within a short walk to numerous Red Bike and Cincinnati Streetcar stations; and the location’s Walk Score is 94 out of 100 points.

“We were aware of the long history of not enforcing strict compliance with the zoning code’s parking requirements in Over-the-Rhine for both rehabilitated and new buildings,” Peg Wyant, President and CEO of Grandin Properties, wrote. “This is why we were surprised when City staff took a very hard position and required that we have guaranteed control over parking spaces ‘for the life of the project.’”

The development was slated to move forward, despite losing out on almost $2 million in historic tax credits from the state last year.

Following UrbanCincy‘s 2012 report on mandatory minimum parking requirements, City Council moved to study removing parking requirements in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine; and, in 2013, the City amended the zoning regulations to allow for both neighborhoods to remove required parking minimums with the passage of a special parking district zone. However, there has been no establishment of any special parking district zone to-date.

Further complicating the matter of parking in Over-the-Rhine is the fact that a workable Parking Permit Plan has yet to move through City Hall. While neighborhood residents and business owners have spent months developing a variety of alternatives, each has met its demise with the threat of Mayor John Cranley‘s (D) veto, which he says is due to permit prices being set too low.

As a result, parking remains a hot topic in one of the nation’s fastest developing neighborhoods. Many local developers still believe there is a market demand for one to two spaces per residential unit, while transportation options and the walkability of the neighborhood continue to improve. The increased number of visitors, including both workers and those coming to shop and dine in the neighborhood, is adding increased pressure since many residents in historic buildings utilize on-street parking to store their cars.

The next step for the project is that it will go before City Council’s Neighborhoods Committee for its potential rezoning application.

Grandin Properties To Celebrate Ribbon Cutting For $2M Hogan Building Restoration

Roughly two years ago UrbanCincy reported that Grandin Properties had been awarded nearly $400,000 in historic tax credits from the Ohio Development Services Agency. The past 24 months have proved fruitful, and neighborhood leaders now intend to celebrate a ribbon cutting for the $2 million project on Tuesday.

The developers say that the Hogan Building is already 50% leased, and that the 12 residences range from $995 per month for one-bedroom units, up to $2,395 per month for two-story, two-bedroom units with decks.

The restoration work brings two historic structures back to life that are now 138-years-old.

The project is named after Ohio Attorney General Timothy Hogan for his courageous role in defending German immigrants during the anti-German hysteria during World War I. Interestingly enough, Hogan is also the grandfather of Peg Wyant – the Founder and CEO of Grandin Properties.

“Few in any age have the courage to stand up to such hysteria,” Wyant said. “On behalf of two high school teachers of German, he filed suit against Ohio demanding preservation of the right to speak and use and teach the language of ones choosing.”

Wyant went on to say that Hogan won that case, which has since become known as the German School case in the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Hogan Building, of course, also represents a win for the State of Ohio’s bold historic tax credit program which is seen as saving hundreds of buildings and spurring millions of private investment throughout the state.

“This is public-private money coming together,” explained David Goodman, Director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “Saving historic buildings strengthens Ohio’s communities which attracts businesses and visitors to the state.”

The conclusion of work at the Hogan Building also comes just after Grandin Properties announced an intention to raise $5 million to $10 million in private equity to spur even more redevelopment work in Over-the-Rhine. To date, Grandin Properties has completed seven projects tallying nearly $10 million in private investments.

Denis Back served as the project architect, while Hudepohl Construction worked as the general contractor. The property was sold to Grandin Properties by 3CDC. It was financed through PNC, with financial support from the City of Cincinnati and Ohio Development Services Agency.

Those interested in touring the remaining available units can do so by contacting leasing@grandinproperties.com or (513) 871-7110. Those looking to participate in the ribbon cutting festivities are encouraged to arrive at the project site, located at 1317 and 1319 Republic Street, by 10:30am on Tuesday, January 12.

Over-the-Rhine Wins Big in Latest Round of Ohio Historic Tax Credits

The Ohio Development Services Agency divvied up its thirteenth round of historic tax credits yesterday. As has been the case in the past, Over-the-Rhine, one of the nation’s largest historic districts, was a big winner.

In addition to the mega tax credit awarded to Music Hall, five other projects in the neighborhood received tax credits through the program.

Urban Sites received two tax credits totaling $500,000 that will enable the Over-the-Rhine-based developer to restore three historic structures on Main Street and Clay Street; and create 23 apartments along with street-level retail.

Another project at 51 E. Clifton Avenue received a $147,000 tax credit that will go to help cover the costs of the $750,000 project, and ultimately create seven market-rate apartments in the 124-year-old structure.

Another big winner, in addition to Music Hall and Urban Sites, was Grandin Properties – a company that has taken an increasing interest in the neighborhood and even relocated their office to the Washington Park district in recent months.

Through the historic tax credit program, Grandin Properties will receive nearly $400,000 for their planned $1.5 million renovation of two 136-year-old buildings on Republic Street in between Thirteenth and Fourteenth. Once complete, developers say that the buildings will have 12 residential apartments.

“These projects transform vacant and underutilized properties into viable places for business and living,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, in a prepared release. “This program has been a valuable tool for community revitalization.”

State officials say that the application deadline for the next round of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program is March 31, 2015, and that approved applicants will be announced at the end of June 2015.