Development News

Over-the-Rhine condominium development to be converted into 16 apartments

After sales have fallen short on the 16-unit Belmain redevelopment in Over-the-Rhine, developers have decided to go another route and convert the project to apartment properties. So far that decision has proved to be fruitful as 70% of the units have been leased in one month, and the remaining are expected to be filled before a June 1 move in date.

Urban Sites completed the renovation of 16 condominium units at the Belmain Building approximately one-and-a-half years ago. The residential project has struggled with condo sales, and is now being transitioned to apartment units in a better performing rental market.

As a result Urban Sites and the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) decided to transition the 16 residential units to rental properties just over a month ago. That decision has proved fruitful as NorthPointe Group has been able to lease 70 percent of the units thus far and has applications on the rest.

“The demand to live in Over-the-Rhine is incredible,” according to NorthPointe Group leasing agent JT Barse. “This is a place where people want to be, and a lifestyle that people want where they can be close to work and close to where they want to be after work.”

Even though many are moving into Over-the-Rhine to be close to work, Barse notes that some of the new residents moving in are just trying to take advantage of the urban lifestyle, and are reverse commuting to their jobs elsewhere.

“People have loved Belmain because they love being by Park+Vine and Neons Unplugged, and they love being on Main Street where it has such a vibrant community,” Barse continued. “Many people just want to live smart by being where they want to be.” The evidence of this smart living trend can be found in the projects for which NorthPointe Group is responsible.

The 48 rental units in Parvis Lofts filled up before the first unit was completed, and the development group is planning to add an additional eight to ten residential units behind Republic Street. Belmain’s 16 units will also be completely full by the time the first resident is able to move in on June 1.

Similar to the success at Parvis and Belmain, developers at The Banks saw 60 percent of its 300-unit first phase gobbled up before the first residents could move in. The success of the rental units in particular, Barse believes, is due to the demographics looking to move into the urban core.

“People are really recognizing that this is a great place to live, and for some people, it has been difficult to find this kind of quality at this price point. Plus, the success of downtown is helping drive success in OTR, and it’s all rolling together to be a good center city.”

LEED Silver-certified Belmain building photograph by Thadd Fiala for UrbanCincy.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.