Last July the City of Cincinnati opened its first new police station in more than 20 years. Aside from updating and expanding the previous offerings inside a 107-year-old building, the new facility also aimed to create a new community gathering place for the city’s most populous neighborhood, while also achieving net-zero energy consumption.
The 36,000-square-foot facility was built for Cincinnati Police Department’s District 3, which serves 14 west side neighborhoods and some 95,000 residents. The $16 million landmark includes 40 geothermal wells, a 330-kilowatt solar panel system, and high-tech energy zones inside the building for system optimization.
Such investments have resulted in a LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the organization’s highest rating, and an energy usage coming in 20% lower than what was originally estimated for the environmentally sound building.
While the District 3 Headquarters is one of America’s most sustainable police stations, it is part of a growing trend where environmentally and economically conscience cities are looking to both reducing their carbon footprint, while also aiding their budgets through lower utility costs.
EDITORIAL NOTE: All 13 photographs were taken by Eric Anspach on March 17, 2016.
Hamilton County has awarded the latest bid package for a variety of trade contracts on the infrastructure work for Phase III of The Banks, which includes a 690-space addition to the Central Riverfront Garage and a one-block addition of other infrastructure south of Freedom Way.
All three contacts were valued at a combined $653,228; and all went to area companies. According to Phil Beck, project executive for The Banks development, Universal Contracting Corporation will perform site work, Geograph Industries will handle signage, and ESI will manage security of the site.
While not particularly large or sexy contracts, project officials say they are representative of the continued progress being made at the massive central riverfront mixed-use development.
“Awarding these contracts for work at The Banks signals that another aspect of the riverfront development is nearing completion,” said Chris Monzel (R), president of the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners. “This phase of the project sets the stage for more economic impact.”
The University of Cincinnati Economics Center has estimated that, once fully completed, the first phase of The Banks will positively impacting the local economy by some $276 million per year – a figure they expect to grow substantially once later phases are built out. General Electric’s new 338,000-square-foot Global Operations Center, alone, is projected to boost the region’s economy by roughly $1 billion annually.
While Hamilton County is overseeing the construction of the infrastructure work at Phase III, the City of Cincinnati and the private development team is making progress on the vertical build of GE’s new building, the 165-room AC Hotel, and 291 apartments and 19,000 square feet of retail within the first two phases of the project.
THP Limited and Burgess & Niple are in charge of the design of Phase III work, while Messer is handling the construction.
As of now, all the infrastructure work being managed by Hamilton County and the City of Cincinnati is $29.3 million within budget; and project officials say that they have achieved 30% Small Business Enterprises participation on all work, but just 17.3% on phase three activities thus far. Beck also says that phase three work is on schedule to be complete by September.
Developers are aiming to break ground on a $35 million condo building in Hyde Park this week, following a months-long demolition effort that began in late October and cleared the site of five existing buildings, some of which dated back 80 years.
Named 2770 Observatory, the development will also include a 77-space underground parking level accessible from Shaw Avenue.
The development will boast some of the priciest new residences in the region, with units priced between $700,000 and $2 million.
“Hyde Park combines the sophisticated lifestyle of Cincinnati’s premier neighborhood with the exciting air of arts, innovative restaurants and blocks of unique shopping,” said Rick Greiwe, principal of Greiwe Development.
Not everyone is thrilled about the luxurious direction in which Hyde Park continues to head. Former residents expressed frustration to UrbanCincy, saying they were given notice to vacate their apartments “by the end of the month” so that demolition work could proceed.
Over the years, this transition has led to a migration of priced-out Hyde Park residents to seek more affordable options nearby in Oakley, East Hyde Park or Evanston.
Griewe, however, says that the vibrancy of Hyde Park Square is part of what drew his development team to this location, and that the active and engaging lifestyle of city living is what is appealing to his firm.
Both Montgomery and downtown Cincinnati are locations where Greiwe says they would like to do additional work.
The announcement of 2770 Observatory comes as a wave of residential infill projects have been sweeping across Cincinnati’s neighborhoods. Thousands of new residential units are either currently under construction or planned to get started soon in Northside, Walnut Hills, Downtown, Over-the-Rhine, College Hill, Corryville, Clifton Heights, Columbia Tusculum and Avondale.
Instead of the residences being rentals, as is the case for most other projects around the region, 2770 Observatory follows in the footsteps of 2801 Erie Avenue and Michigan Terrace, which were completed in 2009 and 2007, by injecting high-end condos into one of the city’s toniest neighborhoods.
Griewe Development has become known for high-end, urban residential projects. In Mariemont, the company has completed 106 units in the heart of the village. That overall development program has been built over four different phases including Emery Park, Nolen Park and Jordan Park.
The development team says that they are pursuing a LEED Silver certification for the Hyde Park project, and that it is being completed without any financial assistance from the City of Cincinnati.
Cincinnati-based GBBN worked as the lead architecture firm on the project, while Messer Construction has been selected to build it in conjunction with NAP. Construction work is expected to begin this week, with units becoming ready for occupancy in fall 2015.