Ohio Governor DeWine Awards The Port Millions for Hamilton County Demolitions
For Immediate Release: December 8, 2022
Public Relations & Communications Manager
Drake & Carrousel Motels, 435 Elm Street, and Beekman Corridor Silos among targeted sites
Cincinnati, OH, December 8, 2022 – The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (The Port) announced today the receipt of a record-setting 17 million dollar grant from the State of Ohio’s Department of Development (ODOD) for 57 demolition projects located throughout Hamilton County. These blighted, vacant, and abandoned structures were identified by The Port and other organizations as a strategy to help reclaim dilapidated, forgotten sites and prepare for future redevelopment to put properties back to their highest and best use.
“At the end of 2021, we alerted our partners throughout the region that there was a great funding opportunity for us to make progress on public nuisance structures around our community,” said Port President & CEO Laura N. Brunner. “We have plenty of momentum between government entities and private developers in our region, and when we collaborate for resources, the outcome is extraordinary. We thank ODOD for this opportunity,” she added.
The Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation, commonly known as the Hamilton County Landbank, a managed entity of The Port, served as the lead applicant for demolition projects in the County, with municipal jurisdictions adding projects to the comprehensive list for consideration.
Notable projects among the 57 to begin in Hamilton County include:
- Drake & Carrousel Inn Motel demolitions - The Port acquired The Drake and Carrousel Inn Hotels in November 2021. The combined 6.5-acre sites are located along the Reading Road Corridor, where multiple jurisdictions are collaborating to bring the blighted real estate back into usable inventory. The Port plans to abate all the asbestos-containing materials on site and demolish the infrastructure for immediate blight removal. The Port owns the land, and plans are in place to create industrial-specific buildings with advanced manufacturing end users to bring high-paying jobs to the community.
- Beekman Corridor Silos demolition - Beekman Street is currently the site of a grain elevator and silos previously owned by the Consolidated Grain & Barge Company. The property has been vacant for decades, and a previous owner attempted to demolish the silos in 2008. However, the demolition efforts were abandoned, which caused significant damage to the remaining part of the structure. In its current condition, the structure presents a fire and safety hazard to the community and has been slated for demolition. Demolition of the silos on the property will yield a nearly two-acre site with proximity to downtown. The site is currently zoned Manufacturing General, allowing various commercial and industrial uses.
- 435 Elm Street demolition - The site is located at a prominent corner of 5th and Elm streets near the Cincinnati Convention Center. It was initially designed as a "mall" but has been underutilized for years. It is currently full of mold, and the interiors are partially demolished. The building was very tax delinquent, and the city requested that The Port acquire the building to demolish it. As the lead development manager, 3CDC is working with The Port, the County, the City, and local stakeholders on the convention center expansion planning. This building is across the street from the main entrance to the Duke Energy Convention Center, and the 435 Elm Street site will be an essential part of the convention center district improvements.
- Lincoln Heights High School demolition - Built and opened in 1957, the school closed its doors in 1971 after merging with the Princeton School District. The Village of Lincoln Heights purchased the building in 1980 and rented it as the home to the Seven Hills Neighborhood Services community development organization, a senior citizens center. Later, it became a YMCA branch, which closed its doors in 2003. Vacant since then, the building has deteriorated and become a fire and safety hazard to the community. A 2018 hazardous materials study confirmed that asbestos remediation must be part of any demolition project. The Village, which recently received a one million dollar grant from the Hamilton County Commission, plans to convert the corridor into the Lincoln Heights Village Main Street concept, which would include the development of a grocery store, shopping center, and residences.
- Greenwood Hall Demolition - Greenwood Hall is located on the 15-acre UC Health Medical Center - Ridgeway campus located at 3200 Burnett Avenue. Greenwood Hall has been unoccupied for more than a decade. Demolition of the building will disconnect all utilities from Greenwood Hall from the rest of the UC Health campus and allow for redevelopment. Current plans are to build a parking garage with the possibility of partnering with the Southwest Ohio Regional Transport Authority (SORTA) for an uptown transit center on the street level.
ODOD, which administers the state’s Building Demolition and Site Revitalization program, has provided more than 50 million dollars to 42 counties throughout the state, with more than two thousand projects on the approved list for funding. Each of Ohio’s 88 counties was earmarked up to 500 thousand dollars within the budget for demolition projects, with the rest of the money allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. $17,689,377 was the largest amount any county received within ODOD’s announcements, emphasizing the urgency with which Hamilton County applied. In total, the State of Ohio has awarded approximately $91.7 million for demolition projects in 2022.
“We’re not just tearing down dilapidated buildings, we’re helping to make communities across the state better places to start a business, raise a family, and build a bright future,” said Governor DeWine. “This isn’t just a win for 42 counties, it’s a win for all of Ohio.”
Demolition funding is not limited to tearing down buildings. The ODOD contract permits the abatement of hazardous materials, interior projects like removing walls, and exterior changes like removing fences, light poles, or trees. Other projects in the group will pave the way to build more affordable housing, create conservation areas and green space, and house more commercial businesses.
“Hamilton County has invested heavily in both the acquisition of the Drake and Carrousel Inn properties as well as provided the local match needed to turn these dangerous eyesores into productive job centers. Our recent Community Impact Grant in Lincoln Heights is now leveraged using the state’s demolition funds,” said Hamilton County Commission President Stephanie Summerow Dumas. “As we make investments in communities that have historically gone without economic development, we are proud to partner with the Port and the state to stretch these dollars even further. The future looks promising for our region.”
Governor DeWine’s office announced all the projects in this round of funding in a news release on December 6th. While some projects are slated to begin this month, all money must be spent by May 1, 2023.
For a summary of the projects, click here.
About The Port:
The Port was formed in 2001 to stimulate growth of the regional economy. Partnering with the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, the Port works to redevelop manufacturing and residential communities to build the foundation of job creation and livable, viable communities where residents can experience economic prosperity. For additional information, please visit http://www.cincinnatiport.org.
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