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Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Environmentally contaminated site now clean and productive

In 1998, the Cincinnati Zoo purchased the 2.8-acre, vacant seven-story medical specialty building with the intent to demolish the structure and utilize the parcel as part of a planned expansion project.  However, asbestos contamination significantly complicated potential demolition activities.  Subsequently, the building stood vacant for several years, during which time its condition further deteriorated as the result of vandalism and neglect. Demolition and remediation of the property was finally completed in August 2004. The Port Authority supported this project with a $495,000 Clean Ohio Assistance Fund grant.  This money was used for demolition and remediation activities, specifically asbestos abatement, building demolition, underground storage tank (UST) removal, and removal of contaminated soil.  In addition, Uptown Crossings Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (UCCURC) contributed $77,500 for site restoration, construction, and engineering and architectural services.  Including the contribution, the total cost of the project was approximately $575,000.  The redevelopment of this property was identified as the cornerstone of a ten-year development master plan for the Uptown Area of Cincinnati.

The redevelopment of 3333 Vine Street helped replace and expand the surface parking that was located within the Cincinnati Zoo’s 64-acre campus, freeing 11 acres for new and expanded exhibits and ultimately enabling the Cincinnati Zoo to attract more visitors and remain a high-demand attraction.  Subsequently, UCCURC created a parking lot, including the brownfield property and adjacent properties, with 1,100 parking spaces that is currently in use and shared by the Cincinnati Zoo, the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center and the VA Medical Center. This allowed the VA Medical Center to eliminate 300 parking spaces on its property and construct a dry-lab facility, which brought 25 new jobs to the City of Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Zoo continued construction at 3333 Vine Street and adjacent property to fully implement the design of the Vine Street parking area, including the construction of a pedestrian bridge to the new entrance of the Zoo.


Project Neighborhood Description

The redevelopment of 3333 Vine Street was a critical component of the redevelopment and revitalization of Cincinnati’s Uptown Area, which comprises the second-largest job base in Cincinnati.



We supported this project with a $495,000 Clean Ohio Assistance Fund grant.

The remediation of the property and demolition of the building was designed to improve environmental conditions at the property and eliminate a safety and health threat to the community.



Because of the Clean Ohio Assistance Fund grant, a source of environmental contamination and blight was remediated and the Uptown area of Cincinnati was able to consolidate parking for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and the VA Hospital, thus allowing new facilities and exhibits on their main campuses. Approximately 60 jobs were created as a result.


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