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Pleasant Ridge Business District Infill Development

U.S. EPA Grant Enables New Development in Pleasant Ridge to Move Forward

Planning for the first infill, new construction development in the Pleasant Ridge business district began three years ago by the neighborhood’s community development corporation, the nonprofit Pleasant Ridge Development Corp. (PRDC). The 1.25 acres on Montgomery Road has sat underutilized for a decade and vacant for several years.

PRDC, with funding from the City of Cincinnati, has had the property under contract for purchase since November 2017 and performed due diligence until the purchase was completed in February 2019. Because the property was formerly home to a gas station and a tree removal company with large trucks, Jason Chamlee, president of the PRDC, knew that environmental assessments would be necessary prior to completing the purchase.

“This development is moving forward because of partnerships. PRDC received funding support from Mayor Cranley, City Council and the City of Cincinnati in addition to the brownfield assessment grant from The Port,” shared Chamlee. “PRDC is a neighborhood development group with limited resources. Drawing on the EPA grant to do the Phase I assessment was critical to our ability to purchase the property.”

The Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment and asbestos survey for the 1.25 acres at the corner of Montgomery and Lester are funded by The Port, administrator of a U.S. EPA Brownfield Assessment grant. Terracon Environmental & Geotechnical Services completed the Phase 1 assessment in 2018 and the asbestos survey is underway which will allow PRDC to take a significant step forward in the development of the property, while in full compliance with state and federal environmental laws.

PRDC purchased seven parcels totaling 1.25 acres with plans for a mixed-use residential and commercial development. While the asbestos survey and site readiness efforts are underway in early 2019, PRDC is engaging residents of the neighborhood and architects to determine specific aspects of the buildings and tenants for the commercial spaces. “Our goal is to have a full development plan and financials – approved by the City and community – by the end of 2019,” added Chamlee. “We hope to break ground in 2020.”

“This project brings The Port’s neighborhood and industrial revitalization strategies together. Our environmental stewardship program focuses on remediating contaminated land for development and our neighborhood efforts are bringing new residents and community serving businesses to Hamilton County,” shared Julie Banner, PE, Senior Development Associate at The Port. “We encourage organizations to apply for site assessments because we are continuously reviewing applications that can be funded by the Hazardous Substance and Petroleum Assessment Grant.”

Each grant application submitted to The Port is evaluated by an internal Brownfield Assessment Review Committee. If it is selected, the application is then reviewed by an external committee. After approval by both committees, the application is sent to the project manager in U.S. EPA Region 5 for an Eligibility Evaluation. After The Port is notified that the project is eligible, the applicant is notified. This entire process can take up to 8 weeks. PRDC’s grant was approved in mid-2018.

The Port was named an administrator of the $300,000 Hazardous Substance and Petroleum Assessment Grant by the U.S. EPA with $200,000 available for Hazardous Substance projects and $100,000 available for Petroleum projects.


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