Monday, February 16, 2009

Glencoe funding will be used for stabilization

Three hundred thousand dollars in capital funding initially geared for public improvements at the Glencoe Hotel and Condominiums site in Mount Auburn will now go to building stabilization.

At its last meeting, Cincinnati City Council amended ordinance 329-2008, passed last October to reconstruct the sidewalks, lighting, and public areas around the six buildings of the historic Glencoe-Auburn Row Houses and Glencoe Auburn Hotel complex.

In supporting the redirection of City funds, the amended ordinance noted that "preservation of such buildings would serve the public interest of the citizens of Cincinnati".

Concerns over the buildings' condition arose during a site tour by staff from the City's Department of Community Development and the Office of Architecture and Urban Design, who alerted staff from the Division of Property Maintenance Code Enforcement about failing roofs and cornices that were endangering the public rights-of-way.

Early cost estimates to prevent further water infiltration and building collapse, based upon inspection of CAGIS information and site photos, average more than $455,000.

These costs are expected to rise as contractors and City inspectors do a more thorough analysis of the structures.

Property owner Dorian Development has proposed a $20 million rehabilitation of the complex that would rehabiliate the building shells, then sell those shells to individual builders to create a total of 54 condominiums and 14 rental units.

The City has yet to sign funding and development agreements with Dorian Development, and won't until they receive more assurances from the developer and prospective homebuilders that the project is economically viable.

The true condition of the buildings could go a long way toward determining that viability.

The City plans to collaborate with Dorian Development on the building stabilization, which should begin no later than next month.

Previous reading on BC:
Glencoe developers need building stabilization money (2/9/09)
City approves $300K for Glencoe-Auburn improvements (10/6/08)
Motion to jumpstart stalled Inwood Village project adopted, but questions remain (9/17/08)
ODOD changes status on Glencoe-Auburn (12/24/07)
Urban Ohio: Fantastic Glencoe-Auburn Place photos (11/21/07)