Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cincinnati creates $1.5M account for College Hill land bank

Cincinnati City Council has established a $1.5 million capital improvement program project account to help College Hill land bank properties in its mid-core business district.

The money will help fund a plan College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) to demolish several buildings between 5943 and 6033 Hamilton Avenue, then hold the land until the economy improves for residential development.

CHCURC president Mike Cappel says that the community development corporation has not entered into any contracts, but is hoping to fulfill recommendations of the 2000 College Hill Strategic Urban Design Plan that call for mixed uses, infill housing, and greenspace.

"Our hope is that the redevelopment money will be used to purchase properties, and then create a larger parcel of prop for redevelopment," he says. "We hope to do this in a sustsinable, green, LEED-certified manner."

The funding, which will be drawn from six Department of Community Development accounts, is the result of a November 19, 2008 council motion asking for the remaining $1.5 million from the accounts of the failed Linden Park project to be reallocated to other neighborhood projects.

But a January 2009 report from city manager Milton Dohoney Jr. said that the money was no longer available, having been allocated to other projects.

In the report, Dohoney called using appropriated funds for land banking "a bad precedent" and said that the City is already too heavily invested in the neighborhood, having taken control of 6.4 acres of property near the intersection of Hamilton Avenue and North Bend Road and having paid between $2 million and $3 million on Linden Park's pre-development.

Council failed to approve his report.

Previous reading on BC:
City administration seeking other funding for College Hill land bank (3/18/09)
Dohoney advises against using Linden Park money for land banking (1/14/09)
Linden Park money will aid other College Hill projects (12/2/08)
Neyer backs out of Linden Park (8/29/08)
Linden Park reception to kick off sales center opening (3/6/08)