Monday, July 30, 2012

City soliciting proposals for former Northside lumber yard

Requests for proposals (RFPs) are being solicited by the City of Cincinnati's Economic Development Division for a developer or end user for the former Myron G. Johnson & Son Lumber Co. site, at Hamilton Avenue and Blue Rock Street in Northside.

The land has been vacant since the company moved to a larger site in Queensgate in 2005. It was envisioned as being a component of the Factory Square redevelopment project, but was dropped from the plan due to market conditions.

With the American Can Lofts apartments proving successful, the neighborhood sees this as a prime time to move the project forward.

"I don't think anyone dreamed Bloomfield and Schon would be as successful as they were with the American Can Building, but I think where there is success, interest follows," said Northside Community Council President Martha Dourson. "I think we have the interest."

"The Myron Johnson lot is definitely the biggest thing happening in Northside right now, and, however it turns out, it will transform the neighborhood," said Ollie Kroner, vice president of the Northside Community Council. "The property is like the Fountain Square of Northside. A decade ago Fountain Square was underutilized, but we saw how smart development and good management brought new life to the heart of Downtown."

A June 6 motion, adopted unanimously by City Council, requires the proposals to be reviewed by representatives from the community council, Cincinnati Northside Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation, and the Northside Business Association before a preferred developer is selected. Additionally, any plans for the site will have to be developed through a community design charrette.

"You can be assured that Northside definitely wants to be greatly involved in working with the developer of this project," Dourson said. "Our land use plan calls for mixed-use, so we would love to see great restaurants, perhaps rooftop seating, maybe some meeting space for community events as well as retail and, of course, green space will be a premium."

"Northside has a huge variety of people, so you can imagine the variety of visions for the space – everything from dog park to roller rink to high-rise," Kroner said.

Proposals are due by 4:30 P.M. on September 14 and should be sent to City of Cincinnati Division of Purchasing; Two Centennial Plaza, 805 Central Avenue, Suite 234; Cincinnati, OH 45202-1947.

For more information on the RFP, contact Economic Development Analyst Greg Koehler at

Previous reading on BC:
Northside lumber yard redevelopment to be community process (6/15/12)
Northside's Factory Square set to begin (6/22/10)
Factory Square photo update, 4/4/09 (4/22/09)
ODOD: Forcing tax credit approvals would 'offend constitutional separation of powers' (5/16/08)
Ohio developers file writ with Supreme Court over tax credit program (4/11/08)