Thursday, May 16, 2013

MetroWest's water could drive development

The City of Cincinnati is hoping that an abundance of water will help attract companies to the MetroWest Commerce Park, an 18-acre industrial site located in Lower Price Hill.

The City, Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW), and the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSD) has launched a nationwide marketing campaign to lure high volume water users such as food and beverage processors, high-tech firms, and other light manufacturers. Up to 50 million gallons are available daily, with rates significantly lower than some of the City's peers.

"Water is the new liquid gold," said Biju George, GCWW interim director, in a prepared release. "Many communities across our country struggle with being able to provide a large quantity of high quality water at competitive prices. MetroWest provides a great opportunity for a company to reduce its water footprint because the company can use as much reclaimed water as it needs to help meet its sustainability and environmental goals."

The site also offers the potential for reduced discharge rates due to the MSD processing facility, located just north of Gest Street.

"The proximity to our wastewater treatment facility offers a real advantage," said MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott. "We discharge about 180 million gallons of treated wastewater to the Ohio River every day. A potential high-volume user would have access to an abundant supply of non-potable water for irrigation, cooling and other industrial needs at reduced rates."

Part of the site once was occupied by Queen City Barrel, which was lost in a massive fire in 2004. Since 2008, environmental remediation and infrastructure improvements have taken place at the site to ready it for light industrial, flex, and office use.

Centered around Gest, W Eighth, and Evans streets, MetroWest Commerce Park is close to river port facilities, four major railroads, and Interstates 71 and 75. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is only 12 miles away.

"The City of Cincinnati, MSD and GCWW are focused on economic and community development," said Odis Jones, director of the City's Department of Economic Development. "We see MetroWest as an opportunity to attract local, national and even global interest in a site that helps bring high volume water users -- along with jobs and new investment – to our community."

In March, City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. announced the formation of a Global Water Technology Hub, which could possibly take advantage of such a site.

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Previous reading on BC:
Cincinnati to accept $475K in HUD funding for MetroWest remediation (7/1/09)
Cincinnati seeking more MetroWest funds (6/9/09)
Cincinnati creates MetroWest remediation account (4/28/09)
Council to vote on MetroWest account today (4/22/09)
Cincinnati approves bonds, land swap, lease for new MSD offices (3/20/08)