Monday, August 9, 2010

Washington Park rezoning allows parking garage

Cincinnati City Council passed unanimously a rezoning of the 8-acre Washington Park site at its meeting last week.

The rezoning, from single-family and multi-family residential to planned development (PD) district, allows for the construction of a 450-space underground parking garage. While parks are allowed in both zoning districts, parking facilities are prohibited in the former and a conditional use in the latter.

PD zoning consolidates the entire park into a single parcel and gives the City Planning Commission and Historic Conservation Board input into design review and architectural elements of the park's construction.

The rezoning was approved by the City Planning Commission on June 18.

The $27 million underground garage will feature a green roof, allowing the park to extend an additional two acres. Three headhouse structures will provide pedestrian access and elevators to the garage below.

Construction could begin later this month, with completion in November 2011.

The garage is seen as an integral part of the $47.3 million Washington Park redevelopment being undertaken by 3CDC and the Cincinnati Park Board, expected to include an event lawn and stage, a centerpiece fountain, picnic tables and seating, a dog park, children's playground, walkways, restrooms, a concession building, and new lighting and irrigation.

In June, Cincinnati City Council approved a $14 million financing package for the garage, and, last month, the State of Ohio's Development Financing Authority Council awarded the project a $5 million Urban Development Loan.

Upon completion, 3CDC will lease and maintain the parking structure.

Previous reading on BC:
Washington Park receives $5M for garage, outreach reception planned (7/27/10)
Cincinnati committee approves $14M package for Washington Park (6/28/10)
Dohoney: City addressing Washington Park issues (10/10/08)
Washington Park homeowners 'no longer willing to accept' park nuisance (9/10/08)
Washington Park will expand (6/3/08)