Monday, January 31, 2011

City sides with Anna Louise Inn over developer

The City of Cincinnati has sided with a well-established Downtown permanent supportive housing facility over a developer, voting to proceed with federal funding for its project.

Cincinnati City Council voted 8-1 to proceed with its development agreement for a $12.4 million renovation of the Anna Louise Inn at 300 Lytle Street, which includes $2.6 million in federal funding it approved on November 17.

Western & Southern Financial Group and development arm Eagle Realty Group had coveted the property for redevelopment as high-end condominiums, part of a larger effort to create a "gaslight-style" office, entertainment and residential anchor in the southeast quadrant of Downtown.

With City approval, Anna Louise Inn operator Cincinnati Union Bethel will begin working this May with Over-the-Rhine Community Housing to add restrooms, kitchens, and additional living space. The 85 efficiency units will allow the non-profit to move away from short-term, dormitory-style housing and into longer-term accommodations.

The phased project will be completed in September 2012.

Councilmember Jeff Berding voted against the measure, citing the dire need for additional economic development and growth of the tax base. Western & Southern has not announced any future steps it might take on the matter.

The Anna Louise Inn was built and donated by the Charles Phelps Taft family in 1909 to serve women coming Downtown to work from the surrounding, largely rural areas.

Previous reading on BC:
OHFA awards $2M in affordable housing tax credits to Anna Louise Inn, Noth Rhine (7/5/10)