2014 Demolition of old Kroger’s

This spring, the old Kroger’s store at Hamilton and North Bend was finally demolished to make room for future development! It was a long time in coming. Opening this site for development, between the former Eastern Star and Schuler’s Wigwam properties, means there are 8 contiguous acres available for commercial development, and all under single ownership. This is a unique opportunity – there are no other urban properties of this size and location available under single ownership.
CHCURC released a Request for Quotation to potential developers this spring, and two have come forward to date with interest. We’re in the process of selecting one to develop a strong development plan for the entire site, consistent with our Form-Based Codes.

2013 Focus 52 Grant for $4 M

The City of Cincinnati created a fund to spark up to $180 million for improvements in city neighborhoods, which will be funded with bonds and $4 million in casino revenues. CHCURC was one of the first three neighborhoods to receive funding, along with Madisonville and Walnut Hills. On February 13, 2013, an ordinance was introduced to award $2.5 million for College Hill redevelopment opportunities, including property acquisition, demolition, and site improvements! CHCURC and the City of Cincinnati used a portion of this money to purchase the former Kroger property at the corner of Hamilton and North Bend in May 2013.

2013 Form-Based Codes

2013 Baseform
Additional details regarding Form Based Codes can be found in Chapter 1703 of the Cincinnati Municipal Code, which can be accessed at http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/council.

In order to spur a re-creation of the vibrancy of its older neighborhoods, Cincinnati has implemented a form-based zoning code. In 2013, College Hill became one of the first Cincinnati communities to adopt this type of land use coding designed to facilitate diverse, urban, and mixed-use environments and contribute to the recreation of neighborhood vibrancy. With the leadership of the College Hill Forum, and participation by many civic organizations and residents including CHCURC, College Hill adopted Form-Based Codes.

As the name suggests, the Cincinnati Form Based Code puts primary emphasis on form. While use is still regulated, its importance becomes secondary. Emphasis however is not only on how a building may look, but also on how it will contribute to sense of place, encourage diversity of use and contribute to a lively community.

Instead of designating use zones, Form Based Code employs a hierarchy of transect zones. Thus instead of a zone being solely commercial it might be zoned ‘neighborhood Main Street’ allowing greater intensity and the mix of residential over retail. Generally as employed in Cincinnati the Form Based Code is intended to help create vibrant, walkable places and communities of desire.

2009 Gen Kress Parking Lot Expansion

In 2009, CHCURC received a $305,000 grant to acquire and demolish 1559 North Bend Road. This property formerly housed Dr. Saba’s medical office, and CHCURC landed the grant to expand the Gen Kress parking lot behind College Hill Coffee Co. & Casual Gourmet, Bacall’s, Marty’s Hops & Vines, and Schwartz Jewelers. CHCURC closed on 1559 North Bend Road on October 6, 2010, and it was demolished in May 2011. The parking lot expansion and renovation began in August 2011, and has been expanded by 20 new parking spots. CHCURC is pleased that new lighting and signage was installed in the spring of 2012, and the College Hill Coffee Co. has already added outdoor seating!

2003 CHCURC was awarded $108,000

In 2003, CHCURC was awarded $108,000 to design and build two significant gateways with lighting, architectural pieces, and landscaping to welcome people to College Hill at the northeast corner of North Bend Road and Hamilton Avenue (“North Gateway”), and the northwest corner of Llanfair and Hamilton Avenues (“South Gateway”). CHCURC first commissioned a Logo and Identity Project to identify a new logo for College Hill. This logo/identity was the inspiration for the Gateway Projects’ architectural elements and eventually, the Directional Signs Project, listed above. CHCURC was awarded an additional $61,000 in 2005 for the estimated increase in material costs and land acquisition costs. The installation of the South Gateway was coordinated with the construction of new College Hill Firehouse, Engine No. 51, and was completed in the Spring of 2010. The installation of the North Gateway is about to begin at the corner of North Bend Road. and Hamilton Avenue.

2006 First Façade Improvement Program

In 2006, CHCURC was awarded $300,000 for a Façade Improvement Program for the neighborhood business district. This money is leveraged on a 50/50 basis for property owners and 80/20 basis for business owners for improvements to windows, doors, signage, lighting, and painting to the exteriors of buildings that can be seen from Hamilton Avenue. College Hill saw approximately $400,000 in improvements to 25 store fronts in the neighborhood business district. The Façade Improvement Program was completed in October 2009. In 2014, CHCURC received a $175,000 grant for additional façade improvements (See New Projects).

2005-2009 Directional Signage Project

In 2005, CHCURC was awarded $30,000 to design, manufacture, and install signs to replace the deteriorating, existing signs. The design team worked with Brownstone Design to develop these signs to feature the community’s distinct identity and to indicate the location of the neighborhood business district. After numerous design review meetings, a final design concept and sign locations were selected. In 2008, contract documents were submitted to the City to be put out to bid. Holthaus Signs was awarded the contract, and manufacturing and installation was completed in April/May 2009.

2009 Greentop Arts Collective

CHCURC purchased in September 2009 a former car wash at 6040 Hamilton Avenue that had been seized by the U.S. Marshals. It was subsequently transformed to the Greentop Arts Collective, a metal working gallery and workshop. The owners and operators of Greentop Arts Collective removed the former façade, installed new windows and doors, repainted the building, and sealed the parking lot.

2009 Mid-Business District Redevelopment ($1.5 M)

In April 2009, CHCURC was awarded $1.5 million for the purpose of redevelopment of the mid-business district. The 2000 Strategic Urban Design Plan concluded that College Hill’s neighborhood business district was too long, and recommended the demolition and redevelopment of the mid-business district with mixed-use in-fill housing, potentially over retail, with community green space. CHCURC is currently collaborating with the College Hill FORUM, the community council, and the College Hill Business Association in developing a strategic plan for the mid-business district. These plans include appraisals, property acquisition, demolition, design and construction of a low-moderate income mixed-use housing development. To date, two properties have been acquired, and other properties are under consideration.

2000-2008 Streetscape Improvement Program

This project originated in 2000. CHCURC proposed a three-stage streetscape improvement plan for College Hill’s Neighborhood Business District, with new sidewalks, pavers, planters, trees and pedestrian oriented streetlights installed throughout the business district along Hamilton Avenue from W. North Bend to Llanfair. In 2001, CNBDU granted CHCURC a $1.5 million grant for the Streetscape Improvement Program. The ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by City Council Members for the Streetscape Improvement Program occurred in May 2006. The final punch list items were finalized in Summer 2008.

2006 CHCURC was Awarded $300 k

In 2006, CHCURC was awarded $300 K for a Façade Improvement Program for the neighborhood business district. The funds were leveraged on a 50/50 basis for property owners and 80/20 basis for business owners for improvements to windows, doors, signage, lighting, and painting to the exteriors of buildings that can be seen from Hamilton Avenue. These buildings house businesses that serve our low-moderate income residents. College Hill saw approximately $400 K total in improvements to 25 store fronts in the neighborhood business district. The Façade Improvement Program was completed in October 2009.