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June 21, 2016

Port Authority to buy Cincinnati Gardens site

Cincinnati Gardens lgPort Authority smThe Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority’s Board of Directors authorized the acquisition of a 19-acre commercial site in Bond Hill it plans to make ready for future redevelopment. Upon sale closing expected in July, the site will be the second to be acquired under a Port Authority program established to reposition underutilized urban industrial property into parcels attractive for next-generation manufacturing.

The property at 2250 Seymour Avenue is the site of Cincinnati Gardens sports and entertainment arena, which has been operating in Bond Hill since 1949. The redevelopment of the property would be part of the renaissance of the Bond Hill and Roselawn neighborhoods. Over the past five years, focused, strategic investment has resulted in projects like Mercy Health’s $71 million headquarters and the Port Authority and City of Cincinnati’s investments in MidPointe Crossing and TechSolve II commercial redevelopments. Mayor John Cranley has included an additional $3 million to the area in his 2017 City budget proposal.

The neighborhoods this year finalized an 18-month community-driven Bond Hill & Roselawn Plan, setting a course for future priorities, including retail district development, workforce training, and resident health outcomes.

The Port Authority has committed to acquiring 75 acres in 2016 for its Hamilton County industrial revitalization strategy.

To ready sites for new investment, the Port Authority funds and oversees site control and acquisition; planning and predevelopment; environmental assessment and remediation; demolition or rehabilitation and site work and infrastructure improvements. Once all necessary assembly and site development work is completed, the Port will either redevelop the new site or sell it to an end user or real estate developer with a conforming redevelopment plan.

Manufacturing jobs are an important driver to economic vitality – they typically pay higher wages than service-sector jobs; can be accessible to workers with a variety of education and skill levels; and spur additional jobs in related supplier industries. Through a comprehensive manufacturing impact analysis completed in March 2016, the Port Authority determined that Hamilton County has lost 67% of its manufacturing jobs – about 98,000 -- since 1969. The analysis, “Made in Hamilton County,” forecasts that through making 500 industrial acres ready for new investment, about 8,000 new jobs can be created.

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