Downtown site cost tops Hamilton jail proposals

The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON — Building a new Butler County Jail in downtown Hamilton would be far more expensive than building it at three other possible sites in the city.

Estimates by the Saunders Commercial Real Estate Service place a $4.9 million price tag on 10.8 acres downtown at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Ludlow Street.

Estimates for all four sites include the costs of property, demolition, relocation for residents and businesses, and administration expenses. They do not include environmental cleanup costs.

David Saunders, real estate broker, presented his estimates Monday to the Jail Work Group, an advisory committee developing plans for a jail to replace the crowded existing county jail. The Jail Work Group, headed by County Commissioner Mike Fox, will make recommendations to the commissioners.

The committee already has decided to recommend a jail that can hold 400 inmates with the ability to double-cell 800. It has not determined where the jail should be built.

These are the cost estimates for the other possible jail sites:

• $2.6 million for 15.2 acres for the former Deutcher Foundry site on Hanover Street near Seventh Street.

• $2 million for 15.1 acres at the former Hamilton Tool property now owned by Stevens International on Hanover Street, across from Deutcher.

• $199,000 for 20.2 acres owned by CSX Railroad between Pleasant Avenue and the railroad tracks.

The Jail Work Group recommended that the commissioners hire an environmental consultant to evaluate how much environmental cleanup would cost for each site.

Some of the buildings at the downtown site may have asbestos that needs to be removed. Part of the CSX property is on a former dump.

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