Thursday, March 30, 2000

Wyoming development on hold


Company defaults on contract with city

BY SARA J. BENNETT
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WYOMING — Plans to build a complex of townhouses and patio homes on the former Kmart site along Springfield Pike may have been delayed a few months.

        Developers with the Coral Co. of Beechwood, Ohio, have defaulted on their contract to buy from Wyoming eight acres of the 12-acre parcel where the Kmart once stood.

        But that doesn't mean the project is dead, said Coral Co. President Peter Rubin. He said he's negotiating an amendment to the contract with Wyoming and has deposited money to hold the property in anticipation of closing the deal in June.

        Coral remains the preferred developer for the site, said City Manager Bob Harrison. And Wyoming is eager to see construction begin.

        “There's no doubt that's one of the number one questions residents of the community are asking — when are we going to see that site finally get developed?” Mr. Harrison said. “I will say that Coral Company has always shown good faith in trying to get that property developed.”

        Coral was supposed to close on the property by Jan. 31, Mr. Harrison said. After March 1, the company was in default.

        Mr. Rubin said the delay occurred because it took Coral longer than anticipated to evaluate what it would cost to build the homes vs. what would be charged for them.

        The company is still working on the estimates, he said.

        Coral plans to build 57 townhouses and patio and manor homes on the former Kmart site at 1630 Springfield Pike. Wyoming bought the property in 1995. Construction was to have started this spring.

        There have been problems with developing the site, though. In October, Marriott Senior Living Services Inc. dropped its plan to buy four of the site's 12 acres and build an assisted-living facility there.

        Wyoming decided to retain ownership of the property and look for another developer. But losing Marriott set the stage for delays, Mr. Harrison said.

        “It pushed the whole project back,” he said. “It really was dominoes. Once they decided not to proceed, it caused a whole number of additional issues.”

        Mr. Harrison expressed hope, however, that the Coral development would proceed this year. The company has spent nearly $200,000 clearing the property and preparing it for development.

        Mr. Rubin said he's hopeful, too.

        “We are still interested (in the site),” he said, “and we're investing more money in it in anticipation that June 1 we'll finally be closing.”

       



Gunman sought in fatal I-75 shooting
Sleepy? Put blame where it belongs
Officer apologizes for insult
Tax complaint may lead to change
Tax plan benefits non-public schools
Child rape case 'heartbreaking'
Death of 2-year-old described
Ruling may affect local nude dancing
Census seeks homeless amid bushes, trash bins
Drive-by killer no show in court
Watchdog keeps county on its toes
Margaret Thatcher to visit city Friday
Message to trucks removed
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
Report: Ohio's charter schools get poor grades
Some doubt usefulness of lowered alcohol limit
Baseball treasures catch top dollar
Ailey show is paradise for purists
GET TO IT
Group works to bring outdoor drama to area
Ohio natives know enough to make movie in Maui
TRISTATE DIGEST
AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH
Carlisle School Board member departing, but not going far
Colerain gets spring cleanup
Council: Keep recruit class
Culture celebration is a real mixer
Drug strike force chief quits
Former deejay's death suspicious
Hamilton schools buy building for offices, training center
Ky. House passes firearms bill
Lebanon council must fill empty seat
Legislators stalemate over budget
Morrow man guilty of setting bar fire
N. Ky. studying east-west route
President of mental retardation board quits
- Wyoming development on hold