Saturday, April 01, 2000

Motel site to become green space

Evendale sprucing up Reading Rd.

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        EVENDALE — The village has purchased the Parkhill Motel at 10172 Reading Road for $485,000 and announced that the inn's two buildings will be razed and the 1.68-acre site turned into green space.

        The move is part of a concerted effort to redefine and upgrade the southern Reading Road corridor through the com munity, said Councilman David Harwood, who has been involved in the project.

        The Parkhill is expected to come down by early summer, Mr. Harwood said.

        Last fall, the village bought Woody's Car Care, a former service station, on 1.11 acres for $160,000. In January 1999, the city paid $750,000 for the old Colonial Inn, which stood next to Woody's at 10200 Reading Road.

        The Colonial Inn was torn down in April 1999 and the site converted to green space.

        “These sites will remain green space until we develop a comprehensive plan for the south part of Reading Road in the village, Mr. Harwood said.

        The village has been targeting “functionally obsolete” buildings “for eventual development into upscale professional offices or retail space for small businesses and park land. Evendale has a policy of buffering residential areas from business es, and we may use some of this land to extend that buffer. We may also consider a small park or green space” at Inwood Drive and Reading Road, where the Colonial Inn stood, he said.

        Mr. Harwood said the two motels were built and prospered in the 1950s, before construction of Interstate 75, when Reading Road (U.S. 42) was a major highway.

        After the interstate was built, the motels' business declined. Both motels most recently catered to providing tem porary, but long-term housing, to transients — many of whom worked seasonal construction or other jobs in the area.

        The objective is not to change the entire corridor but to selectively weed out buildings that have outlived their usefulness and could develop into eyesores, Mr. Harwood said.

        John Albrinck, assistant to Mayor Doug Lohmeier, said the Parkhill — 20 units and a separate home and office for the proprietors — was built in 1950 and called the Poe Motel. The name changed to the Condon Motel in 1976. It became the Parkhill in 1991 when it was bought by Chorng Guang Pan and his wife, Mei Hui Pan, from whom the village purchased it. The Pans could not be reached for comment.

        Mr. Harwood said he is aware the city of Reading, Evendale's neighbor to the south, is involved in an urban renewal effort to upgrade its Reading Road corridor, and that efforts of both communities should complement each other.


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