Tuesday, August 22, 2000

Riverfront Place wants to expand

Developer would add 53 condos

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — The developer of the Riverfront Place building on Dave Cowens Drive wants to build a second structure that would include 53 condominiums, office space and additional parking.

        Newport City Manager Phil Ciafardini displayed preliminary drawings and blueprints to city commissioners Monday night.

        The city's Planning and Zoning Commission will review the plan tonight. The plan will be presented by National Redevelopment, the company that built Riverfront Place. The building is home to GE Capital.

        “The additional development would be within the present footprint of the property,” Mr. Ciafardini said. “No additional land would be involved.”

        The present two-level parking garage would be extended to the east across what is now a parking lot. Above the new section of garage would be two levels of office space amounting to 50,000 square feet.

        “Above the office space there would be 12 floors with 53 condominiums in all, including penthouse condos on the top two floors,” Mr. Ciafardini said. “The proposal calls for the main entrance to be off Park Avenue, on the east side of the building.”

        He said there had been no information provided on the cost of the new development or prices for the condominiums, but he pointed out that the proposed new building would be about 70 feet higher than the present tower.

        “The condominiums would have a great view of the river and downtown Cincinnati,” Mr. Ciafardini said. “These would be top-line, expensive condominiums.” In other business, commissioners unanimously ap proved the first reading of the 2000-2001 fiscal year budget, but not without an objection from Commissioner Jerry Peluso. He is concerned about a proposal to assess Monmouth Street property owners to help finance the proposed “Streetscape” plan to replace sidewalks, remove all utility poles and overhead wires, and undertake other beautification measures in the business district.

        “What we're talking about here is the property owners being assessed for 65 percent of the cost of the project, over 20 years,” Mr. Peluso said. “I have some real reservations about that, and in the future I would oppose the actual plan.”

        Mayor Tom Guidugli pointed out, however, that when the original assessment proposal was presented several weeks ago, “It did not sit well with any of the commissioners. That's why we sent it back to the city manager and his staff for reconsideration. I don't believe we will see that same plan again.”


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