Friday, September 21, 2001

Eastern Av. sprouts more condominiums

By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A developer will break ground today on a $12 million Eastern Avenue condo project, the latest in a series of new East End homes overlooking the Ohio River.

        The Waterfront East Condominiums will include 48 units priced from $200,000 to $750,000.

        This is the third and most ambitious project launched by developer David Imboden along Eastern Avenue.

        Mr. Imboden's developments have touched off a residential revival in an area that a decade ago was dotted with dilapidated homes and little investment.

        “The location is great,” said Mr. Imboden, a former Taft High School football coach.

        “We're a mile from Hyde Park. Two miles from downtown. We are on the river. I think it's the best view in Cincinnati.”

        Mr. Imboden noticed the spot on a boating trip in 1988 and has been acquiring parcels of land there since.

        Mr. Imboden's Alumni Builders so far has completed 36 homes ranging from 2,200 to 3,200 square feet. The homes have fetched prices exceeding $300,000.

        Waterfront East will include two, four-story buildings. Units range from 1,300 to 2,700 square feet, and some buyers have chosen to combine smaller units, Mr. Imboden said.

        Eleven units have sold.

        The city of Cincinnati kicked in $750,000 to help Mr. Imboden acquire the land, a former marina. The city is trying desperately to encourage development of new homes to help boost its dismal home ownership rate of 38 percent, one of the lowest in the nation.

        Waterfront East condos include upscale touches such as fireplaces, granite counters and fitness rooms. Owners will share an outdoor pool and hot tub, gazebo and boat ramp.

        The first 24 units will be finished next May.

        At least two other housing projects are in the works along Eastern Avenue.

        Riverbend Associates is building eight homes across the street from Mr. Imboden's project, and another developer is building four homes nearby.

        “There is much more interest here now,” Mr. Imboden said.

        “People are just finding out about this location.”


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