Tuesday, June 04, 2002

Loveland picks land developer

By Susan Vela, svela@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LOVELAND — The development team of Hines-Griffin Joint Venture and Parrott & Strawser is the best to develop the historic, 85-acre White Pillars property, City Council members decided Monday.

        At a special session, they supported the development team's plans to build 85 single-family houses valued at $450,000 each, 70 town houses worth $225,000 each and a 16-acre commercial development along Ohio 48.

        The team tentatively offered to buy the property for $3.4 million and promised that the project would generate $284,700 in property and income tax revenues for the city.

        The amounts are more than the team's six competitors could offer.

        “It was far and away the best proposal that we received,” said City Manager Fred Enderle, whose recommendation was supported by council members.

        While the developers and city officials plan to spend the next few months hashing out a development agreement, residents promised to keep voicing their concerns at future planning commission and council meetings.

        In May, at least 30 Loveland and Miami Township residents protested at public hearings about how the city sought the developers' proposals.

        The city, which still owes $2.3 million on the land purchased six years ago for $2.7 million, asked that the developers preserve the White Pillars colonial-style home, but also advised them to pursue mixed-use development.

        “Council continues to act as if there's no public input on this issue,” said Paul Elliott, a Loveland resident who helped keep a YMCA facility from being built in Phillips Park.

        Council members said that, like the residents, they're not interested in seeing strip malls or convenience stores on White Pillars land.

        Instead, they said they'd like to see a day-care center, senior citizen facility or medical offices appear.

        Developer Dan Griffin said that's what his team is pursuing.

        He said they have been excited about the project because of its unique potential.

        The colonial-style home that dates back to the early 1800s will be the project's centerpiece.

        “We're anxious to do this,” he said. Residents “will be pleasantly surprised.”


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