Friday, June 25, 2004

Montgomery likes retail plan

Committee recommends developer

By Sheila McLaughlin
Enquirer staff writer

MONTGOMERY - After months of looking at proposals, a special committee has recommended a developer for this northeast Hamilton County city's gateway - considered to be its most prominent property.

If council approves the choice in a meeting on July 7, Montgomery Gateway Partners, a collaboration between Daniels Homes and Builder Resources, will get the job to develop the 3/4-acre triangle at the southern edge of the historic business district.

The project, at Main Street and Montgomery and Cooper roads, includes up to 35,000 square feet of office and retail space in a stretch of two-story colonial-style buildings, as well as a 100-car two-level underground garage and a small public plaza that could include a fountain.

Montgomery Gateway Partners was favored over Great Traditions, which proposed to build residential lofts along with offices and a small amount of retail.

The committee thought residential use would be too intense for the small site, and wanted more retail, community development director Frank Davis said. Montgomery Gateway Partners also offered a better financial incentive by suggesting they might privately fund the underground garage instead of using tax increment financing.

"We felt they had design and scope that fit our original vision of the project," Davis said.

"The question has always been the financing - how we will make the project work. It's a tough project financially, because of the configuration of the lot and need to do underground parking."

Montgomery Gateway Partners offered the second lowest bid for the property - at $450,000 - and Davis said the purchase price could drop if the company agrees to build the garage.


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