Thursday, October 14, 2004

River view the draw for condos


165 luxury units would overlook Dayton

By Travis Gettys
Enquirer contributor

DAYTON, Ky. - A housing developer hopes to attract buyers with a panoramic view of the Ohio River, and city officials hope the development renews interest in Dayton.

City Council last month approved a Stage I development plan for Riverpointe Condominiums, which would place 165 housing units on a hill overlooking the city, and a Stage II plan will likely be submitted for approval by the end of the year, said Towne Properties general manager Brad Austing.

The condos would likely cost between $125,000 and $275,000 each, Austing said, well above the city's median property value of $59,100 determined by the 2000 U.S. Census.

Developers say the $20 million project would add about $93,000 per year to the city's property tax revenue, but the development carries additional benefits, said City Administrator Gary Scott.

The condominiums could raise Dayton's profile among potential home buyers, who might note what Scott describes as an undervalued housing stock just minutes from downtown Cincinnati.

"Even if the condos are not something that (potential home buyers) want, they might find something else they want - that's what we're hoping for," Scott said.

More than 56 percent of Dayton's homes were built before 1939, according to census figures, and city officials have taken an aggressive approach to blighted property, assessing owners who fail to keep buildings maintained.

The city has levied $16,000 in fines this year, up from $7,000 last year and $500 in 2002Scott said the fines have motivated many property owners to sell or make repairs.

"Some of them have said, 'I didn't know you guys were doing this in Dayton,' " Scott said. "They figured they could get away with (it)."

Some residents wish city officials would take more interest in aesthetics for the Riverpointe Condominiums development, which would consist of 15 buildings with brick and aluminum siding exteriors.

Edith Mariani, who lives on nearby Beechwood Place, said it would be a shame to build multifamily housing there, when new single-family homes fetch more than $1 million each on Newport's Wiedemann Hill and on O'Fallon Avenue in Bellevue.

"This property has a view so incredible, so panoramic, that a similar development could be done, with patience," Mariani said. "This property is an absolute jewel."

Mariani also fears that additional cars and construction traffic could affect Dayton Pike.

Scott said dirt removed from the construction site will be used to help reinforce Dayton Pike.

"We shouldn't suffer a lack of development because of that situation," Scott said.




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