Mixed-Use Near University of Cincinnati Underway Next Year

by Katie Sloan

Cincinnati — Project to add retail, work space and apartments across from UC.  

This mixed-use development near UC is expected to reviatlize the area south of campus (photo courtesy of CR Architecture).
— Towne Properties and Al. Neyer Inc. have announced that construction will begin early next year on one of the largest redevelopment projects in Cincinnati in recent years.

The 4.2-acre U Square @ The Loop will bring 80,000 square feet of retail, 40,000 square feet of office space, which the University of Cincinnati will occupy, and 161 apartments to the south side of campus, an area awaiting redevelopment for approximately 10 years.

While residences are not being built as traditional student housing, Towne Properties Managing Partner Arn Bortz says it’s likely to attract a diverse university-affiliated crowd.

“There is a dearth of good student housing available,” Bortz says. “But our commitment to the neighborhood was that this would not be standard student housing. People in the neighborhood felt there was enough of that happening. We’re committed to providing market rate-housing that can attract law students or a young executive who might work in downtown Cincinnati.”

The project cost is $78 million, which comes from a variety of sources, including a net benefit of $19.3 million in Clifton Heights-University Heights-Fairview tax increment financing (TIF) funds and $59 million in private investment. It is being financed through new market tax credits from the Uptown Consortium, the Cincinnati Development Fund and PNC Bank. 

Several restaurants and retailers that have signed onto the project expect to open their doors in March 2013. 
“The university has recognized that to compete for the best students and faculty, the adjacent neighborhoods outside the perimeter of the university needed to improve,” Bortz says”- Lynn Peisner

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