Developers Say Fourth And Race Plan Will Happen Despite Financing Delays

Oct 23, 2017

A major economic development project at Fourth and Race in Downtown Cincinnati is delayed because of financing issues.  

The proposal calls for 3CDC to build and operate a 925-space parking garage with 25,000 square feet of street level retail space.  

Indianapolis-based developer Flaherty and Collins would construct an eight-story, 208-unit apartment building on top of the garage. The apartment will be high-end units with monthly rents ranging from $1,400 to $2,500.

The former Pogue's garage was recently demolished leaving the site empty.

A business owner is complaining the delay is hurting the neighborhood. Jeff McClorey, who operates Bromwell's and The Härth Lounge, recently wrote an op-ed in The Cincinnati Enquirer stating that the project has been mismanaged, and the demolition of the old Pogue's garage took away needed parking in the area.

3CDC Executive Vice President Adam Gelter addressed City Council's Budget and Finance Committee Monday.

"We appreciate the burden that it puts on people in the neighborhood and are making every effort to move this forward," Gelter said. "But we have every intention of doing so."

Gelter says 3CDC has about $8 million in the site so far.

Council Member Kevin Flynn says he understands the delay.

"It would be irresponsible for 3CDC to move forward with building and over-building a facility until we know that there is going to be something going on top of it," Flynn says.

Flaherty and Collins had originally worked out a deal with the former city administration of Mayor Mark Mallory and City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. That plan called for a 950-space garage, a 15,000 square foot grocery store and a 30-story, 300-unit apartment tower. That was partly financed with $12 million from the city.  

Mayor John Cranley objected once he took office and the project was renegotiated to include 3CDC.  Cranley complained the first plan relied too heavily on the city's capital budget.

For the latest development plan, the city will provide a $5.5 million rant to Flaherty and Collins and a $4 million loan to 3CDC. The city will also have long term leases for the air rights in which the garage and apartments will be built, and it is providing a 30-year property tax abatement for the apartment building.