Monday, December 24, 2007

Kennedy Heights Urban Design Plan approved

Most of these images can be enlarged by clicking on them. The larger images will open in a new browser window. All of these images were taken from the Kennedy Heights Urban Design Plan - a link to that can be found at the end of this article.

Montgomery and Kennedy streetscape concept

Cincinnati City Council unanimously approved both the Kennedy Heights Urban Design Plan and the Kennedy Heights Urban Overlay District.

The design plan sets ground rules for the type and appearance of business and residential development along the Montgomery Road corridor, mainly around the area of the Kennedy Heights Arts Center and the Montgomery/Kennedy intersection.

The overlay district will act as the enforcement arm, requiring all building permits within the district to be reviewed for compliance by a zoning hearing examiner.

Market analysis for the plan came from the Whittaker Group, and the design and planning ideas were from Kinzelman Kline Gossman.

Four schemes

The urban design plan suggests that the NBD should prepare itself for an up-and-coming demographic by gearing itself toward neighborhood service uses, including mixed-use buildings, cafes and restaurants, bookstores and music venues and galleries.

Four proposals, or "schemes", are offered in the report. All include aspects of connectivity between the arts center, the June Alexander Playfield, the former Kroger site and a planned business complex on Montgomery Road.

It is also estimated that $6 million of infill housing along Kennedy Avenue could bring at $10 million or more return on investment.

Redevelopment Scheme A

Scheme A proposes greenspace between the arts center and the playfield, surrounded by market-rate housing along Kennedy Avenue. A new business complex would be built on Montgomery Road, and the former Kroger would be redeveloped as a community center or a senior services center.

Redevelopment Scheme B

Similar to Scheme A, Scheme B proposes a multi-phased business complex (to gauge the development climate) and market-rate housing at the northern end of the playfield.

Redevelopment Scheme C

Scheme C proposes redevelopment of the Kroger site as a new Kennedy Heights School and community center.

Redevelopment Scheme D

Scheme D proposes a mixed-use redevelopment of the Kroger site with housing, retail and other uses.

The urban design plan also promotes building to the front of the lot line, placing parking in the rear of buildings, and including better streetscapes and wayfinding elements.

Sketch of Kennedy Heights Business Complex


In the short term, the Kennedy Heights Urban Redevelopment Corporation has been resurrected and its first order of business will be the large lot at Montgomery Road and Kennedy Avenue.

Attention will also be paid to code enforcement and the upgrading of the local housing stock, as well as the solidification of Cincinnati Public Schools' plans for a Kennedy Heights school.

Within the next two to five years, the Kennedy Heights Community Council (KHCC) will work with the City, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and private developers to obtain gap financing for new market-rate housing and commercial development, and work will begin to assemble key land parcels.

A push will also be made to build upon the success of the arts center by recruiting arts-related storefront tenants.

A new streetscape and facade program will also be implemented to attract investment.

In the long term, the community will engage in an on-going business recruitment and retention program and will work with neighboring communities on community development initiatives.

The KHCC will seek development proposals for some of the key properties in the corridor, and an attempt will also be made to expand the scope of improvement boundaries to tackle some of the neighborhood's deteriorating housing stock.

Kennedy Heights housing concepts

View the Kennedy Heights Urban Design Plan (PDF)

Previous reading on BC:
EDC to hear on Kennedy Heights NBD (12/18/07)

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