Monday, November 17, 2008

Rezoning for drive-through could bring tenants to Corbly Station

Cincinnati City Council's Economic Development Committee will consider rezoning a piece of Mount Washington property at its meeting tomorrow at noon.

Cole Realty Associates has asked that their property at be changed from CC-P Commercial Community-Pedestrian District to CC-M Commercial Community-Mixed District to allow for the construction of a drive-through.

Cole Realty Associates recently completed Corbly Station, a 10,000-square-foot multi-tenant retail building, but has had trouble attracting tenants since beginning to market the property in December 2006.

Jill and Stephen Cole say that they have received interest from a check cashing store, but add that businesses such as Starbucks, Donato's, Bruegger's Bagels, Skyline Chili, Widmer's and Little Caesar's have expressed interest in locating to the development if there were a drive-through.

Meanwhile, the property is sitting vacant and has begun to attract vandalism.

The City Planning Commission recommended the rezoning on September 5, reasoning that surrounding properties are either currently zoned CC-M, or soon will be rezoned to CC-M.

2300 Beechmont Avenue would be the only commercial property with CC-P zoning north of Corbly Avenue.

Additionally, four businesses in the area have drive-throughs, including U.S. Bank, National City Bank, Wendy's and Gold Star Chili.

"Clearly, this portion of the Mt. Washington Business District is a mix of pedestrian and auto-oriented development," says a staff report to the City Planning Commission. "The 2300 Beechmont building should be rezoned to CC-M to be consistent with the other businesses."

The Mount Washington Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation has offered a letter of support for the change, contingent upon Cole Realty Associates limiting the hours of operation of the drive-through.

In January, the Mt. Washington Community Council (MWCC) initiated a plan to reshape the City's zoning code to align better with the recommendations of the Mt. Washington Comprehensive Plan, which sought to create more pedestrian-friendly development along Beechmont Avenue and to stimulate economic development in the business districts.

City Council approved of several of those zoning changes in September, and the MWCC has initiated a survey on traffic calming for Beechmont Avenue.

Previous reading on BC:
Mount Washington rezonings seek compact, pedestrian-friendly development (9/18/08)
Beechmont and Roxbury photo update, 10/29/07 (10/31/07)
Retail space to begin soon at Beechmont and Roxbury (7/26/07)
Mount Washington: 2312-2316 Beechmont Ave (4/8/07)


Randy Simes said...

This would seem to go against the goals/visions of the community leaders out in Mt. Washington. The recent news has them asking for city money to put traffic calming measures on Beachmont Avenue through the business district, but things like this would simply generate more automobile traffic and contradict the efforts to make the area safer and more accommodating for pedestrians.

Kevin LeMaster said...

It would seem so, but the rezoning will only change the zoning to that of the surrounding properties. And that part of Beechmont isn't really very walkable anyway and has a lot of auto-oriented businesses.

If this was located south of Corbly, I'm sure the MWCC and MWCURC would have said, "No way."

It does surprise me that the developers failed to take the zoning into consideration before going ahead with the building. It strikes me that either the market research was bad, or there was some kind of wild shift in the commercial leasing market.

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