Sunday, January 16, 2000

Council to vote on grant for Mount Auburn company

Dorian group in line for $640,000 to build housing

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati City Council is scheduled to vote Wednesday whether to grant $640,000 of the city's Sycamore Hill development funds to a Mount Auburn company.

        The motion will be considered first on Tuesday by council's finance committee.

        By a vote of 9-0 last summer on a motion introduced by Councilman Charles Winburn, council directed the administration to give the money to Dorian Development to create market-rate housing in the Mount Auburn corridor called Sycamore Hill.

        Dorian's principal is Pauline Van der Haer. Her partner is Ralph Bawtenheimer.

        Dorian would use the Sycamore Hill money, Ms. Van der Haer said, to help finance:

        • Construction of five 3,100-square foot houses on Dorsey Street that would be sold to individual buyers. Each home would have four parking spaces and additional parking would be created for visitors.

        “They will have stunning views of the city,” Ms. Van der Haer said.

        The company would use $500,000 of public money for the $2 million project.

        “By far and away, the most important thing is that the houses will bring people back to the city,” Mr. Bawtenheimer said. “This could also be a catalyst for bringing other high-profile professional developers into Mount Auburn.”

        Each home would sell for about $300,000, and a real estate agent working for Dorian said potential buyers have expressed interest.

        • Three one-bedroom apartments at 1785 Sycamore St., in a vacant building owned by Dorian.

        Dorian would use $140,000 of city money for the $290,000 project.

        The building is adjacent to 1777 Sycamore St. That building was developed beginning in 1994 by a Dorian and consists of 11 market-rate apartments and one commercial space.

        Since its formation in 1992, Dorian and its affiliates have received almost $2.7 million in city funding and have produced 188 units of housing.

        “We could be off in the suburbs, and it would be a lot easier,” Ms. Van der Haer said of her company. “But we live in this neighborhood. We care about this neighborhood. We know this neighborhood.”

        Two years ago, Dorian used $1.3 million in public money to complete a $4 million renovation of 89 apartment units in 15 buildings at Lincoln Terrace in Walnut Hills.

        Last summer, Dorian was chosen as one of two local developers, along with Towne Properties, to participate in the redevelopment of the Lincoln Court public housing project in the West End.

        In December, 42 units were dedicated in a Dorian project on Kerper Avenue, also in Walnut Hills. The city invested $232,000 in the $2.7 million project.

        Dorian has been recognized by the Ohio Department of Development and Gov. Bob Taft for its work in providing quality affordable housing in Hamilton County.

        The Cincinnati Preservation Society also has recognized Dorian for its contributions to improving housing in Cincinnati neighborhoods.


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