Friday, August 25, 2000

Riverbend Row opens 1st house

East End neighbors and city cooperate in renewal

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The first house in Riverbend Row, a $1.4 million single-family development in the 2300 block of Eastern Avenue in the East End, will open at 10:30 a.m. today.

        Seven other houses ranging from $190,000 to $275,000 are in the plans to revitalize this historic area along the Ohio River.

        “What the buyers are getting with upscale market housing is a gorgeous view of the Ohio River,” said Patrick Ewing, city community development analyst. “This project coincides with the East End Riverfront Community Development plan.”

        Members of city council, the city manager, the developer, and the director of the city's Department of Neighborhood Services will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the house.

        Riverbend Associates of Fairfield is developing the project at a cost of $1.2 million. The city's Department of Neighborhood Services is putting in $265,000.

        Mr. Ewing said the houses will feature two and three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and from 1,800 to 2,000 square feet of space.

        They will be built with two levels over a two-car garage. Porches are attached to the first and second levels, overlooking the Ohio River.

        The houses will have brick in the front and vinyl siding in the rear.

        “We expect the project to be completed within the next two years,” Mr. Ewing said.

        The houses are located four minutes from downtown Cincinnati.

        The East End Riverfront Community Development Plan was drafted by residents and city officials. The focus was to plan and develop a mixture of upscale housing along with low- and moderate-income housing.

        “This is what we have been fighting for,” said Dorothy Ellis, a member of the East End Community Council. “A lot of us can't afford them, but the upscale housing is being mixed with older stable houses and the new low and moderate houses.”

        Mrs. Ellis, who has lived in the East End all her life, lives three blocks from Riverbend Row.

        City Manager John Shirey said the city provided land and preliminary site preparation, and public improvement, specifically construction of a drilled pier retaining wall, sewers and street landscaping.

        “This is a spectacular addition to the housing stock of Cincinnati,” Mr. Shirey said.

        Mr. Ewing said when the city established the East End Riverfront Community Development Plan it also created a Community Reinvestment area which means homeowners in Riverbend Row have a tax abatement for 10 years.

        Property taxes will be paid on the land, but not the improved value of the property, for 10 years. Taxes on the approved value of the property are not due until 2011, Mr. Ewing said.


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