Sunday, December 31, 2000

Old-time barber out, UDF in

Springdale Pike plan calls for revamping site

By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SPRINGDALE — When Corky Valentine opened a barber shop in Springdale four decades ago, Tri-County Mall was a cornfield and the city's main street had one restaurant and a gas station.

        Now the city that Mr. Valentine vowed to never leave has removed him from his shop so it can sell the land to United Dairy Farmers, which has a store next door.

        “I've lived here for 40 years and worked here for 42,” said Mr. Valentine, who closed his shop Saturday. “I guess they play up to the big boys here.”

        Springdale acquired the barber shop and four retail shops near Ohio 4 and West Kemper Road through eminent domain after a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court judge ruled that the properties were blighted. The city paid a Florida man $501,500 for five stores and two houses.

        The city demolished the homes and will raze the stores in January. It also must clean contaminants leaked by Springdale Cleaners, which once operated a store there, according to City Administrator Cecil Osborn.

        UDF offered $550,000 for the site, but the demolition and cleanup bills could push the city's site costs past $600,000.

        ""UDF is the kind of development we'd like to see on that corner,” said Mr. Osborn, adding that the city hasn't negotiated with any other business.

        The project is part of the Springdale Pike Corridor District Plan developed since 1997 as a way to sustain the city's original village core. Springdale has attracted hundreds of retail shops at Tri-County Mall and surrounding strip centers, but has been less successful maintaining unique shops near Ohio 4 and West Kemper Road.

        Mr. Valentine has mixed feelings on the development of Springdale. “It's been great - a lot of tax money and a lot of people working in Springdale,” Mr. Valentine said. “But there's nothing left in Springdale that I can afford. A lot of my customers don't even know I'm closing.”


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