Thursday, February 01, 2001

Ludlow looks at condos with view

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LUDLOW — This Ohio River city could get its first large residential development in 20 years, if a multimillion-dollar condominium project meets with city and county approval.

        Grand Communities Ltd., which is part of the Fischer Group, wants to build 293 condominiums — calling it Chateaux Devou — on a vacant hilltop overlooking the Ohio River.

        The spot, called Pigeon Point, is the highest in the city offering views of the Ohio. Its 33 acres begin at the end of Uphill Drive and are bordered by the Children's Home of Northern Kentucky on the east and Covington's Devou Park on the south.

        The project also would be Ludlow's first condominiums.

        “It would be 10 minutes from downtown, 10 minutes from the mall and 10 minutes from the airport,” said Ludlow Mayor Tom Stacy.

        “This would add another alternative style of living inside an already well-established community that's rich in heritage,” Mr. Stacy said.

        The Kenton County and Municipal Planning and Zoning Commission is expected to review the proposal at 9 a.m. today at the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission offices, 2332 Royal Drive in Fort Mitchell.

        Larry Sprague, land development manager for Fischer Development Co., said the $30 million to $40 million project would be similar to Fischer's Emerald Springs in Crescent Springs in terms of appearance, cost, and its target customers — empty nesters and young professionals.

        “Emerald Springs is getting built out, and we were looking for another location in Kenton County,” Mr. Sprague said.

        The condominiums in the 24-building complex would sell for $80,000 to $120,000 and would be mostly two-bedroom units with garages.

        Chateaux Devou would be the first large residential project built here since the 43-unit Highpoint Apartments for senior citizens opened in 1981. The condos, Mr. Stacy said, would help Ludlow pay for more city services for all its residents thanks to the additional property tax revenues.

        The site was undeveloped because the city could not afford to run water and sewer lines up the hill, Mr. Stacy said. However, last September, Ludlow turned its water department over to the better-funded Northern Kentucky Water District, and its sewer lines became the responsibility of Sanitation District No. 1.

        Staff for the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission has recommended approval of the project and its proposed public and private improvements. But developers must meet 10 conditions, including adequate water flow for fire protection, construction of an exclusive left-turn lane along Ky. 8 at the Uphill Street intersection, and the construction of sidewalks, both within the development and to Ky. 8.

        If Chateaux Devou receives the necessary approvals from county planners and the city administration, construction of the 24 buildings would be phased in during the next six years, Mr. Sprague said.


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