Wednesday, September 3, 2003

Planners consider condos along Bellevue riverfront

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BELLEVUE - Another phase of the city's riverfront development could begin Thursday with the first vote scheduled on an upscale residential project.

The Bellevue Planning and Zoning Committee will consider preliminary plans for 24 condominiums in two buildings on 2 acres at Taylor and Eden avenues. The meeting begins at 7 p.m.

If approved, the plans by HHB Partners of Cincinnati will go before the full council at 7 p.m. Sept. 10..

The condos will sell for $250,000 to $400,000, according to HHB Partner Chip Hunter.

"It's a good project," Bellevue Mayor Jack Meyer said Tuesday. "It moves the development we've seen along the river a little farther east, and I think it spurs interest in Bellevue overall. People may want to start paying more attention to us for single-family residences. And when we get new people moving in, that helps our businesses in the city."

The resurgence of Bellevue's riverfront began a few years ago as development, mainly restaurants, pushed east from Newport's Riverboat Row. Bellevue's restaurant district, Port Bellevue, features Joe's Crab Shack and Buckhead Mountain Grill.

Port Bellevue - as well as views from Bellevue of the Ohio River, downtown Cincinnati and Mount Adams - attracted interest in the city from residential developers, Meyer said.

Last November, Bellevue City Council approved plans for a $40 million office and residential project just east of Port Bellevue. Developer Ackerman Group of Anderson Township is still acquiring the last few parcels of property for the project and is scheduled to start construction in the fall, Meyer said.

Some council members have asked whether the city's riverfront can attract enough buyers to survive with two residential developments planned, Meyer said.

"That's always been a concern as we have talked about the riverfront over the last few years: When do we hit a point of saturation?" Meyer said.

"But we're really just seeing the first stages of residential development, and we're going along with people in the industry who know what they are doing."


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