Ground broken for large OTR redevelopment project

OVER THE RHINE, OH (FOX19) - A ground breaking Tuesday on a $59 million redevelopment project in Over The Rhine. The project called Mercer Commons will include condos, apartments and retail space.

It is 3CDS's largest mixed use project ever. It will encompass more than two and half acres and it's a project that Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls says will change the face of Over the Rhine. "Transforms Vine Street. We have over....when it's built out...phase one and phase two we'll have over 150 units of new housing," she said.

The project was launched With the ceremonial turning of the first shovel fulls of dirt by city officials and other V.I.P's.

Mercer Commons will be built in phases and includes 26,000 square feet of retail space, 28 condos and 126 apartments. Some apartments will be moderately priced which is something Over the Rhine resident Mike Rogers says he wants to see. "What I really like about it is we need more rental property in the community and not only that affordable know units for people. So I think its great," said Rogers.

Vicki Sanford has lived in over the Rhine for nearly nine years and she says it helps the local economy. "It'll give us an economic boost. You got a lot of people out here that are working...working poor, but they are working and this is a chance for people to get some more jobs."

Funding for the $59 million project comes from a variety of sources including the city. Despite Cincinnati's budget woes Mayor Mark Mallory says its a worthwhile investment. "Progress has to continue. We have a lot of development going on in the city of Cincinnati right now. We have a lot of energy and the best thing that we can do to get rid of budget deficits and those kinds of things is to continue to invest in economic development that creates jobs and brings jobs to the city because that's where we get our money."

Construction is expected to take about 16 months with the 340 space parking garage opening in March of 2013.

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