FOX19 Investigates: Who might cash in on the streetcar? - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

FOX19 Investigates: Who might cash in on the streetcar?

View from the balcony of a condo along the future streetcar route. View from the balcony of a condo along the future streetcar route.
This condo across from Music Hall is an example of a property that could benefit from the streetcar being nearby. This condo across from Music Hall is an example of a property that could benefit from the streetcar being nearby.
Along the streetcar route. Along the streetcar route.
OVER THE RHINE, OH (FOX19) -

Property owners along the future route of Cincinnati's streetcar are already saying it's a selling point for potential buyers and renters. They hope it'll also translate into higher property values after streetcars begin moving along the streets outside their windows. Passenger service is supposed to begin in April 2016, according to the city's latest timetable.

"I mean, it's been a dream for people downtown for a long time that we would actually have something that, you know, you could hop on here at Music Hall and just run down to The Banks," said Holly Redmond of Coldwell Banker West Shell. She gave FOX19 an exclusive look inside a building next to Music Hall that potential buyers have yet to see. The condos feature kitchens with marble countertops and, outside their living rooms, balcony views of the famous building next door as well as revitalized Washington Park across Elm Street.

Condo prices in the building range from $290,000 to the upper $300,000's, according to Redmond's colleague, Stacy Rickert.

The real estate agents are selling units in the building for Grandin Properties, which partnered with 3CDC on the project. 3CDC is a controversial part of the real estate scene in Cincinnati because some developers say the nonprofit group acts almost like an arm of city government, favors some real estate developers over others, and is a direct competitor to those it doesn't do business with.

A FOX19 investigation into Hamilton County property records in the section of the streetcar route that will go through Over-the-Rhine shows that 3CDC controls at least 174 properties worth more than $8.3 million. Its subsidiary, OTR Holdings Inc., is listed as the owner.

3CDC did not grant our request for an interview, despite repeated phone calls.

Rickert points out, though, that projects like the one she's representing likely wouldn't happen without 3CDC getting government grants to help lower the cost for developers and potential homeowners.

"These cost us more to build than what we're selling them for," said Rickert. "You know, this couldn't happen without that partnership. So city and state tax credits and gap funding is provided so that we can offer prices like this and get the high-end finishes that you get in these developments."

She says a ribbon cutting is planned for Thursday to announce the rehab project in the building is complete.

Meanwhile, over on Main Street, the owners of the Hanke Building believe the street car is already giving them a boost. The Stough family spent about $5 million in the late 1990s remodeling the building after it was slated for demolition, according to marketing director Scott Stough.

The Hanke Building, which was once home to a spectacular toy store in its early days, is now office space for a range of companies --- from an HR firm to a US Bank branch. During the worst of the Great Recession, occupancy in the building fell to about 28%. With the improving economy and the streetcar looking like a reality, the Hanke Building is now 84% occupied and Stough believes it'll be full by the end of the year.

"There are a lot of businesses that like the idea of having their retail business right outside a streetcar stop," Stough said.

Homeowners along the route will also benefit if the streetcar is a success and boosts their property values.

---------

To see who owns a particular piece of property near the streetcar route, go to the Hamilton County Auditor's Office's website. Click on "property search" in the upper left-hand corner. When that page opens, you may search by "street address" by clicking that option on the left-hand side of the screen.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • White House invites Putin to Washington for fall meeting

    White House invites Putin to Washington for fall meeting

    Thursday, July 19 2018 12:30 AM EDT2018-07-19 04:30:42 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 5:33 PM EDT2018-07-19 21:33:16 GMT
    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during his meeting with members of his cabinet in Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Looking on is Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat...(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump gestures while speaking during his meeting with members of his cabinet in Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. Looking on is Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat...

    Trump said Wednesday he told the Russian president face-to-face during Monday's summit to stay out of America's elections "and that's the way it's going to be."

    Full Story >

    Trump said Wednesday he told the Russian president face-to-face during Monday's summit to stay out of America's elections "and that's the way it's going to be."

    Full Story >
  • Zuckerberg's Holocaust comment puts Facebook on the spot

    Zuckerberg's Holocaust comment puts Facebook on the spot

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 6:08 PM EDT2018-07-18 22:08:46 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 5:31 PM EDT2018-07-19 21:31:33 GMT
    Mark Zuckerberg says he doesn't believe Holocaust denial content should be banned from Facebook. (Source: CNN)Mark Zuckerberg says he doesn't believe Holocaust denial content should be banned from Facebook. (Source: CNN)

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that while he finds Holocaust denial "deeply offensive," he doesn't believe that such content should be banned from Facebook.

    Full Story >

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that while he finds Holocaust denial "deeply offensive," he doesn't believe that such content should be banned from Facebook.

    Full Story >
  • Health officials urge hepatitis A vaccinations

    Health officials urge hepatitis A vaccinations

    Thursday, July 19 2018 5:29 PM EDT2018-07-19 21:29:54 GMT
    (file)(file)

    Health officials plan to give updates Kentucky's Hepatitis A outbreak, including initiatives to slow it.

    Full Story >

    In the midst of the largest hepatitis A outbreak in Kentucky's history, health officials are urging anyone who lives in a county where cases have been confirmed to get vaccinated.

    Full Story >
Powered by Frankly