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Public, private developers answer call for manufacturing sites

By Kevin Donnelly on 11/21/2016

Greater Cincinnati’s need for more manufacturing sites come as no surprise. In 2014 and 2015, more than three-quarters of the companies that came to REDI with land search requests asked for parcels with at least 20 acres of land – and that trend isn’t changing this year.

While this problem isn’t unique to Greater Cincinnati, regional public and private developers are changing the narrative. Right now, four organizations are bringing large, ready-to-build sites to market.

2100 Section Road project

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (Port Authority) is preparing to redevelop a 56-acre former industrial complex. Under its Industrial Revitalization Strategy to repurpose and repair underperforming industrial sites, the Port Authority purchased the former Gibson Greeting Cards location in June 2016. This project represents the largest-available industrial property within the I-275 loop.

“Redeveloping this underutilized property will increase Greater Cincinnati’s site inventory and help us meet demand from next-generation manufacturers,” said Laura Brunner, Port Authority president & CEO.

The large structure currently on the site is functionally obsolete – presenting a costly redevelopment impediment. As the Port Authority demolishes the building and readies the site, it will become a prime manufacturing location.

Mt. Orab Megasite

The Mt. Orab Port Authority recently revitalized its “megasite.” The nearly 1,500-acre site is zoned for industrial businesses and is accessible from State Route 32. In addition to the village’s available tax abatements and financing the site offers unique qualities that make it interesting to end users.

“Our site is in attainment for Ohio EPA air quality,” said Mt. Orab mayor Bruce Lunsford. “That means we met the Ohio EPA’s standard air quality when it was tested three times in a three-year period. This status will help our site become certified faster.”

As with other sites highlighted here, the Mt. Orab megasite has utilities in place and ready for a manufacturer to occupy the property.

RiverSide Yard

This 46-acre project is being completed by commercial real estate developer Neyer Properties. The plot is part of a larger approximately 70-acre industrial development along River Road in an established manufacturing corridor. Neyer is working closely with the City of Cincinnati and Peter Cremer, which collectively own an additional 24 acres alongside the project.

Currently, the site is undergoing mass excavation work to make it pad-ready and attractive to an end user. Next year the City of Cincinnati will direct an access road from US-50.

“It’s ideal for a manufacturer or a mix of industrial and office uses,” said Jeff Chamot, real estate development manager at Neyer Properties. “RiverSide Yard is the largest available industrial site in the City of Cincinnati. Its location just west of downtown with direct access to rail lines makes the site flexible.”

South Afton CommercePark

In early 2016, the Clermont County CIC purchased 242 acres of land 11 miles east of I-275 at the Half Acre Road interchange of State Road 32. Known as the South Afton CommercePark (SACP), this site can meet a variety of industrial users’ needs.

“Clermont County wants to make this project truly ready for an end user,” said Andy Kuchta, director of the Clermont County Department of Community and Economic Development. “We are designing a three-lane road and extending all utilities to the site this year.”

As the largest planned industrial park ever developed in Clermont County, SACP could house more than 1,800 jobs. More information is available at www.southafton.com.

Greater Cincinnati is taking strong steps to bring large manufacturing sites to market. These sites, among others throughout the region, can create thousands of jobs and represent millions in new capital investment. 

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