Nine new townhomes near 15th and Elm streets could bring the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood among its first million-dollar single family residences.
Cincinnati’s Historic Conservation Board approved plans Monday for the new construction project in the 200 block of West 15th Street. The more than $10 million project also includes the renovation of an old fire station along 15th Street for residential and potentially commercial use, said Jim Daniels, president of Montgomery-based Daniels Homes.
Daniels Homes is developing the three-phase project. However, construction could begin on the first project phase – a five-unit block of townhomes on the north side of 15th west of Elm – before the end of 2015, Daniels said. Four of the five townhomes are already under contract for purchase, he said. The homes would be completed in less than a year after construction begins.
Townhomes will feature at least two bedrooms, two-car garages, and a covered second floor exterior rear deck. Prospective buyers can opt to have an elevator in their unit in addition to other custom options. The current list price for units without customization is about $639,000. One home is under contract for more than $1 million, Daniels said.
“We’re hoping the neighborhood is ready for it,” said Daniels, who launched project planning about a year ago. “We’ve been watching it. We’ve heard about where things are going. It’s really up for quite a while been more (about) condos than single-family. Now, there’s a demand for that.
“The renaissance in Over-the-Rhine is real and it’s not going away and there’s confidence to make this type of product available.”
The second project phase would add four more townhomes on the south side of 15th Street, from about 215-221 W. 15th St.
For the old fire station, renovations would convert upper floors of the 15,000-square-foot building to serve as a loft for Daniels and his wife. The former station’s ground floor could serve as a parking garage for residents and that could sit below apartments or office space, Daniels said.
The townhomes are being designed to blend modern features with historic architecture of the neighborhood.
“By respecting the historical context of the neighborhood’s forms and proportions, these homes were designed for the needs of today’s urban dweller,” said lead architect Jeff Mike of Designpoint Architecture.
Designpoint has been working with Over-the-Rhine firm Hampton Architects on the project since the spring. Mike said it’s still hard to believe million-dollar homes are being sold in a neighborhood showing signs of neglect and disinvestment a decade ago.
“It’s just unbelievably refreshing that people have embraced Over-the-Rhine,” Mike said. “With the city’s posture with the streetcar and the refurbishing of Findlay Market, it’s turned into a wonderful opportunity for Cincinnati to show their best foot.”
The development team has been working for several months with the Historic Conservation Board to get clearance to complete construction and demolition work at the project site. Since the project is occurring within the Over-the-Rhine Historic District, the board had to weigh in and evaluate the project’s design in accordance with guiding design principles for the neighborhood.