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After Closed-Door Meeting, FC Cincinnati And West End Residents Reach Deal

421 wade street
Residents of 421 Wade Street, a West End apartment building purchased by FC Cincinnati in early 2019, have reached an undisclosed agreement to vacate the property.

Cincinnati City Council has approved a zoning change and the sale and vacation of two rights-of-way needed for the FC Cincinnati stadium in the West End.
The issue involved portions of 15th Street and Nome Alley.  The team needed that property to continue "deep foundation work" on the project.

The sale and zoning change approval came Thursday after closed-door negotiations, near the City Council chamber, between FC Cincinnati officials and tenants who live at 421 Wade Street and 1559 Central Avenue.  The team now owns those buildings and had been asking tenants in those buildings to voluntarily vacate by Friday or face eviction.

Those properties were not involved in the sale and zoning matters, but some council members were resisting moving forward on the zoning issue without the tenants of those buildings being taken care of and offered housing alternatives.

Specific details of the agreement between FCC and the tenants were not disclosed. But Legal Aid Attorney John Schrider, who represents the tenants, said it includes more time before they have to move and "substantial" relocation assistance.

"Whenever there's a compromise no one totally loves it," Schrider said.

An FC Cincinnati attorney thanked the tenants for working on an agreement and allowing the zoning issues to move forward.

Without the land sale and zoning change, stadium construction would likely have stopped at the end of June.  

Next, the team will need city approval for the final design of the stadium. Without that, no actual construction to bring the facility "out of the ground" can happen.

Meanwhile, City Council will likely be voting on another issue involving FC Cincinnati in the coming weeks.

Mayor John Cranley announced as the meeting was ending that the city and Hamilton County have reached an agreement to amend the Convention Facilities Authority agreement.  City Council will need to approve that modification.

That's necessary to allow the city to use money from the hotel/motel tax to meet the financial obligations it made to the FCC stadium project.  The city's money is being used to fund infrastructure work to support the facility.