Cincinnati donating property in Avondale for 18 new single-family homes
Cincinnati is donating some property in Avondale for a developer to build 18 single-family homes. Council voted in committee Monday to sell about four acres on Alaska Avenue to Titan Real Estate Group for one dollar. City officials estimate the vacant lots are worth about $200,000.
Some council members have used this project as an opportunity to talk about density — the most controversial topic for this council so far, especially considering its unity on most other issues.
“If there was flexibility in our land use and zoning policies, it's entirely possible that the developer could have come back with twice as many townhouses, which would have made for twice as many homes and potentially lower costs,” said Budget and Finance Chair Greg Landsman.
Titan Real Estate President Jodi Funke says the original plan was to build 32 townhomes.
“But the neighborhood came to me and they decided they did not want that density,” Funke said. “Because you have to remember, Avondale is home to many apartment buildings. So they have so much density there, and they wanted something different."
Home-ownership was always the main goal, Funke says, even with the initial plan for townhomes.
“I wanted to come in and help with the homeownership issues that Avondale has historically had; they're one of the lowest in the city,” Funke said.
Funke says she hopes to break ground in July or August on eight houses, with the remaining 10 constructed later.
“We've been working on it for over three years and this is the last step that we have to go through,” Funke said. “So I'm just excited to get the shovels in the ground.”
Five of the homes will be ranch-style and designed to be wheelchair accessible; those five will be reserved for households with at least one family member who has a disability. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is subsidizing the cost of those five, which will be listed for $225,000.
The other 13 homes will be listed at market rate, which Funke says is currently $350,000 to $380,000.
The project also includes a new street connecting Alaska Ave. and Harvey Ave, lined with trees and street lights, with a sidewalk on both sides of the street, a stop sign and crosswalk on each end. (See some renderings in the slideshow above.)
The total development will cost about $7 million. The project has already been awarded a $1 million forgivable loan through the city’s Notice of Funding Availability process. The developer did not ask for a tax abatement.
Council’s Budget and Finance Committee approved the project Monday; full council approved it Wednesday.