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The Port looks to buy historic Crosley Building

The inside of the Crosley building in February 2023.
Nick Swartsell
The inside of the Crosley building in February 2023.

Cincinnati's historic Crosley Building will likely change hands soon.

The Port has secured funds from the city of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to purchase the building, which was built in 1929 by the Crosley Radio Company. It once housed both the company's radio factory and the broadcast studios for 700 WLW at a time when the station was the most powerful in the country.

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Port President and CEO Laura Brunner says The Port hasn't finalized redevelopment plans for the property yet but was told by the Urban Land Institute, a think tank, that the massive structure should be its first priority in the Camp Washington/Queensgate corridor. Brunner said future redevelopment plans will highlight the building's heritage.

"Thanks to the collaboration between the city of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, we are able to acquire the Crosley building while retaining its unique architectural charm and character," she said during a news conference Friday in the 330,000-square-foot building.

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Hamilton County Commissioners Thursday approved allocating $1 million toward the $2.5 million purchase of the building. The city will also provide funding.

"Breathing new life into industrial sites can be a game-changing driver of economic activity," Cincinnati City Manager Sheryl Long said at a Friday news conference. "That's not just because we're eliminating blight. We're also making new opportunities."

The Port has been acquiring and working to remediate properties in the Mill Creek Valleywith an eye toward attracting modern manufacturing to the area. It's secured more than $23 million in grants to that end.

Indiana-based developer TWG currently owns the property at 1333 Arlington Street and recently had plans to redevelop it into 200 apartments, utilizing historic preservation and low income housing tax credits. But rising construction costs and an Ohio law prohibiting developers from using both types of credits on the same project created difficulties for that plan.

Nick has reported from a nuclear waste facility in the deserts of New Mexico, the White House press pool, a canoe on the Mill Creek, and even his desk one time.