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Panel OKs $90M riverfront apartment tower concept



Atlanta-based real estate developer Novare Group got a key approval Friday on its plan to build a 25-story apartment building near Cincinnati's riverfront.

The Cincinnati Planning Commission voted 4-1 to approve the project's concept and a zoning change at 601 E. Pete Rose Way. Novare Group applied to create a planned development district to feature 352 rental units, 3,000 square feet of retail space, and a 500-space parking garage on a nearly 2.8-acre site. The commission's approval, which had the city planning staff's recommendation for passage, came with a limitation on the garage's height.

Novare has a contract to buy the property near the Purple People Bridge from land owner Montgomery Inn. The site is now a parking lot that serves roughly 250 cars a day.

There's still a series of approvals that have to happen before any construction takes place. Novare will have to return to the Planning Commission to have a final development plan approved.

City Council will also have to approve the final plan as well and would have the final say on whether the project could secure any tax abatement or other economic development incentives.

Before those meetings take place, Novare officials will make a presentation April 7 to the city's Urban Design Review Board, an independent panel that advises city officials on designs of major public and private Downtown development projects.

"We would like to develop this building in Cincinnati," Novare Group President and CEO Jim Borders said. "These things are really hard. We really are about working with everyone to make sure it's something everyone wants."

Novare wants to begin project construction in summer 2016, apartment leasing in fall 2017 and complete construction of the buildings in winter 2017. The company has developed 12,500 residential units in 38 high-rise buildings around the United States and SkyHouse Cincinnati is its first in the Midwest.
 

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The apartment developer's design for this project is quite similar to many of their other ones. However, in the context of Cincinnati, the postmodern art deco style really fits the skyline well and appears like it belongs here. Will be a great addition to the city.
 

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The design makes it really easy for them to start construction asap after getting approval. Wish they could bury or add the garage to the base of the tower instead of an attachment, but that's their typical design for Skyhouse. I'll go with groundbreaking in July.
 
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