2023 Community Development Annual Report

The community development department is responsible for administering the City’s building and zoning codes and property maintenance code enforcement.  The department consists of three full-time staff: a director, a city planner, and a community development specialist. The department benefited from support from the community and information services staff and a construction and compliance inspector in the public works department.

The City contracts for building, engineering, electrical, and plumbing plan review and inspections with outside agencies.  In addition to issuing building permits, the community development department is responsible for strategic and long-range planning, economic and business development, and general community development projects.  It provides staff support to the Planning Commission, the Landmarks Commission, and the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Development Activity

Vintage Club

The City originally approved the establishment of the Vintage Club Planned Development in 2006 for approximately 68 acres along Montgomery Road north of I-275 to allow the creation of a mixed-use village with residential and commercial uses.  The updated General Development Plan reflects months of work by the developer to meet the expectations of the City and the residents of the Vintage Club while working with the current market conditions.  In many ways, the development is very similar to the original proposal in 2006. The final product will be an attractive mixed-use development with retail, office, restaurants, and condominiums that will complement the existing homes at the Vintage Club and The Christ Hospital Health Network medical office building.

Construction of the public improvements for the northern side of the Village Section of the Vintage Club was substantially completed in 2019. The first condominium building, The Wicks at the Vintage Club, was substantially completed, with a model opening in February 2020. The second condo building has also been constructed.

Buildings A and B have been completed.  GE Credit Union was scheduled to open in Building B in March 2020; however, the opening was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The bank opened to the public in late 2020.  The COVID-19 pandemic also delayed the opening of Orange Theory in Building A, which re-opened in April of 2021 after a brief opening in the summer of 2020.

The Planning Commission approved Phase 10 of the Vintage Club in October 2019, which included the architecture and design of Building C. After a COVID-related delay, the building has been constructed, and the Traditions team is working to occupy it with further business options.

In late 2023, the Planning Commission recommended approval to the City Council for a rezoning, General Development Plan, and modification of the Planned Unit Development Overlay to allow for the construction of a new 144 independent living building south of Vintage Club Boulevard adjacent to the Christ Hospital.

The project will provide a variety of housing options. City Staff will continue to work with the developer in 2024 to hopefully start the project soon.

McNair Development Proposal

Montgomery Quarter

On the southern end of the city, work continued on the Montgomery Quarter project.  The Montgomery Quarter is a premier mixed-use development and includes a boutique hotel, meeting and event space and amenities such as a bar, spa and retro game room and lounge.  The development will ultimately include about 30,700 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 98,000 square feet of office space, and 387 luxury apartments, a potential entertainment-type use.  There are multiple parking garages included within the development providing approximately 940 parking spaces and along with on-street parking.  Private parking garages will serve the new apartments.

As part of the project, the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) approved and awarded funding for a grant application submitted by the City for an interchange modification project at Montgomery Road and Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway.  The project was completed in the summer of 2021 and includes a modified two-lane roundabout and installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of Montgomery Road and Roosa Street.  The project increased safety and traffic flow at the intersection of Montgomery Road and Ronald Reagan Cross County Highway while opening more land for redevelopment.

In addition to Fifth Third Private Bank, a division of downtown Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank (Nasdaq: FITB), 2022 leasing of 15,000 square feet, covering the entire top floor of the three-story office building Unlimited Systems leased the entire second floor in 2023.  Pepsico has leased approximately 9,000 square feet of the first floor and has started a tenant build out that is anticipated to be completed in early 2024 leaving only one additional office space of approximately 6,000 square feet is left for lease in the building.

The retail building's second floor was occupied entirely at 9340 Montgomery Road by Creative Planning (a financial planning firm) at approximately 7,400 square feet and Ahead (an IT consulting firm) at approximately 6,200 square feet.  Kitchen Social Restaurant, with its first Cincinnati area location, also opened on the first floor of the 9340 Montgomery Road Building.

In Phase One, the luxury apartments include two ‘flats’ buildings and two townhome-style buildings. Construction of the two ‘flats’ buildings was completed in 2023, and initial occupancy rates have been strong. The townhomes should be complete and residents should take occupancy in early 2024.

The development team of Brandicorp, Neyer Properties and Jeffery R. Anderson Real Estate, Inc. has secured The Tapestry by Hilton brand for the boutique hotel planned for Montgomery Quarter.  The boutique hotel will feature multiple event spaces, a uniquely designed lobby bar and 118 luxury guest rooms.  In coordination with Hilton, the development team will design and curate the guest experience to highlight the uniqueness and energy of the Montgomery area.  Construction started late 2023, and an opening is planned for 2025. The Tapestry by Hilton hotel will set the standard for approachable luxury in the eastern suburbs of Cincinnati.

In 2023, The Planning Commission approved a General Development Plan for the second phase of the project, which will entail 4 additional flat-style multi-family buildings, a mixed-use building, and an “eatertainment” use for the central area of phase two.

Montgomery Quarter Updated General Development Plan

Twin Lakes Senior Living Community

In late 2021, the Planning Commission approved a Final Development Site Plan for constructing three ‘flats’ building for Twin Lakes at the corner of Montgomery Road and Schoolhouse Lane.  The project will comprise thirty independent living units in three buildings with a community room and outdoor amenities.  The plans also call for adding a sidewalk along Montgomery Road and well-designed new buildings with landscaping along Montgomery Road and throughout the site.  Due to economic and supply chain issues due to the pandemic, the project was delayed and is anticipated to start construction in early 2024.   This project will complement the existing independent living homes and allow Twin Lakes to meet the needs of its residents today and for years to come.

Illustration of Twin Lakes Trillium Independent Living Building

Bethesda North Hospital

The Planning Commission approved Final Development Plans for remodeling and extension of the hospital’s main entrance and concourse, minor parking enhancements, and emergency department exterior enhancements.

Illustration of Bethesda North Hospital Emergency Entrance Expansion

Illustration of Bethesda North Hospital Main Entrance Expansion

The additional floor of approximately 33,000 square feet with 44 private patient rooms designed to meet updated standards for patient and family accommodations related to Oncology Med-Surgical Care neared completion that is anticipated to be completed in early 2024. The project also updated the exterior of the hospital tower with modernized metal panels installed from the 5th to 8th floor.    Additionally, architectural feature lighting was approved for the 300 Tower of the main hospital, and new entrance signage to improve wayfinding.

Villas of Montgomery

The Planning Commission approved a Final Development Site Plan in October of 2018 to allow Robert Lucke Group to construct 12 new villa homes along Montgomery Road north of the Safety Center.  The existing single-family homes have been demolished to make way for The Villas of Montgomery, including six new single-family attached dwellings and open space.  Drivers may access this latest development by a private drive which will be right-in/right-out.  The plans call for adding a sidewalk along Montgomery Road and well-designed new buildings with landscaping along Montgomery Road and throughout the site.  Four of the six buildings have been constructed with the final two buildings under construction in 2023.

Orchard Trail

Work continued on the Orchard Trail subdivision, a 29-lot, single-family, detached subdivision on the site of the former Montgomery Swim and Tennis Club on Orchard Club Drive.  Camden Homes received approval for the development; however, Daley Design Build took over the project in 2018.  Following the ownership transition, Daley Design Build sold multiple lots to several different builders.  This is a significant change in the development, as it was originally intended for all the houses to be built by the same builder. One building permit was issued for new homes in the subdivision in 2021.  Additionally, one new home was sold in 2023.  Only four single-family lots remain in the subdivision, which features high-end, empty-nester-type housing with a pocket park and a walking trail.

Sycamore Community Schools

Sycamore Community Schools is completing a facilities master plan that involves renovations and/or new construction on many of the district's campuses. Within the City of Montgomery, an addition to E.H. Green Intermediate School at 5200 Aldine Drive was completed in 2022, and construction of a new Junior High at 5757 Cooper Road was completed in 2023. The plan also calls for the relocation of the bus depot and separation of bus and car traffic, which should help alleviate traffic congestion during pick-up and drop-off on Cooper Road.

The Planning Commission approved a Final Development Site Plan to allow for modifications to the existing Sycamore High School for the purpose of adding and expanding the Natatorium.  Additionally, the Planning Commission approved modifications to the Stadium’s Final Development Plan to enhance signage for the site.   The updates to the schools and the new Sycamore Stadium will allow the District to provide first-class facilities for the student-athletes and meet the needs of their students today and for years to come.

Exterior Elevation of Proposed Natatorium Expansion

Audi Connection

The Joseph Auto Dealership proposed a Final Development Plan/Expansion of a Conditional Use for an accessory service building at the rear of the site of the Audi Connection at 9678 Montgomery Road. The building will have four service bays and one wash bay.  The approved service building is intended to provide additional needed services onsite while potentially reducing traffic on Montgomery Road due to Audi vehicles current use of the Chevrolet wash facilities.   After a Planning Commission approval recommendation and City Council concurrence, it is anticipated that construction will occur in 2024.

The Audio Connection Plans

Positive Developments

There were other positive developments in the city during 2023:

  • 18 new businesses were added in 2023 with a variety of restaurants, retail, and personal services opening.
  • Building permits continue to exceed historical averages with 545 building permits issued and 128 zoning permits.
  • Issued three major commercial building permits for new construction and expansion, as shown below:
    • 7400 Cornell Road for new Sycamore High School
    • 10500 Montgomery Road: Bethesda North Hospital Entryway
    • Montgomery Quarter: Various Permits including the new hotel and new tenant finishes.

The total value of improvements for new commercial developments, expansion, and additions 2023 remained strong at approximately $46 million versus $43.5 million in 2022.

The residential sector was busy in 2023 with the building department issuing 15 permits for new homes and 53 permits for residential remodeling/room additions.  The total value of residential construction was estimated at $22.5 million.  The City issued 11 demolition permits in 2023, which is average.  Since 2001, there have been a total of 333 teardowns or approximately 7% of the total housing stock in the city.

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