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, zoning and code compliance officer, and a building and development office manager.
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 also 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.
On the southern end of the City, work continued on the planning of the Montgomery Quarter. This mixed-use project will feature a unique urban-suburban lifestyle blend and will include professional offices, boutique hotel, condominiums, and a restaurant row built around a new community green.
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 includes constructing a modified two-lane roundabout, installing a traffic signal in and around the interchange, and demolition of the existing bridge at this location. The project would have a safe and positive impact on traffic while opening more land for redevelopment. Phase 1 and 2 of the roundabout project were completed in 2020, transitioning to Phase 3 in the early Spring of 2021. The project is expected to be substantially complete in July of 2021.
Construction is well underway on Phase I of the Montgomery Quarter, located on Montgomery Road at Ronald Reagan Highway. Initial site work has been completed, and construction of a 544-space parking garage is underway. Construction of a second garage will begin soon, and both garages in Phase I of the overall project are expected to be complete by the end of 2021.
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 also include about 38,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 260,000 square feet of office space, 128 luxury apartments, and 48 condominiums. There are multiple parking garages included within the development providing approximately 940 parking spaces and on-street parking. Private parking garages will serve the new apartments and condominiums.
The luxury apartments include two ‘flats’ buildings and two townhome-style buildings. The construction of the apartments is expected to begin this spring, with an estimated completion of first quarter 2023.
Construction of the first office building is expected to begin later this summer and is scheduled to be completed by the spring of 2022. Fifth Third Private Bank, a division of downtown Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank (Nasdaq: FITB), has signed a lease for 15,000 square feet, covering the entire top floor of the four-story first office building that will be built in Montgomery Quarter. This lease helps kick off the development that has been in the works for six years.
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 Christ Hospital Health Network medical office building.
Construction of the public improvements for the Village Section of the Vintage Club's northern side was substantially completed in 2019. The first two condominium buildings, known as The Wicks at the Vintage Club were also substantially completed with a model opening in February of 2020.
Buildings A and B have been completed. GE Credit Union was scheduled to open in Building B in March of 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 of 2019, which included the building architecture and design of Building C. A building permit has been secured for this building and construction was scheduled to being in the spring of 2020; however, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed construction. The building is anticipated to start construction in the fall of 2021. City staff will continue to work with the developer in 2021 to bring this project to fruition.
Twin Lakes Senior Living Community
Twin Lakes completed the construction of 22 new villa homes just south of the Safety Center on Montgomery Road. With access from Arborcreek Lane off Hopewell Road, these villa homes are an extension of Twin Lakes North Campus, and all of the homes are occupied. Twin Lakes submitted for a Planned Development for the vacant property at Montgomery Road and Schoolhouse Lane on the east side of Montgomery Road. The project included 25 new townhome-style units in 11 buildings, with the buildings set close to the right-of-way of Schoolhouse Lane. The Planning Commission considered the application in April of 2020; however, the project was tabled, and Twin Lakes opted to move in a different direction after the meeting. A new concept plan for the property will be brought forward to the Planning Commission in May of 2021.
Bethesda North Hospital
The Planning Commission approved a Final Development Site Plan in December of 2020 to allow TriHealth to construct a two-story addition of approximately 16,500 square feet over the existing ‘vendor lot’ to provide space for GI/Endoscopy on the lower level and Cardiology/Cath labs on the first level. The plan also calls for the consolidation of Outpatient GI/Endoscopy Services into the building located at 10494 Montgomery Road. Work on this exciting project began in March of 2021 and is expected to be completed in August 2021.
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 the addition of a sidewalk along Montgomery Road and well-designed new buildings with landscaping along Montgomery Road and throughout the site. Three of the six buildings have been constructed and three units have been sold to private individuals.
Work continued on the Orchard Trail subdivisions, and six building permits have been issued for the development. The 29-lot, single-family, detached subdivision is 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 transition of ownership, Daley Design Build sold multiple lots to several different builders. This is a significant change in the development as it was initially intended for all the houses to be built by the same builder. Five building permits were issued for new homes in the subdivision in 2020. Additionally, four homes were sold in 2020 ranging in price from $670,000 to $766,490. The new subdivision will feature high-end, empty-nester housing with a pocket park and a walking trail.
Columbia Chevrolet and Audi Connection
In November of 2020, Planning Commission met to consider concept plans for the expansion of both the Columbia Chevrolet at 9750 Montgomery Road and the Audi Connection at 9678 Montgomery Road. The Joseph Auto Dealership is proposing to expand parking and inventory space for Columbia Chevrolet as well as construct a pre-owned vehicle sales building on the former Steak ‘n Shake site at 9770 Montgomery Road. City Council accepted the recommendation of the Planning Commission and approved the expansion of the conditional use for Columbia Chevrolet in April of 2021. The Joseph Auto Dealership is proposing to expand parking and inventory space for the Audi Connection on the former Star One/Rudino’s property located at 9722 Montgomery Road. City Council accepted the recommendation of the Planning Commission and approved the expansion of the conditional use for Columbia Chevrolet in March of 2021.
There were other positive developments in the city during 2020:
- Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 7 new businesses opened in 2020 with 10 additional new businesses opening between January 1 – April 15, 2021.
- Highest number of building and zoning permits on record with 502 building permits issued and 191 zoning permits.
- Issued eight commercial building permits for new construction and expansion, as shown below:
- 1010 Vintage Club Boulevard for Building C, which has unfortunately been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 7800 Roosa Street for Garage 1 at Montgomery Quarter.
- 9264 Montgomery Road for Garage 2 at Montgomery Quarter.
- 9260 Montgomery Road for the shell for Building 2A-1 at Montgomery Quarter.
- 9280 Montgomery Road for the shell for Building 2B at Montgomery Quarter.
- 9340 Montgomery road for the shell for Building IFH at Montgomery Quarter.
- 9441 Main Street for a renovation of the Jonathan Crain House for Clarity Bakery and Tea Room.
- 9200 Montgomery Road for a new entry and façade improvements for Asset Advisory Group
The total value of improvements for new commercial developments, expansion, and additions was significantly higher in 2020 at $30 million versus $831,790 in 2019.
The residential sector was busy in 2019 with the building department issuing 21 permits for new homes and 69 permits for residential remodeling/room additions. The total value of residential construction was estimated at $16 million versus $11.7 in 2019. The City issued 11 demolition permits in 2020, which is four less than were issued in 2019. Since 2001, there have been a total of 302 teardowns or approximately 7% of the total housing stock in the city.