The city received three letters of interest after soliciting responses from developers in November. The three developers which submitted initial plans to potentially bid were Ashley Development Company out of Edgewood, Kennedy Homes our of Ft. Mitchell and David Hosea.
Mick Kennedy, President of Kennedy Homes, was the only developer to address council. He has done many restorations like this one, adding, "This is a project that's got to be done first class or not at all."
Now that the city is assured that there is indeed interest from developers to eventually take on this project, the city will move forward with hiring firms to gauge the engineering and environmental challenges to get these homes up to code while preserving their architectural integrity.
The VA estimate to get the environment up to code is $833,000. This number is probably the biggest issue for developers. If some issues creep up that the VA has not already taken into consideration, it could drive up costs severely, and surely scaring the developers away.
Add the cost for surveying, subdividing properties, etc at around $58,000 and the city (and eventually the developers) are looking at approximately $891,000 just to get the land and houses ready to be developed.
Whatever the number ends up being, one of the more important issues to the city was that any developer who takes on this project would be doing so while keeping the original character of these houses in tact.
"I think we are being as flexible as we can, while protecting the integrity of the homes," said Councilman Eric Haas. "It's got to be a situation where the developer can make some money, but the city won't lose money at the same time."
As long as the firms the city hires to do some analysis on estimating these costs don't turn up anything unexpected, the long process of restoring some of the most historic homes in our city is moving right along.