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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Wessels & Co Resumes Building on Memorial Village

Apartments Will be Rebranded as The Overlook Fort Thomas

The Overlook has views of the downtown Cincinnati skyline. FTM file. 
After years of planning, Wessels Construction and Development Corporation are moving forward with plans to continue to build apartments on Memorial Parkway. Initial development plans have been proposed and some approved by the Fort Thomas Planning Commission that date back as far as 1973.

Memorial Village, which currently has one building on the property, will soon have four more 12-unit buildings that could be ready as early as spring 2016. According to owner of Wessels Construction and Development Corporation, Bernie Wessels, the new development will be rebranded as The Overlook Fort Thomas.

"We’re excited about the complex and we're happy to finally get things going again. The market has finally turned around and we feel like the views for the Overlook is going to make these units very desirable," said Wessels. "Fort Thomas a great city, recently named one of the safest cities in Kentucky. People want to live in cities like that."

Director of General Services for the City of Fort Thomas, Ron Dill, has been on the forefront of the development process. He's been with the City of Fort Thomas for 28 years. He said that the property has originally been zoned for multi-family units or R-3, which are 21 units per acre. Then in 1984 it was changed to R-5, which holds around 9 units per acre.

"In 1984 a development plan proposing eight, 12-unit apartment buildings totaling 96 units was approved and construction commenced on one structure. To date, that is the only structure located on this site," said Dill.

According to the Wessels website, Memorial Village features two bedrooms/two full baths, washer and dryer connections in each unit and walk in closets. There is only one unit available right now, which rents for $620 per month.

These properties will be within the Fort Thomas Independent School District.

FTM file. 
More history on the Wessels & Co. proposed development. (FTM checks in with Wessels in 2007 and then again in 2009). 

In March 2000, Wessels restarted plans with a site plan approved for nine 12-unit buildings in addition to the existing structure for a total of 120 units. Things began to pickup in 2007, according to Bernie Wessels the economy became a sticking point.

"We want nothing more than to get started for the citizens of Fort Thomas. We have already committed a significant outlay of capital to the project." Wessels said in 2009. "It's on hold, but it's something that will get done." 

Dill said there was not a lot the city could do to move the project forward. "Construction was not initiated by the developer until earlier this year when Stage II development plans were submitted and approved by the City. Subsequently, the developer has been issued building permits for four (4) -12 unit buildings that are currently under construction. One building will house one-bedroom units and the other three will have two-bedroom units," said Dill.

Aside from the construction of the buildings, the development plan will require Wessels & Co. to construct a left hand turn lane, southbound, and a deceleration lane, northbound.

Additionally, the developer will be constructing a sidewalk along the frontage of Memorial Parkway that connects the previously constructed sidewalk on both sides leading to this property.

Currently Memorial Village rents for up to $650. The newer properties will feature higher end amenities. A price point for new rents has not been made available.

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