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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

VA Homes Project Passes First Big Hurdle

City Administrative Officer, Ron Dill, Mayor Eric Haas, and city attorney, Jann Seidenfaden. FTM file. 

by Robin Gee

The VA homes project passed a major milestone on Monday night. At its June 19 meeting, Fort Thomas City Council approved the development agreement between Fort Thomas and the developer, Bloomfield/Schon, clearing the way for the city to purchase the homes from the VA and to proceed with plans for infrastructure, clean-up and construction.

The city and developer ironed out details of the agreement over several weeks, and were putting the final touches on the language just before the council meeting. In fact, council went into a brief executive session with the developer’s lawyer Jim Parsons to discuss inclusion of phrasing designed to safeguard the project timeline expectations.

RELATED: VA Homes Developer Shows Preliminary Plans for Historic Homes 

"We’re confident we have a developer that is interested in initiating and continuing the project. We don’t think it’s going to be a problem, but wanted to make sure we had some language in the agreement that would allow the city to insist on that," explained City Administrator Ron Dill.

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In particular, inclusions require the developer to have private financing in place within six months of the signing of the agreement and to begin construction work on site by March 2018 or risk voiding the agreement.

The language also puts a time frame of six months for the developer to present a stage two plan to the Planning Commission. Stage two would include the final design and site plan.

Dill added that the city fully expects there will be activity at the site before the March deadline, likely by the end of the year.

RELATED: Pictures, Developers Meet To Survey Properties 

The council passed two related ordinances, one approving the finance agreement and the other allowing the mayor to sign the deed and all closing documents to purchase the homes from the Veterans Administration.

Mayor Eric Haas said he was happy to have the agreement in hand in time for the upcoming Sesquicentennial celebration.

"It feels great to be at this point where we have a development agreement signed and will be closing on the property hopefully this week. There’s still a lot of work ahead, but now comes the fun part; we’ll be watching some things happen," he said.


  1. I used to play in some of these homes when I was a pre-teen. It is a shame that tax payer money has been wasted on this project when these home are in such bad shape and should be condemned. The property can be used for various other projects to benefit the community. When this is over all we will have is over priced homes for the city to collect taxes on. Bottom line is all homes in Ft. Thomas are over priced for the purpose of the city to tax. With a few exceptions all homes in Ft. Thomas should be valued at $90,000 to $150,000 period.

    1. You should run for the county office of Property Valuation Administrator that controls property tax valuation. But the private market for homes will ruin your opinion on valuation

  2. Agreed this needs to be dropped and the land put to use in another way to expand Tower Park for recreation. Don't need a few more million dollar homes sitting on a hillside.