By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor
The plans for the Central Business District development project proposed by Rick Greiwe and his partners have undergone significant changes. Greiwe Development shared newly revised plans for the Fort Thomas Town Center on its website and has submitted them to the city for the upcoming public hearing and related meetings.
|A rendering by M + A Architects of the proposed Central Business District development as seen from the southwest|
After a contentious public hearing in April attended by about 180 community members, the Planning Commission set a second hearing to discuss the matter further. The developer then met with the Design Review Board that echoed some of the same concerns voiced by neighbors and other Fort Thomas residents.
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Changes to the size and scale
At issue was the size and scale of the proposed three-story mixed-use development that ran along North Fort Thomas Avenue to the corner of Highland Avenue encompassing properties at 9 Highland Avenue and 3, 15, 19 and 25 North Fort Thomas Avenue. The building exceeded height requirements by three feet, nine inches and included commercial space on the first floor and two floors of luxury condos.
During the first planning process, Greiwe met with concerned neighbors from Woodland Place, which runs behind the development, to discuss the residential garage, which empties onto the beginning of their street. He recently met again with a group of neighbors who were also architects and has reached out to set another meeting with an initial group Woodland Place neighbors.
While the revised project plan contains many changes and reflects input provided by community members, at this time the residential garage will still face Woodland Place. It will include less residential parking spaces and a 25-foot wide buffer zone. Discussions on this aspect have been ongoing.
|A site plan for the two buildings in the proposed Fort Thomas Town Center project.|
The biggest change is the breaking up of one massive building into two buildings with a pedestrian walkway between the two buildings. The roof has been changed and will stay within the 50-foot maximum height requirement for the zone.
The larger of the two buildings will be three stories. The upper floors will include 18 two-bedroom condominium flats with sizes ranging from 1,700 square feet to 2,550 square feet. The first floor will include retail, neighborhood services and food shops.
The second building will include a full-service restaurant on the first floor with a large outside dining space and a second floor for business offices. The restaurant will feature a glass wall that will open out onto the street and a garden between the two buildings.
The proposed commercial parking lot will have 40 spaces and a designated commercial delivery and residential drop-off zone. As in the original design, the site will include landscaping, covered walkways, trellises and similar features.
Public Hearing and Design Review scheduled
The public hearing with the Planning Commission is set for Wednesday, May 29, to be held at 7 p.m. at the Fort Thomas Community Center (Mess Hall), 801 Cochran Avenue in Fort Thomas.
The public hearing will be followed the next day by a new Design Review Board meeting set for Thursday, May 30, at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Fort Thomas City Building.