Fifth Third financial analyst plans OTR co-living units where renters can build equity

Fifth Third financial analyst plans OTR co-living units where renters can build equity

A first-time developer is renovating a series of buildings scattered throughout Over-the-Rhine, bringing a series of co-living units online whose tenants can gain equity stakes in their rental housing.

Shree Pragada and his wife are renovating three buildings – at 1510 Race St., 1508 Pleasant St. and 208 E. 13th St. – and building two more on vacant lots at 1610 and 1614 Elm St.  The couple moved to Cincinnati from New York City wooed by Over-the-Rhine’s redevelopment.

“We’re so enamored and impressed by the progress 3CDC (Cincinnati Center City Development Corp.) and others have accomplished in such a record amount of time,” Pradaga told the Business Courier. “It’s a nationally recognized story. We wanted to take one more baby step in the same direction.”

At 1508 Pleasant St. and 1510 Race St. – buildings the couple bought through 3CDC’s third-party developer program – they’re wrapping up construction on six and nine units, respectively, which Pragada described as “big, upscale condos.” The Race Street project will be complete in February, and the one on Pleasant Street is expected to finish in June.

The idea is tenants in each of the projects can share access to the common amenity areas across the buildings. A chef might come in and cook in one of the shared kitchens for groups of 30.

The apartments will be rented at market rates, with high-end amenities and experiences, but intended as workforce housing, with the communal orientations defraying some of the costs. But Pradaga wants to take the concept one step further.

“If you look at traditional renters, someone is paying $20,000 a year, or $100,000 over five years, to live in OTR, but they get zero equity. We think we can change that,” he said. “We can deliver equity to our tenants. They can stay here, in any unit across our network of properties, and build equity.”

The tagline is “Pay for 10 years and live rent free,” Pradaga said.

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