$41 million development planned near UC

$41 million development planned near UC

A Columbus-based developer is eyeing plans for a large student housing project near the University of Cincinnati.

Hallmark Campus Communities has submitted a formal application to the city of Cincinnati to rezone more than 1.3 acres of land at the southeast corner of West McMillan Street and Moerlein Avenue in CUF. There, the developer is looking to redevelop 10 individual parcels into a six-story multifamily building with a maximum of 447 beds, according to documents filed with the city of Cincinnati. The estimated total cost for the development, known as Gateway Lofts, is $41 million.

Officials with Hallmark Campus Communities declined to comment on the project at this point, as they are still working through plans that could change during the process.

The development would be located on 124, 126, 128, 132, 136, 138 and 142 Lyon St., as well as 115, 119 and 125 W. McMillan Ave. Moerlein Properties LLC, an affiliate of Hallmark Campus Communities, purchased 142, 126 and 124 Lyon St. for $1.39 million in November 2020, according to Hamilton County property records. It also purchased 138, 136, 132 and 128 Lyon St. for more than $1.7 million, according to property records. The remaining three properties are owned by an affiliate of Kingsley + Co., according to property records.

Gateway Lofts is designed to serve undergraduate students due to its proximity to UC, as well as the growth rate and projections of the university. It is designed with 114 total units, with a mix of two-bedroom, four-bedroom and five-bedroom units. The project also would include 153 on-site, underground parking spaces, according to documents submitted to the city.

According to documents submitted to the city, the current mix of units calls for 70% four-bedroom units, 21% five-bedroom units and 9% two-bedroom units. The four- and five-bedroom units attract undergraduate students, while the smaller units appeal to upper classmen or graduate students.

Hallmark has developed numerous student housing projects in the Midwest, including University Edge at 3250 Jefferson Ave. in 2012. Hallmark and its design team have worked together for more than 20 years and have developed more than 7,500 units of apartments and 10,000 beds of student housing.

Gateway Lofts is designed to include several bike racks in a covered and secured setting, as well as a roughly 9,300-square-foot amenity courtyard with more than 6,400 square feet of green space.

According to Hallmark’s application, project financing has been secured pending the outcome of rezoning.

The sites along West McMillan Street are currently zoned commercial community mixed district, with the southern portion of the site zoned residential mixed. One block west is the Verge, a six-story student housing building with 178 units and 495 beds.

A public staff conference to review the latest design is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 9. The first public staff conference was held July 28.

The potential project would then need to go to Cincinnati Planning Commission before ultimately going before city council to approve the zone change.

If the properties are rezoned, Hallmark is looking to start construction on or before the end of 2021. Gateway Lofts is expected to be completed on or before the fall semester of 2023.

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