Lester & Montgomery Project
This page will be utilized to communicate the ongoing progress of the Lester and Montgomery Project that is being completed by Towne Properties in conjunction with the PRDC (Pleasant Ridge Development Corporation).
As new information about designs, timelines, challenges, etc... they will be relayed on this site.
PRCC August Meeting
Traffic Study Results
Questions from the Community Council Meeting...
There are concerns about public services such as electric, sewage, etc...can you please explain your plan?
In regards to the concern for nearby neighbors, Duke Energy states they will not add additional demands because Towne Properties will be installing a new transformer on sight so there will be no disruptions to current service. Per the sewage question, Towne Properties will be building to Green Building Standards. Therefore, they will separate storm water and sanitary water systems. A series of underground retention under the parking lot will be created for storm water then slowly released back into the existing system, thus causing zero impact.
Can you please explain the plan for addressing traffic (safety for PRM and traffic on Lester)?
The traffic report from the City has been released (see above). The City did a traffic count and with the reported new residential entries and exits, time of day, it will have little impact. According to the report, it's adding a handful of sand to the beach. Once the project is complete and residents have moved in, Towne Properties will work with the City to complete a new traffic study. Executive Committee of PRCC and Pleasant Streets will meet in the coming month to review the study results.
In regards to the business community, how will this development benefit Pleasant Ridge?
No economic impact study has been completed because the report goes off of census data and it is currently a decade old data. It's been 60 years since the last multi-family development was built in Pleasant Ridge. With this being a new build, this brings the opportunity for businesses to move into a new store front rather than rehabing an existing location.
What is the data driven demand for more store fronts when existing remain empty?
Diversity of options for the business district, going back to the previous comment of new build versus rehabilitation of existing storefront.
Why is the structure so tall? To me (attendee of meeting), the size does not fit the community. How did you decide the development size?
The building is larger than existing structures in the community. Towne Properties focused on the architecture of Pleasant Ridge to better fit the aesthetic. Size is completely driven by fixed costs. Staffing cost - less floors it becomes unprofitable for Towne Properties. More housing density is both good for Pleasant Ridge and the City of Cincinnati.
Would you consider reducing the size to meet parking requirements?
Towne Properties would like to keep the size as planned as they are confident that parking will be managed properly. Towne is working closely with PRM and PRPC for additional parking spots.
Does the community input have an impact on the design or is the plan final?
The plan is NOT final due to a rezoning meeting that still needs to occur. Towne Properties feels as though they are moving down the right path with community input.
Can the utility poles in the design be buried?
Towne Property wishes that they could; however, there are three different constraints. 1) The Duke Substation - they do not bury lines mid-block - plus Duke has already stated "No." 2) South side of Montgomery feeds the north side as well, so those lines would also need buried which leads to 3) there would have to be 100% agreement for all property owners on that block in order to bury the lines.
What would the parking deal for PRM and PRPC look like?
A formal drafted agreement would be put in place for both PRM and PRPC for parking throughout the day. Towne Properties would offer to repave and reline the lot while maintaining the lot over time including snow removal in the winter. Safety around PRM would include onsite cameras, additional security guards, and screening of all potential renters.
What is a comparable sized Development that Towne owns, so we have an understanding of this new development?
Near DeSales Corner in Evanson, there are the DeSales Flats 2 which has 116 units. More can be found here: http://www.desalesflats.com
PRCC May Meeting
Towne Properties Presentation
Questions from the Zoom Chat...
Do the plans for the parking lot have good rain water drainage and green plantings like Nativity?
The parking lot is designed with similar landscaping areas and setbacks, but Towne Property is not familiar with the rainwater system at Nativity.
Can you influence the Duke Substation to less of an eyesore for the neighborhood?
Towne has been working with Duke since the beginning of the project design but unfortunately does not have influence to transform the appearance of the substation. They will attempt to work with Duke to add some soft landscaping on and around their fencing to soften and isolate the appearance, but ultimately it's Duke's call.
Do all the apartments have balconies?
Each apartment will have a balcony.
Why is there such a focus on one (1) bedroom units?
Towne Properties thoroughly studied the PR neighborhood, nearby neighborhoods and neighborhoods with similar characteristics within their management footprint to determine the mix of unit options. They feel comfortable with the unit mix, size, and layouts will be attractive options for the neighborhood. While the pandemic forced many employees to work from home and search for larger live/work spaces, Towne does not anticipate this to be a long term trend.
What factors determine the number of apartments and the stories to be built?
Towne believes it was important to design density into a building that would fit appropriately into the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood fabric. Towne loves the energy and growth in the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood business district and feel adding more residents will enable the business district to sustain its growth.
Will there be security on site?
The property will have residential access controls systems in place, plus security cameras, but there is not planned to be any on-site security personnel. The property will have on-site management and maintenance staffing during regular business hours and emergency maintenance available 24/7.
What is the estimated cost for rent?
As of today, Towne estimates rents to range from one-bedroom units starting at $1,200 per month and two bedroom, two bathroom units starting at $1,800 per month. Towne believes strongly that healthy neighborhoods have a diverse mix of housing options. Towne currently manages over 200 apartment units in the Pleasant Ridge Neighborhood that rent at affordable rates under 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The Area Median Income is determined by the United State Government’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Department. The current AMI for a one-person family is $59,813. HUD and the City of Cincinnati define housing affordability as a family spending no more than 30% of their income on housing/rent. The City of Cincinnati views affordable levels of housing as housing/rent available to families at 80% AMI. Under this definition, a one bedroom unit renting at $1,200 per month is affordable to a single family household with income at 80% of AMI.
Could you provide a rendering with surrounding buildings?
Towne Properties are currently working with their design team to complete this. They anticipate it being available early in the week of May 10th.
What is the number of additional parking spots being pursued?
Towne's goal is to get the available parking to the building and zoning code requirements, which will require one parking space per residential unit and 10 parking spaces for the commercial space for a total of 93 spaces needed. The plan is currently showing 78 parking spaces.
Will you work closely with Department of Transportation & Engineering (DOTE) for traffic and pedestrian safety (including PRM)?
The building is designed to be as close to the sidewalks (or City of Cincinnati Right-of-Way (ROW)) as possible. The building and zoning code for the Pleasant Ridge business district requires no setbacks. Towne feels mixed-use developments built against the ROW create a better pedestrian friendly neighborhood. There has not been any traffic impact studies or analysis performed yet. We are just now beginning our formal discussions with the City of Cincinnati Department of Traffic and Engineering (DOTE). We believe it was important to work with and share our initial plans with the community before we fully engaged the City of Cincinnati.
How will this project impact Pleasant Ridge Chili (PRC)?
Towne Properties have been communicating with the owners of Pleasant Ridge Chili and hope the new development will have a very positive impact on their business.
Is the 3 to 5 story design set in stone?
We are confident the new development will add vibrancy and options to the Pleasant Ridge business district and believe the style and feel of the development is very appropriate for the area.
What is the actual height of the building (rooftop to ground)?
The building height at its tallest point from the sidewalk to peak is 75 feet 8 inches tall and 63 feet tall at its lowest point. The Zoning code for the development locations allows for a maximum height of 85 feet.
Concerning affordable housing, is there a chance to include this into the plan?
See answer above about 'Estimated Cost'
Will you be back to give an update at the PRCC meetings?
Towne Properties will be back to provide periodic updates as well as communicating with the PRDC and PRCC.