ULAP1Inner-ring Suburban Communities Receive Boost to Clean Up Costly Sites

HCDC is awarding four Urban Land Assistance Program (ULAP) grants to three communities to encourage the redevelopment of vacant and underutilized gas stations and auto repair properties. HCDC, the official Economic Development Office for Hamilton County, Ohio, administers the ULAP program that targets commercial and industrial sites in the inner-ring suburban communities of the county. Norwood, Reading, and Golf Manor will be awarded the grants that total $80,260 to spur redevelopment.

“Gas stations and auto repair shops are often located along high-traffic thoroughfares,” says David K. Main, President of HCDC. “The costs associated with environmental assessments and demolition can make redevelopment out of reach for many communities. Combining these catalyst grants with strong community involvement, means adding more jobs in a safer and cleaner environment.”

Reading Bridal District to Benefit
Along the Reading Bridal District, brides will soon have more parking options after a planned project is completed. The auto repair shop located at 100 W. Benson Street is being sold to the City of Reading to be transformed into a green space with added parking for the bridal destination. Reading will be granted $17,790 for the environmental assessment of the property.

Norwood Targets Two Sites
The City of Norwood received two ULAP grants. The first will help the city redevelop an abandoned auto repair shop at 5425 Carthage Avenue. Vacant since 2008, a lien was placed on the property after the owner died. It is being donated to the city this month. The ULAP advisory board approved $14,100 for a Phase II assessment to determine the extent of contamination from the former auto repair shop and an adjacent pesticide manufacturer that was located to the south of the property. The investment will help revitalize this large site located along the city’s second most traveled street.

Norwood was also granted $30,370 to remove underground storage tanks on the site of a demolished gas station at 5300 Section Avenue. The property is currently in foreclosure. Norwood plans to take ownership, but is currently prohibited until the tanks are removed according to regulations by the Ohio State Fire Marshals Bureau.

Golf Manor Helps School Expand
In Golf Manor, village officials would like to clean up an abandoned and condemned building that sits next to Cincinnati Hebrew Day School (CHDS). This project, located at 2290 Losantiville Ave., is the site of a former auto oil change facility that has been left vacant since 1998. A grant for $18,000 will be awarded for asbestos removal, demolition of what remains of the structure, and removal of the asphalt surface. A contract for the property is currently being negotiated between the Jewish Foundation, the owner, and Golf Manor. The school would like to expand its campus by adding parking and landscaping.

About ULAP
The Urban Land Assistance Program (ULAP) has seed funding available to communities in Hamilton County to help battle blighted commercial and industrial properties. These vacant and abandoned parcels sometimes need a small catalyst to spark the private and public investment needed to return these properties back into productive use.

The ULAP program fosters cooperation between the county, the communities, and the end user/developer- giving everyone skin in the game to eliminate a public hazard. The goal is to fix up properties for redevelopment that create real economic opportunity, investment, and jobs.

Since 2002, ULAP has received over $2,000,000 in requests, which resulted in nearly $1,000,000 in funding being provided to redevelop over 220 acres of commercial/industrial land in Hamilton County. Typical ULAP grants range from $10,000 – $30,000.

Funding rounds are held twice a year in the fall and spring. Communities may contact Dan Ferguson at 513-458-2226 or dferguson@hcdc.com for more information on the ULAP program.