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Multi-Story Downtown Building Coming Down, But For What Remains To Be Seen

435 Elm is currently home to a deli and a farm-to-table restaurant.
Bill Rinehart
435 Elm is currently home to a deli and a farm-to-table restaurant.

A city-owned building near the Duke Energy Convention Center will be coming down soon. The Port approved bonds Thursday morning to tear down the structure at 435 Elm.

Port President and CEO Laura Brunner says there are a number of things that could be built there. "I would anticipate it would at least include a boutique hotel, and probably a small amount of retail and perhaps some apartments. We will put a surface lot there hopefully very temporarily."

Brunner says the parking lot will generate revenue to pay the interest on $4 million in bonds approved for the demolition. Those bonds will be paid off when the lot is sold to a developer.

Earlier this year, The Port bought two parking garages north of the convention center, and the surface lot at 5th and Plum.

Brunner says there were opportunities there for redevelopment. "Our mission is to put blighted properties back into productive use. That property certainly meets that criteria. What we always find is it's easier to market property for future development when the demolition and environmental cleanup and site work is done."

She says The Port is keeping options open as it waits to hear what will happen with the Millennium Hotel. The owners confirmed last week they were entertaining an offer to sell the property. Hamilton County leaders say a developer wants to build a new convention center hotel there. 3CDC paused its efforts to find a developer for a new hotel at 5th and Plum on that news.

Brunner says the businesses currently operating in 435 Elm don't have a lease and will have to vacate. She says demolition should start within three months.

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Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio: and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.