Page 1

Initiative Update 2013

Table of Contents Energizing Hamilton’s Urban Core 3 Hamilton’s Strategic Plan 4 Live, Work, Play

The Historic Mercantile Lofts 6 RiversEdge 7 Butler Tech School of the Arts 8 Artspace Hamilton 9

Infrastructure East High Street Gateway 10 South Hamilton Crossing 11 Main-Millville-Eaton Intersection 12 Downtown Parking 13 Court Street Corridor Improvements 14 Smart Grid 15

Green Meldahl Hydroelectric Project 16 CNG Fueling Station 17

New Tools

CORE Fund 18 Business Development Team 19 Community Reinvestment Area 20 Butler County Land Reutilization Corp. 21 Form Based Code & Complete Streets 22 Customer First Initiative 23

Economic Development Economic Development 24 Brownfield Redevelopment 25 Educational Investments 26 Health Care Expansion 27


Energizing Hamilton’s Urban Core There is much to be excited about in Hamilton’s urban core. Buildings are being renovated, people are moving

in, and the business community is growing. The City of Hamilton is concentrating much of its revitalization efforts on the urban core to make it a place where people want to work, live, and play.

It is not hard to see why the urban core is the focal point. Not only is it because it is the heart of the City, but

Fall Events. In 2012, Operation Pumpkin relaunched in downtown Hamilton, bringing a weekend filled with activities to the urban core, such as pumpkin trebuchets, a giant pumpkin weigh-off, pumpkin sculpting, a 5K Walk/ Run, beer garden, wine tasting, and musical entertainment. Thousands of people came downtown to enjoy the festivities. Hamilton is looking forward to Operation Pumpkin’s return Fall 2013.

also because the urban core contains many assets to build upon. Downtown Hamilton and its surrounding historical neighborhoods have incredible character that remains largely intact, providing the City a strong foundation for creating a sense of place and building a positive image.

The 2012 annual Double Dam Regatta on the Great Miami River was hosted in conjunction with a new event on the same day, the Wheel and Heel 5K Run and Duathalon. And, for the first time, the Farmer’s Market continued into the Fall in German Village.

Summertime Events. The 2012 Summer Concert Series brought over a thousand people to downtown Hamilton throughout the summer. The 2013 Summer Concert Series is opening at the new RiversEdge Amphitheater, bringing great music downtown for the whole summer. In June 2012, German Village hosted the American Cornhole Organization Hamilton Cornhole Cup, the first time Hamilton has hosted such an event. More than 500 people from 22 states participated in the event. “This German Village is a cool, cozy place,” said Eric Hinerman of Cincinnati, an ACO Pro. “The businesses have been great and the City is taking care of us.” These new events, in addition to longtime favorites such as the 4th of July Parade, offer many opportunities to enjoy downtown throughout the season.

Winter Events. In 2012, Hamilton welcomed back longtime favorite activities in the winter. For the first time, Hamilton’s business districts combined their holiday events - German Village Christmas Walk, Hamilton Welcomes the Holidays, and the Main Street Music Fest - into one weekendlong festival. In January 2013, Hamilton’s’ IceFest drew 30,000 people to Downtown Hamilton, marking another successful IceFest for the City of Sculpture. Hamilton will host a new holiday celebration in 2013 in German Village, Christkindlmarket. Together, these activities bring residents and visitors alike to Hamilton’s urban core to see and be part of its renaissance.

The Revivalists brought hundreds of people Downtown for a Thursday night concert during the 2012 Summer Concert Series


STRATEGIC PLAN Hamilton has been aggressive in its push towards a stronger future, thanks in large part to its Strategic Plan and committed stakeholders. For many years, Hamilton was a city shaped by its industries. As we transition into a new economy, Hamilton requires a new vision, one that unifies the city’s stakeholders, capitalizes on the city’s assets, and embraces the global economy. The Strategic Plan is our roadmap.

These three objectives – work, live, and play – are the foundation of building a healthy, vibrant Hamilton. Status

The Strategic Plan is currently being updated to create metrics to track progress

- 2018 2 1 0 2

purposeful desti a e nat m o c ion I n creas e Jobs e Ho b F u r t m h ering for e To 00 Net New the Owne Vita rs ,0 d2 Ad




a Positive Brand via Communications & Customer First Initiative

Urban Core Assets by Incentivizing Desired Uses


Existing Competitive Advantage and Sustainability Efforts via Utilities & Technological Infrastructure


Urban Blight in Partnership with the Butler County Land Reutilization Corporation


and Maintain Transportation Assets, Primary Corridors and Entryways

Reinvestment in Traditional Neighborhoods with Tools Such as the Community Reinvestment Area (CRA)





Organizations in Furthering the Arts Identity for the City

ga En ecia Sp

via Unique Special Events ge & Recreational Opportunities l E 50 ve ,00 nts 0 , A Par rts tici & R pan ecr ts An eat nually ion A i ctiviti n es

Retail, Restaurant & Entertainment Options

An Historic Paper Mill District along the Riverfront

t es nv ver I ew i Ri of N iam n illio t M 0 m Grea 1 $ e t he Genera round t A

P layin g



me nt


Creating economic opportunity by connecting people, building a positive image, and developing a sense of place


e $50 million of New Realiz al/Commercial In Private vestme i r t s nt Indu

Neighborhoods to Create Unique Identities

se Vacant Resident Decrea ctures by 30% ial Stru


Attraction & Expansion within Targeted Industries

ile e Wh Cor n


lity hip of to the 60 Ur % ba

Work Annual Performance Goal

Downtown Occupancy % of Total Commercial Space by SF

Increase 60% over 5 years

Avg Hourly Wage of Jobs Created via Incentives


Private $ Leveraged/Public $ Invested (Comm/Ind)

Ratio of 2:1

# of Net New Jobs

2,000 over next 5 years

# of New Jobs Exceeding Per Capita Income

80% Increase

% of Social Media Users per Capita


# of New Small Business Enterprises


# of Creative-Based Enterprises

5 new enterprises over next 5 years

# of Technology-Based Enterprises

5 new enterprises over next 5 years

# of Strands of City-Owned Fiber Utilized

Reach 95% over 5 years

% of Business Open At Least 3 Years


% of Non-Carbon Emitting Energy Provided

Reach 75% over 5 years

# of Comm/Ind Utility Accounts


Live Measure

Annual Performance Goal

Sq Ft of Repurposed Space in Urban Core

100,000 sf

Population of Urban Core

Increase by 100 people

Number of Market-Rate Housing Units in Urban Core

Increase by 75 units

Growth in Appraised Value within Urban Core

4% increase every 2 years

% of Home Ownership in Neighborhoods & City

65% Increase

Private $ Leveraged/Public $ Invested (Residential)

Ratio of 2:1

Residential Density in Neighborhoods & City

7 + Units Per Acre

% of Vacant Residential Structures

6% in Five Years

# of Properties Valued at Less than $50k

6% in Five Years

Increase in Property Value Resulting from CRA


Draft Strategic Plan Metrics


Play Measure

Annual Performance Goal

Hotel Tax Revenue

20% increase over 5 years

$ Granted for Health Code Compliance in Core


Occupancy % of Storefronts in Core by Units


# of Miles of Bike Lanes Added

2.5 Miles

Total # of Developments Added Near Riverfront


Avg Attendance at City’s 12 Largest Events

10% Increase

Ratio of $ Invested/Participants at Events

Ratio of 1:1

Economic Impact of City’s 12 Largest Events

3x Total of Event

# of Participants in Arts Organizations


# of Participants in City Recreation Programs


# of Golfers at City Golf Course



Live, Work, Play

Between 2011 and 2012, the newly renovated historic Mercantile Lofts opened downtown, inviting young professionals, empty nesters, and everyone in-between to live a walkable, urban lifestyle in Hamilton. Built circa 1875, the buildings served commercial functions for more than 100 years in downtown Hamilton. By the late 1990s, however, the buildings were vacant and facing potential demolition. But redevelopment efforts by visionary stakeholders, including former Mayors Don Ryan, Adolf Olivas, and Tom Nye, saved the buildings. The 3 street-level retail spaces are 100% occupied, now home to Community Design Alliance, Millikin & Fitton law firm, and Art Off Symmes, an American craft gallery. The apartments are 95% occupied.

Phase PhaseIIofofthe theMercantile MercantileLoft Loftrenovations renovations was awarded Heritage Ohio’s Best was awarded Heritage Ohio’s BestMixedMixedUse Rehabilitation Project for 2011 Use Rehabilitation Project for 2011 Status Complete Total Investment $8.6 Million Project Details 29 one, two bedroom, and live/work apartments, 3 street-level retail spaces, and a garden level commercial space Partners Historic Developers, LLC, State of Ohio, Hamilton Community Foundation, City of Hamilton

Mercantile Lofts façade


*Current stage

Building acquired by Historic Developers, LLC Building acquired by City





Phase I wins Best Mixed-Use Rehab Award

Project receives Historic Tax Credits


Phase II complete

Phase I complete




April 2012






Bike Path

RiversEdge is an opportunity to reconnect residents to the Great Miami River. A brownfield redevelopment of the former Mercy Hospital site, RiversEdge is now home to the city’s new downtown riverfront amphitheater and overlook. RiversEdge will be a community recreational asset that will host civic and entertainment events, such as concerts and festivals.

Phase I • • • • • • • •

Phase II

• Private development including mixed-use office/ residential • Pavilion/cafe, spiral mound, river walk Status Project Investment Partners

RiversEdge public park Great Miami Recreational Trail extension River overlook/amphitheater Pedestrian plaza Intersection improvements Trailhead facility with restrooms and bike parking Steps oriented toward the river overlook/amphitheater Stage canopy

Phase I $1.9 Million (Phase I) City of Hamilton, OKI Regional Council of Governments, Hamilton Community Foundation, Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources - Clean Ohio, Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission, Mercy Health Foundation, Miami Conservancy District, Ohio Dept. of Transportation, Vision 2020 Commission

The 1913 Flood Commemoration Concert at RiversEdge in May 2013. The tensile structure canopy will not be installed until Fall 2013, but RiversEdge will host events through the summer.

Projected Timeline Conceptual Redevelopment Plan prepared Mercy Hospital demolished



*Current stage Two $100,000 grants awarded, Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources and Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission

$707,115 OKI Grant received, Hamilton Community Foundation provides match funding of $176,779


Groundbreaking Phase I

Design, engineering, and construction plan complete


February 2012

April 2012

Phase I complete

Phase II

Tensile canopy installed

June 2013 September 2013 TBD


Live, Work, Play

Butler Tech School of the Arts In June 2012, Historic JournalNews, LLC announced its purchase of the former JournalNews building in downtown Hamilton and plans to renovate it into a performance and educational arts hub. Historic JournalNews, LLC is a partnership with the development group that developed the Historic Mercantile Lofts. The original JournalNews building was built in 1886 with extensive additions and changes throughout the years. JournalNews employees moved out of the site in 2011. The historic building is now home to a number of arts and non-profit institutions, providing a cultural hub of activity in Hamilton’s downtown. Although not directly a financial partner, the City has been an important collaborator in the project, assisting in the acquisition and in obtaining funding. The project is part of the ongoing revitalization efforts of downtown Hamilton outlined in the Strategic Plan.

Butler School of ArtsTech wasSchool the At theTech completion of the Butler second renovation project completed of the Arts, the development team willby the development in Downtown Hamilton have openedteam two renovated buildings in in 2012 Downtown Hamilton in 2012.

Tenants • • •

Butler Tech School of the Arts Miami Valley Ballet Theatre Hamilton City Schools ABLE



Projected Investment

$2+ million


Historic JournalNews, LLC, Cox Media Group Ohio, City of Hamilton

Dance studio in the JournalNews building

Projected Timeline

*Current stage


Construction complete

Tenant move-in Open

Planning Building acquisition


May 2012

June 2012

June 2012

Winter 2012

January 2013

With the Mercantile Lofts breathing new life into downtown Hamilton, the City is looking forward to its next residential mixed-use project, Artspace Hamilton. In 2006, Artspace USA was invited to Hamilton to perform a Preliminary Feasibility Visit. While few cities with a population less than 100,000 could support an Artspace project, it was quickly determined that Hamilton was an exception. Artspace’s chosen site, the Mehrum-Lindley Block, the former home of Strauss and Co., is in need of rehabilitation. The Mehrum-Lindley Block’s façade was covered in 1966 by a metal screen as an attempt to “modernize” the building, although the original façade remained intact underneath.

The radiator grill wasrecently removedwas andawarded the Artspace Hamilton façade was stabilized in Spring 2013 $2.3 million in Ohio Historic Preservat Status Awaiting tax credit award Projected Investment $10.2 Million Project Details 42 affordable live/work spaces for artists and 3,000 square feet of commercial and gallery space Partners Artspace USA, State of Ohio, Hamilton Community Foundation, City of Hamilton

Artspace Hamilton will be a community asset that will provide ground floor space for local non-profit organizations, commercial space for small businesses, and outdoor plaza areas for residents and for the greater community.

Artspace during the removal of the grill

Projected Timeline

*Current stage Construction


Acquisition of property & removal of metal screen Received $2.3 million in Historic Tax Credits


June 2012

Spring 2013

Tentative tax credit award

Summer 2013



Winter 2013-14 Summer 2014 September 2014 9

Infrastructure EAST

High Street GATEWAY

The East High Street Gateway is an important entrance into Hamilton that is in need of a face-lift. The City is improving its first impression with the East High Street Gateway Improvement Project, which will improve traffic flow and enhance the streetscape by: • Adding streetscape features (landscaped medians and curb lawn) • Relocating all overhead electric, cable, and telephone facilities underground, replacing or upgrading water main, gas main, sanitary sewer, and storm sewer • Adding right turn lane from eastbound High St. to southbound SR 4 • Adding a second left turn lane from westbound High St. to southbound SR 4 • Rehabilitating East Ave. and Seventh St. • Adding new commercial access drives along East High St. In addition, Dayton St. and Maple Ave. are being investigated to absorb some traffic flow and intelligent signage is being researched for up-to-date information on train passage through the area. Although not included in the project, the intersection of High St. and MLK Jr. Blvd. will be reconstructed by adding new turn lanes for better traffic flow, further enhancing the gateway. Status Projected Investment Partners

Traffic study complete, 85% done with electrical design $11.2 million total infrastructure investment: $8.5 million project budget, $2.7 million additional investment at High and MLK City of Hamilton, Ohio Dept. of Transportation All overhead utilities will be relocated underground on East High St.

Projected Timeline

*Current stage Completion

Traffic study Design

High and MLK improvements

Water main replacement

Summer 2012 10

Winter 2012-2013




South Hamilton Crossing

Railroad Grade Separation Project

The South Hamilton Crossing project, or SHX, will replace an existing at-grade railroad crossing with a railroad overpass created by extending Grand Boulevard to the west. Of the three grade separations on the east side of the City, currently, Hamilton has only one granting East-West traffic flow. This project is expected to greatly improve connectivity, reduce drive times, and increase safety. Status

Traffic Study and Stage 1 Design are complete. Stage 2 Design and Right-ofWay Plan Preparation are underway Projected Investment $19 Million Partners City of Hamilton, OKI Regional Council of Governments, Ohio Dept. of Transportation, Butler County Transportation Improvement District

SHX is anticipated to have especially important benefits to Vora Technology Park, University Commerce Park, and Miami University-Hamilton, as it greatly improves transit access to these areas.

SHX SHXestimated estimatedimpact impact Improve Improveaccess accessto: to: • • 60 60acres acresofofCity-owned city-ownedvacant vacantland landat atUniversity University Commerce CommercePark Park • • 365,000 270,000square squarefeet feetofofClass-A Class-Aoffice officespace spaceatat Vora VoraTechnology TechnologyPark Park • • 5,000 5,000Miami MiamiUniversity UniversityHamilton Hamiltonstudents students Expected Expectedtotocreate createan anestimated estimated3,525 3,525jobs jobs Eliminate the wait time at the current Eliminate the wait time at the currentCentral CentralAvenue Avenue Crossing Crossingthat thatcurrently currentlyaffects affects15% 15%ofofdaily dailycrossing crossing traffic traffic

View of potential SHX development from S 12th Street

Projected Timeline OKI awards $2.4 million for property acquisition Preliminary feasibility

Initial conversation about this project


*Current stage Construction start

Environmental clearance


August 2012


Right-of-way plans

January 2014 July 2014

Construction plans

February 2016

July 2016

July 2018 11


Main-Millville-Eaton Intersection The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has one of the largest safety programs in the country. During 2012, the City obtained funding through the State Highway Safety Program to upgrade the intersection of Eaton Avenue at Main Street/Millville Avenue. The project cost is estimated at $3.7 million and the State will contribute 90 percent with the City responsible for only 10 percent. The proposed improvement includes realigning the Eaton Avenue/Millville Avenue approaches to the intersection so they align across from each other. This will significantly improve traffic operations and safety at the intersection. The first phase of the project includes environmental analyses, preliminary engineering work, and a feasibility study. It is anticipated that the consultant will be given notice to proceed during July and this phase of the project will be completed in 2014. Phase 2 of the project will consist of preparation of rightof-way plans and Phase 3 will consist of preparation of detailed design plans. Funding for construction of the improvement (Phase 4) is not scheduled until 2016. Status


Projected Investment

$3.7 million (City pays $370,000)


Ohio Dept. of Transportation, City of Hamilton

Conceptual proposal for the Main-Millville-Eaton Intersection

Projected Timeline

*Current stage

Construction begins Detailed design and right-of-way plans begins

Grant notification from ODOT Environmental studies and preliminary engineering begins

2012 12




Downtown Parking The City of Hamilton does its best to provide parking for its residents and visitors and is adapting to make sure visiting the urban core is convenient. Parking meters were installed in the downtown and Main Street business districts to provide short-term parking for visitors and patrons of Hamilton businesses. As land uses change, the City conducts internal studies to determine if meters should be removed or have their time limits altered. Several years ago, parking meters were removed on portions of High Street. In 2012, meters were removed on High Street between Second and Third Streets; Third Street between High and Market Streets; and Second Street between High and Market Streets. Parking is now free in these areas but is restricted to a two hour time limit between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. As the result of the most recent study, 59 meters were removed throughout the urban core in 2013. In another effort to make parking more attractive downtown, the City recently established 2 hour free parking and reduced monthly rental rates by 20 percent in the McDulin Parking Garage. An automatic attendant was installed that is programmed to provide two hours free parking for all daily users and provides patrons with the option of paying with a credit card as well as cash. Additionally, a new security system was installed at the garage. Status


Projected Timeline

Parking Supply and Demand Study


Door-to-door parking meter survey undertaken by City Transportation and Traffic Engineer


*Current stage

Removal of 59 meters and parking garage fee reduction

Time limits on meters changed based on survey results


Internal parking meter study



2013 13


Court Street Corridor Improvements In an effort to significantly improve electric reliability in downtown Hamilton, the City is working on a four block section of Court St. to move the utility lines underground. This project will improve electric reliability in the downtown area between High and Court Streets by expanding the Central Business District Underground Network. This effort has been done in conjunction with the Court Street Streetscape Project, ensuring that the City improves both utility reliability and aesthetics in the urban core. Status

Transferring customers to new infrastructure


$1.5 Million

Installed 43,000

feet of electrical conduit


feet of low voltage secondary cable

Targe t

Impro v


feet of high voltage primary cable

emen t Area


transformer vaults


750 kVA submersible network transformers

Projected Timeline

*Current stage

Cable installation complete

Project initiation

Customers transferred to new infrastructure Overhead wire and poles removed

Transformer vaults and conduit

2006 14



January-August 2013

December 2013

Smart Grid The Smart Grid project leverages technology enhancements to improve electric reliability and increase operational efficiency.

$32.5 $32.5million million

has hasbeen beeninvested investedto toupgrade upgradeHamilton’s Hamilton’s electric electricutilities utilitiessince since2007 2007

Improvements to Date • The Automated Meter Reading Project (AMR) upgraded electric, gas, and water meters throughout the city to allow remote reading using a specially equipped van driving past the customer premises. • The Utility Operations Center provides a central location for monitoring and operating the Electric, Gas, and Water systems and can also function as the Utility Emergency Operations Center in the event of a disaster. • The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) was implemented in 2011 and is still being expanded, providing remote monitoring of Hamilton’s Electric System. • The Transmission and Distribution Upgrade Project built three new substations with 21st century control and monitoring equipment which interface directly with the SCADA system. • The City’s Geographic Information System (GIS) was upgraded for all users in 2012.

Ongoing & Planned Efforts


60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%




Post-AMR (2011)

In 2011, more than 99.9% of customer bills used actual consumption readings

Transmission and Distribution Upgrade Project Cost: Budgeted v. Actual 25

• SCADA monitoring equipment is being retrofitted into the seven older, existing substations to improve monitoring. • An Outage Management System (OMS) is planned to provide tools to better respond to customer outages and other problems which may occur in the Electric System. Status

Customers With Estimated Values on Bills

$25 million $21.5 million





SCADA project is 50% complete

Investment $32.5 Million




The project was completed 15% under budget

Projected Timeline AMR Project completed

*Current stage


3 new transmission and distribution substations completed; GIS upgrade



Retrofitting SCADA monitoring equipment Outage Management System

Utility Operations Center




End of 2013 15


The City is developing a new, renewable energy hydroelectric generating facility - the Meldahl Hydroelectric Project. So named because of its location adjacent to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers’ Captain Anthony Meldahl Locks and Dam, the Meldahl Hydroelectric Project represents a significant economic development investment and will provide a new source of clean, zero emission electric generation. Once completed, the plant will have a capacity of 105 MW, with an average gross annual output of approximately 558,000 MW of clean energy. Plant construction is well underway and, at its peak, the project will employ up to 400 construction workers. The associated transmission line will consist of approximately 3 miles of 138kV line and will connect with the existing Zimmer-Spurlock transmission line in Clermont County,

Ohio. The new transmission line will provide southwest Ohio with additional low-cost power from a renewable energy resource and enhance service reliability for the region’s municipal electric customers.

Upon completion, 70% of the City’s power Upon completion, nearly 70% of the City’s will be fromwill renewable sources sources power be from renewable Status

Projected Investment Partners

65% complete; turbines are being assembled and installed; over 81,398 cubic yards of concrete have been poured; 9.7 million pounds of steel have been placed $504+ million City of Hamilton, American Municipal Power

Construction of the Meldahl facility

Projected Timeline Formal groundbreaking Excavation begins

*Current stage

Commercial operation Powerhouse construction begins Generating unit commissioning

May 2010 June 2010 16

August 2011

Summer 2014

October 2014

Compressed Natural Gas Fueling Station • On average, CNG is 1/3 the price of gasoline • U.S. has over a 100-year supply of natural gas • Reduction on the dependence on foreign oil

As part of the City’s alternative fueled vehicle initiative, plans are underway to construct the first public CNG fueling station in southwest Ohio. The station will be located adjacent to the City Garage on SR 4. The project will be funded by the City and by a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant that the City was recently awarded from OKI.

The City has received letters of support from the Hamilton City School District and the Butler County Regional Transit Authority. The City looks forward to partnering with these and other stakeholders as this project moves forward.

In 2010, the City received a $40,500 grant from Clean Fuels Ohio (CFO) for converting four vehicles to run on CNG. A small CNG fueling station was constructed at the City Garage to fuel these vehicles. Hamilton has been recognized as a leader in Ohio in utilizing alternative fueled vehicles. The advantages of using CNG for fuel include:

Status Investment

• Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel available today • Lower emissions of pollutants & greenhouse gases • Time between tune-ups and oil changes are extended


Completing environmental assessment and plan review underway $1.5 million total infrastructure investment, $800,000 City of Hamilton, $700,000 CMAQ Grant City of Hamilton, OKI Regional Council of Governments, Ohio Dept. of Transportation, Air & Gas Technologies, Hamilton City Schools, Butler Co. Regional Transit Authority

One of the City’s CNG-powered vehicles

Projected Timeline CFO grant awarded for 4 CNG vehicles

*Current stage

RFQ issued for public CNG station design

4 CNG vehicles delivered to City

December 2010

Grand opening

CNG fueling station at City garage complete

February 2011 July 2011

$700,000 OKI grant received

Design consultant selected

January 2012

April 2012

August 2012

Construction begins Design complete

Early 2013

Fall 2013 Spring 2014 17

New Tools

To help accelerate downtown revitalization and reduce the financial barriers to investing in the urban core, a publicprivate partnership consisting of the City, the Hamilton Community Foundation, and local lending institutions established the CORE Fund, which provides financial resources for qualified residential and commercial real estate projects within the urban core. The CORE Fund, or Consortium for Ongoing Reinvestment Efforts, was launched in December 2012 and will provide the necessary capital to reduce financial risk and offer a strategic framework from which projects can be initiated.

Revitalization Tools • • • •

New Market Tax Credits Historic Preservation Tax Credits Equity Financing Gap Financing

The CORE Fund, operating under the leadership of executive director Michael P. Dingeldein, AIA, is working on feasibility studies on a number of buildings within Hamilton’s urban core. Approximately $4 million has been raised toward the $5 million goal of the fund. It expects to surpass that goal during summer 2013. As other institutions finalize their commitments, they will assume a seat at the board. Thus far, the board of directors consists of: • Claude Davis, chairman (CEO - First Financial Bank) • John Guidugli (CEO - Hamilton Community Foundation) • Lee Parrish (Managing Partner - Parrish, Marcum, Hirka, Trokhan Co., LPA) The CORE is also hopeful to announce its first active project by year’s end.

By leveraging a multitude of financial tools in one powerful partnership, the CORE Fund is able to maximize results of strategic projects that will revitalize the city.


In operation


$5 Million capitalized in 2013 with ultimate goal of maintaining a $10 million revolving fund City of Hamilton, Hamilton Community Foundation, First Financial, Fifth Third, US Bank


Core Area


Downtown CBD


E. High Gateway & Dayton Lane High St.

South East


Miami River

German Village

The Grea t

Main St.


Phase I Phase II

Business Development Team The City established the Business Development Team to make investing in Hamilton easier for current and future business owners. The Team focuses on assisting retail and commercial development and is a single point of contact that coordinates between all necessary departments to help businesses invest in Hamilton from the first inquiry until the issuance of final occupancy.

The creation of Hamilton’s Business Development Team underscores the City’s commitment to streamlining the development process and fostering a growing business community. This team of devoted leaders and officials has facilitated increased investment in our community by creating a customer-focused approach to dealing with new businesses and existing business expansions.

2012 Business Team Numbers

2012 Business Development Team Successes

157 Project Inquiries 57 Qualifying Projects 34



New Businesses

West Side

• Hamilton Station Development (Hot Head Burritos, Marco’s Pizza, Verizon, Jimmy Johns)


• Jelli’s Fudgery • Pappa Luigi’s • Ohio Lunch


• Sweden Crème

Route 4

• Pease Warehouse Relocation • Subway

German Village

• The Music Stand

Main St.

• 513 Fix My PC • Bella Vita Photography

East Hamilton

• Three Leaf

Grand Re-Opening, Pease Warehouse on Route 4. Photo Courtesy of Greg Lynch, Hamilton Journal-News


New Tools

Community Reinvestment Area The Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) provides property owners a tax exemption for investing in property improvements. The goal of the CRA is to incentivize revitalization where barriers to investment exist. The CRA tax exemption will be available for both residential and commercial development and can be utilized throughout Hamilton.


Commercial • • • •

New construction Expansion Building improvements Commercial or industrial

Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis for investment dollar and job creation potential. Final exemption value is determined by the Butler County Auditor. Max. Term in Years

% of New Value Exempted*

Min. New Investment





New Construction




• Can be used for renovation • The abatement is for ten years

% of New Value Exempted

Min. New Investment

*Maximum without school board approval

Renovation 0-24 year old structure 25-49 year old structure 50+ year old structure

50% 75% 100%


In operation


State of Ohio, Hamilton City Schools

$5,000 $5,000 $5,000

Tax Exemption Value Total Value CRA Tax Exemption

New Improvement Value Original Value

Historic neighborhoods such as German Village can benefit from the Community Reinvestment Area


Taxable Value

Butler County Land Reutilization Corporation In March 2012, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine settled with five of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses, fraud, and unfair and deceptive mortgage practices. Through the “Moving Ohio Forward” grant program, the Attorney General allocated a total of $75 million to all 88 counties in Ohio to facilitate the reclamation, rehabilitation, and reutilization of vacant, abandoned, tax-foreclosed, or other real property. Butler County was awarded over $2.6 million in Moving Ohio Forward funding. Roughly $1.1 million was designated for the City of Hamilton through the Butler County Land Reutilization Corporation (better known as the “Land Bank”), which the City matched, resulting in a total of $2.2 million. The funds must be used before the end of 2013, but the City hopes to sustain the Land Bank after grant completion. The Land Bank provides the City an opportunity to demolish nuisance properties and to promote economic and housing development. It is an important tool to make Hamilton a more livable, more economically vibrant community.

As of May 9, 2013, the City has acquired 140 properties and completed 30 demolitions through the Land Bank.

Land LandBank BankSuccessful SuccessfulOutcomes Outcomes 1. 1. Demolition Demolitionof ofblight Blight 2. 2. Redevelopment Redevelopmentof ofexisting existing(salvageable) (salvageable)

housing housing 3. 3. The Theside-lot side-lotprogram program(parcel (parcelextensions, extensions, community gardens, etc.) community gardens, etc.) Status

In operation (can be used with the CRA)


$2.2 million direct investment, potential for large indirect investment

Partners Butler County, State of Ohio, City of Middletown, City of Hamilton

Blighted buildings beyond repair will be demolished to make way for a more productive use of the land


New Tools

Form Based Code & Complete Streets The City has completed two major revisions to Hamilton’s planning regulations and public works standards: • Form-based zoning controls for the areas adjacent to Main Street and Downtown/High Street • A complete streets strategy for the entire city

The form-based zoning regulations and complete streets strategy have been produced through an interactive process involving property owners, business owners, stakeholders from the target areas, and city staff and consultants.

Form-based zoning tools focus more on detailed design of buildings to ensure that future development or redevelopment contributes to the existing character of a defined area, while allowing the owners of those buildings a wider range of mixed uses within those buildings. Complete streets are those that incorporate and integrate designs for automobile, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic as well as stormwater management within a defined right-ofway.



Project Area

Downtown, Rossville/Main Street, East High Street City of Hamilton, Clarion Associates (Denver), Farr Associates (Chicago), Gresham Smith Partners (Louisville), and McBride Dale Clarion (Cincinnati)


Form Based Code helps to preserve and enhance the character of an area. These are visualizations of Main Street with facade improvements.

Projected Timeline Initial review, analysis, and interviews

March 2012 22

Public design process for key areas

Summer 2012

*Current stage

Draft zoning tools and amendments and complete streets strategy

Fall 2012


Consideration of expansion of formbased zoning

Public hearing

January 2013

February 2013


Customer First Initiative The City is undertaking a number of projects within the Customer First Initiative, which is an effort to prioritize customer service to Hamilton residents. The Customer First Initiative intends to make government operations more effective, accessible, and friendlier.

Customer Satisfaction Survey The Customer Satisfaction Survey helps the City identify residents’ perceptions and satisfaction with City services. An annual report card is produced targeting areas for improvement. Status

Final report completed

Next Steps

Clarifying goals and determine how to use the results

First Floor Service Desk The Service Desk will consolidate the primary customer services into a single, accessible first floor desk that will take care of 90% of customer needs. Status

Implementation plan

Next Steps

Finish implementation plan and foot traffic analysis

311 “One Number to Call for City Hall” When within the City’s boundaries, the 311 service will allow residents to call a single number for any nonemergency need or question. Status

Call management program development

Next Steps


Customer Information System (CIS) CIS will replace the City’s legacy utility billing system, which is costly to operate, cannot be upgraded, and no longer meets the City’s needs or those of our customers. Status Next Steps

Implementation (testing and training) Go Live

Projected Timelines *Current stage

Final report

Baseline survey developed



Survey mailed

Sept. 2011 Nov. 2011 Jan. 2012 Feb. 2012

Complete Phase II

Phased implementation plan Install Phase I service desk

Oct. 2013



2015 Go Live

PUCO approval Zip code analysis

New routing and call management

Oct. 2011 Feb. 2012


Fall 2013 Winter 2013

2014 Go Live

Vendor selection Implementation Contract signed

April 2011 Feb. 2012


Fall 2013


Economic Development

Economic Development Creating job opportunities is central to the City’s Strategic Plan. Companies locate in Hamilton due to the proximity to suppliers and customers, available quality workforce, low cost of doing business, reliability and cost of utilities, and many other factors.

Liferay In May 2013, Liferay opened its national sales office in downtown Hamilton, bringing up to 16 well-paying jobs to the city. Liferay is a California-based technology company that is a leading provider of enterprise open source portal and collaboration software products. Joshua Asbury, Liferay’s Director of Corporate Sales said, “The city’s proximity to national recognized universities and worldclass corporations will allow us to attract top talent for our growing sales team.”

Koncert IT Since 2012, Koncert IT, a global information technology solutions company, has grown to 70 employees jobs at its site at Vora Technology Park. It is a knowledge processing center producing pharmacy support with Kroger. “Vora Tech Park is the ideal destination for a knowledge processing center,” said Walt McLaren, President of Koncert IT.

Coolants Plus In March 2013, Coolants Plus, a national supplier of lubricants, antifreeze, and grease, announced its move to the former Pease Warehouse facility in Hamilton. Coolants Plus brings their existing 15 full-time employees and will create 4 new full-time jobs in Hamilton. “We look forward to getting involved in the Hamilton community,” said Vice

ThyssenKrupp Bilstein 24

$220 $220Million Million

Projected Projectedinvestment investmentininreal realand andpersonal personalproperty propertyinin projects projectscurrently currentlyunder underway way

650,000 650,000

Square Squarefeet feetofofnew newretail retailininHamilton Hamilton

3+ 3+Million Million

Workforce Workforceofofthe theCincinnati-Dayton Cincinnati-DaytonMetroplex Metroplex

37 37

Colleges, Colleges,universities, universities,branch branchcampuses, campuses,and and community communitycolleges collegesininGreater GreaterHamilton Hamilton

2,000 2,000

New Newjobs jobsprojected projectedtotobe becreated createdas aspart partofofthe the Strategic Plan Strategic Plan President of Coolants Plus Darrin Ward. “About half of Coolants Plus’ workforce resides in Hamilton, so they are very happy to be closer to home.”

ThyssenKrupp Bilstein In 2011, ThyssenKrupp Bilstein of America (TKBA), a manufacturer of automobile parts, announced the transfer of the Real Time Damper systems (RTD) technology from its main plant in Germany to their Hamilton facility. The total project investment is estimated at $7.3 million. TKBA currently employs 300 people in Hamilton and is the eighth largest employer. TKBA has been recognized as a top place to work by various media publications.

Brownfield Development The City of Hamilton has been working collaboratively with the State of Ohio to clean up and reuse underutilized properties in the City through the Clean Ohio brownfield program. The goal of the brownfield program is to demolish nuisance properties, remediate identified areas of concern, and to redevelop the site into an economically beneficial use. Types of remediation include asbestos abatement, elimination of groundwater contamination, and removal of impacted soils. Sites are targeted that will provide an economic stimulus to Hamilton and which will have a future use consistent with the City’s Strategic Plan.

Address & Size

Former Use

CORF Grant

845 East Avenue, 7 Acres 1550 Grand, 7 Acres

Former Estate Stove Company Former location of Marcell’s Used Auto Parts Former Niles Tool Works property Former Mercy Hospital property Former Hamilton Die Cast property Former Mosler Safe property


550 North Third Street, 5 Acres 100 Riverfront Plaza, 7 Acres 999 East Avenue, 9 Acres 1400 South Erie Highway, 13 Acres


Impact Impactsince since2004 2004 48 48

Acres Acresofofland landremediated remediatedand andredeveloped redeveloped

$10.9 $10.9Million Million

InInClean CleanOhio OhioRevitalization RevitalizationFunds Funds


New Newuses usesfor forold oldsites: sites:22new newindustrial industrialsites, sites,22new new neighborhood-scale retail sites , 1 alternative energy neighborhood-scale retail sites, 1 alternative energy generation generationsite, site,11public publicriverfront riverfrontamphitheater amphitheater

New Use

In Progress $1,932,527 In Progress

The City has reached an agreement with a developer to construct a 38,500 square foot light manufacturing/warehouse facility. It is anticipated that upon completion of the demolition and remediation project, the property will be redeveloped into a commercial or retail/mixed-use site. $2,032,905 In The proposed redevelopment project includes the development of progress an alternative energy power generation facility to support expansion of the City of Hamilton’s electric utility system. $3,000,000 2007 The RiversEdge development plan targets commercial and residential development opportunities along the Great Miami River, including the RiversEdge Park and Amphitheater. $750,000 2007 Matandy Steel and Metal Products invested about $2.2 million to build a 52,000 square foot steel manufacturing facility for the company’s new business venture under the name J.N. Linrose Mfg. $2,383,500 2004 Redevelopment into Kroger-anchored retail center


1400 South Erie Highway prior to the brownfield redevelopment


1400 South Erie Highway after the brownfield redevelopment


Economic Development

Educational Investments Miami University Hamilton

Hamilton City Schools

Miami University’s Hamilton Campus (MUH) has grown by over 1,000 students in the last five years, up to 4,382 students in 2013. Since 2000, MUH has invested $16.3 million in capital improvements at the campus. Less than five years ago, MUH offered just two bachelor’s degrees. Today, the campus has five accredited degrees and recently announced it would be adding more 4-year programs.

Hamilton City Schools have been transformed by the vision and support of the School District’s stakeholders. Over the past few years, the Hamilton City School District implemented $240 million in new capital investments that created state-of-the-art learning facilities.

One of MUH’s investments in Hamilton is Miami University Hamilton Downtown (MUHD), which was conceived as a multi-use facility that strengthens the connection between campus and community. MUHD was recently renovated as part of a five year lease to provide greater security for exhibits, to allow a more sound-controllable space for daytime events, and to create an attractive multi-use space convenient True West Downtown, which is opening summer 2013. This space hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including movies, music, community meetings, and much more, becoming a center of cultured activities in downtown Hamilton.

Ten new schools and two completely renovated schools are the result of the investments; all are state-of-the-art and uniquely designed to fit the neighborhood feel. No other school district in Ohio has done such a comprehensive Master Facilities Plan for all of its schools. In 2012, the Hamilton City School District received the National District of Character Award, the only school district in the nation to receive the recognition. The award is for their comprehensive character education initiative.

240 million

invested in the schools through the Master Facilities Plan 1 school district in the country to receive the National District of Character Award in 2012 100 percent of Hamilton City School children attend school at a state-of-the-art facility


school district in the country to receive the National District of Character Award in 2012

Hamilton High School is one of the schools renovated under the Master Facilities Plan


Health Care Expansion Community First Solutions Community First Solutions, the non-profit parent company of Colonial, Community Behavioral Health, Community First Pharmacy, and Partners in Prime, has quickly grown to be one of the City’s largest employers, second only to Fort Hamilton in the private sector. Services provided by Community First Solutions reach approximately 40,000 people in Butler, Hamilton, Montgomery, and Warren Counties. In 2012, Community First Solutions completed the following capital investments in Hamilton: • Completed a $3.5 million renovation of the Donna Y. Carruthers Manor House at Berkeley Square, one of Colonial’s communities • Community First Pharmacy, a non-profit Downtown pharmacy which fills the prescriptions of both insured and uninsured, was renovated and expanded • Opened Elements at the Square, a $1.3 million wellness center at Berkeley Square

Fort Hamilton Hospital Fort Hamilton, the largest private employer in Hamilton and a partner of the City since 1929, broke ground on a $5 million expansion of the Carruthers Emergency Room in August 2012. The expansion is a response to increased demand and will improve access, service, and efficiency. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. The hospital’s newly expanded Sleep Lab opened in January 2013. Fort Hamilton is part of the Kettering Health Network.

Fort as one of the FortHamilton Hamiltonwas wasrecognized one of fourteen Ohio top ten hospitals in theasCincinnati Metro by hospitals recognized a top performer Area in 2012 by US News the Joint Commission in 2011

Bethesda Butler County Bethesda Butler County, part of the TriHealth Network, offers a range of high quality, specialty services as a ten bed surgical hospital and recently expanded its services to the community. In Fall 2012, Bethesda increased cardiology services and, in early 2013, opened a 17 bed Emergency Room, supported by on-site diagnostic services as well as surgical and inpatient care.

Groundbreaking at Fort Hamilton’s Emergency Room expansion



Pat Moeller

Vice Mayor Carla Fiehrer


Rob Wile Robert Brown Timothy Naab Archie Johnson Kathleen Klink

City Manager Joshua Smith

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