Hamilton council to consider development agreement for hotel project

A developer has plans to turn the Anthony Wayne Apartments on South Monument Street into a 54-room boutique hotel. If the sale goes through, construction on the hotel could start in early 2023 and take a year to complete. Residents have been notified of the project and given six months' notice to vacate. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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A developer has plans to turn the Anthony Wayne Apartments on South Monument Street into a 54-room boutique hotel. If the sale goes through, construction on the hotel could start in early 2023 and take a year to complete. Residents have been notified of the project and given six months' notice to vacate. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A $16 million project, which would convert a downtown Hamilton apartment building back into a hotel, could receive substantial support from the city.

Hamilton city staff has recommended City Council support a development agreement with Vision AWH LLC, the group formed to develop a 54-room boutique hotel and create a 2,700-square-foot yet-to-be-identified high-end restaurant at 10 South Monument St. The building is currently the Anthony Wayne Apartments, though the current owner and potential owner have given the tenants several months’ notice to relocate.

Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2023 and be completed in about a year. Around 40 units are still occupied in the apartment, said Matt Olliges, president of Vision Realty Group of Cincinnati. Vision Realty Group is the umbrella company of Vision AWH LLC, which is a partnership of Vision Realty and Lighthouse Hospitality Group, Inc., of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Hamilton Executive Director of External Services Tom Vanderhorst called the project “pretty exciting.”

“The plans are for a 54-room hotel, 2,700-square-foot restaurant space, 59 parking spaces. And as in all projects in today’s day of rising interest rates and materials, the capital stack is complicated,” he said.

The developer intends to use state historic tax credits. The city is planning to use tax increment financing funds to support the project, and provide a $3 million loan through the Hamilton Community Improvement Corporation, according to the proposal.

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The near century-old Anthony Wayne apartments will be converted into a boutique hotel, according to a $16 million plan by a Cincinnati-based developer. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

The near century-old Anthony Wayne apartments will be converted into a boutique hotel, according to a $16 million plan by a Cincinnati-based developer. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

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The near century-old Anthony Wayne apartments will be converted into a boutique hotel, according to a $16 million plan by a Cincinnati-based developer. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

Vanderhorst said $1 million of the loan will be repaid when construction financing closes in January, and the remaining $2 million will be converted into a forgivable loan.

City Council will consider the plan at its two June meetings, and members are expected to cast votes at the June 22 meeting.

“Everything is moving in the right direction,” said Olliges. “There are obviously still a lot of I’s to dot and T’s to cross.”

There are still several more governmental steps to take, including getting through the two legislative readings for the proposed deal with Hamilton. Olliges said there are designers going through the building to prepare for the next round of state historic tax credits later this summer.

Olliges said it’s expected Realty AWH LLC will take ownership of the building by mid-September. The building is currently owned by Jeannie Hiatt, of California.

This is the second project for Olliges, who is the president Vision Realty Group in Cincinnati. His company worked on the redevelopment of 205 Main St., which saw Billy Yanks move in on the ground floor, and he said all of the upstairs apartments are rented.

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