Cohen Recycling and City of Hamilton to swap land

Deal may fast-track redevelopment of riverfront across bridge from Spooky Nook.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Hamilton and Cohen Recycling are working out a land swap and could set up a potential redevelopment plan for the recycling company’s current plant.

Redevelopment of the recycling company’s Hamilton plant at 105 Black St. has been a discussion point, at least publicly, since June 2020. And in the next few weeks, the city is expected to OK the exchange of 4.58 acres it owns on North Third Street to the recycling company for 3.61 acres at Maple and East avenues.

According to a report for City Manager Joshua Smith, Cohen Recycling would move its nearly 18-acre operations to the downsized 4.58-acre lot just a half-mile away from its current location. The Journal-News left messages with Ken and Neil Cohen, the two principals of Cohen Recycling.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Cohen Recycling operates at the corners of Third and Black streets, and is adjacent to the $165 million Spooky Nook at Champion Mills indoor multi-sports complex and the Champion Mill Hotel and Conference Center.

In a report from City Manager Joshua Smith to City Council, Cohen Recycling sought the city’s assistance to redevelop its site located at the corners of Third and Black streets.

“This key property is located directly across the Great Miami River from the Spooky Nook at Champion Mill development and represents a prime redevelopment opportunity absent of this industrial use,” Smith said in the report.

Smith said he believes the property transfer will fast-track redevelopment of the Black Street riverfront.

Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dan Bates said if the Cohen Recycling property is redeveloped, it will be “a huge positive” for the city.

“I can’t even express the words of how positive this is because it’s right across from Spooky Nook,” he said. “There’s going to be huge interest in that property, if it becomes available, from developers.”

The recycling plant has already been included in the Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area, where people are allowed to walk on public sidewalks with alcoholic beverages purchased from participating bars and restaurants.

In June 2020, Neil Cohen told the Journal-News the company does “recognize the value that Spooky Nook brings to town, and we want to take advantage of whatever we can add to the community.”

Legislation for the land swap is expected to be introduced next week.

Though the city does not have any plans at this time for the Maple Street property, if the property swap deal goes through Smith said there will be additional redevelopment opportunities adjacent to the High Street business corridor.

“By approving this legislation,” Smith said to council in the report, “it would also centralize refuse and recycling services by collocating Cohen Recycling’s operations with the Rumpke-operated transfer station operations.”

Cohen Recycling will remove all fencing and materials from the East Avenue/Maple Avenue property once the legislation is approved, which is anticipated after a second reading of the legislation at City Council’s March 9 meeting. The fencing around the train depot at 1000 Maple Ave., however, will remain until its end use is known.

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