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.