Hamilton considers selling former Maple Avenue depot

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Hamilton City Council has plans to finalize the sale of a former train depot on Maple Avenue next month.

In an agreement between Hamilton-based Meyer Brothers and Sons and the city of Hamilton, the former depot at 1000 Maple Ave. ― which is not the former and recently relocated CSX depot buildings now at the corner of Maple Avenue and MLK Jr. Boulevard ― will be sold for $1 in exchange for a minimum of a $1 million reinvestment in the property.

Hamilton Director of External Services Tom Vanderhorst said the property in question is part of the land swap the city is still finalizing with Cohen Recycling, where the recycler will relocate from the corner of North Third and Black streets less than a mile north to a nearly 4.6-acre parcel owned by Hamilton. Cohen Recycling will give the city 3.6 acres at Maple and East avenues. The former train depot site is 1.8 acres.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Hamilton will soon take possession of the property before selling it.

The current 17.7-acre recycling plant is planned to be transformed into a mixed-use development that will feature a hotel, office space, and retail.

“These guys have been really patient with this project,” said Vanderhorst.

Rick Meyer, architect and son of one of the founders, said they plan to occupy 11,500 of the roughly 18,000-square-foot former depot building. They plan to lease out the remaining 6,500 square feet.

“That initial investment is going to be over $1 million from when we get the keys,” Meyer said.

Meyer Brothers will relocate from 2275 Millville Ave. to the city’s downtown, and the development project should take about 18 months. They’ll bring their 28 employees, which is likely to increase as they are looking to hire more.

“We added eight jobs last year, and we already got one new this year, so we hope to continue that trend of building our business which is also building the community,” Meyer said.

The facility will have a showroom for its custom cabinetry, office space, a finishing shop, a workshop for its cabinetry, millwork and finishing, and a shipping and receiving area.

Meyer Brothers and Sons have done work in the area, and they were the title sponsor for the 2022 Meyer Brothers and Sons Thanksgiving Day 5K for YoungLives in Hamilton.

“My dad came to Hamilton in roughly ‘88,” said Meyer of his father, Dick Meyer. “As a business, we do work all over the city,” he said, adding they also do business as far north as Dayton and as far south as Northern Kentucky.

Meyer Brothers and Sons General Manager Jeremy Culver said they care about the community, and “with everything that’s happening in the city, it really makes us excited to be a part of it.”

He said the company’s leadership wants to be in the Maple Avenue corridor and “hopefully foster that sense of revitalization.”

“We remodel homes. We look forward to remodeling this historic train station/freight house. It’s a gorgeous building,” he said of the historic building they’ve been in purchase discussions for a year. “We’re just really excited about being in the core of what’s happening here.”

Meyer said he believes “there’s a lot of momentum” with the city’s revitalization over the past dozen years, and they have further plans than the initial investment.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

“We’ve been saving money, so we’re ready to invest,” he said. “It’s not something that we get the keys and pause and try to find financing. We have financing ready, we have our schedule ready, we’ve got our subs ready, we got pricing ready. We’re really ready to take this and move forward.”

City Council member Timothy Naab said the city is just as enthusiastic as they are about seeing development in the antiquated Maple Avenue corridor.

“We’re real excited you have said, ‘Yes, this is where we want our home, this is where we want people to be able to come and showcase (your) business to potential clients.”

City Council will consider the sale agreement at both of its February meetings, with a potential vote to approve the deal at its Feb. 22 meeting.

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