New Hamilton apartments are planned near Miami’s campus, and officials hope they can spur growth in the area

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Miami University Hamilton's compact campus reveals open space and river nearby

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The proposed 200-plus apartment complex planned for land near the Miami University Hamilton campus and Vora Technology Park is moving forward, Hamilton City Manager Joshua Smith said.

Officials at the university and city of Hamilton believe that is good news not only for students at the university who may choose to live there, but also for students and surrounding-area residents who eventually may have more shopping options as a result.

Developer ARK Investment Partners in late 2016 announced plans to build 204 market-rate two-bedroom apartments in 15 three-story buildings on mostly vacant land owned by the city. Under an agreement reached around that time, ARK was to pay Hamilton $15,825 per acre for approximately 17 acres in the area, with an option to buy more property in the area for $20,000 before Dec. 21, 2018. According to Butler County Auditor’s information, the land continues to be owned by Hamilton.

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Under a master plan for the area, which is located between the city’s Second Ward and Lindenwald neighborhoods, about 1.5 miles south of downtown, a dense mix of businesses and residences is envisioned, the city’s economic development director, Jody Gunderson, has told this media outlet.

Officials from ARK, and Mike Robinette, who represents the organization, were unavailable to comment.

Perry Richardson, a spokesman for Miami’s Hamilton campus, said while the university is not involved with the project and the apartments will not serve as official student housing, it’s good news for students and faculty there.

“We do welcome it,” he said. “We think it’s great for any private development that comes in and develops something that would benefit our students, of course we think that would be great.”

“I think some of our students would be interested in living there,” Richardson said. “Perhaps particularly student athletes. I don’t know.”

“It would add convenience,” he added. “I assume that it would spur other developments, as far as restaurants, things like that. It’s especially well-timed with completion (later this year) of South Hamilton Crossing.

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Smith said retail development in the area was a discussion topic last month among Second Ward residents who gathered to discuss riverfront master planning.

“People were complaining about the lack of amenities, and I said, ‘I get it. If you live down here, if you go to school at Miami Hamilton, if you (work) at Barclaycard, where do you get a cup of coffee? Where do you drop off your dry cleaning? Where do you go go day care? There’s no convenience, anything down there.’”

“When those apartments are constructed, in my mind, that will help,” Smith said. “It should attract what I call convenience-commercial. South Hamilton Crossing will help with that, too, because it will give you a direct connection to that area (from Ohio 4),” Smith said.

The project is one of two major apartment developments in or near Hamilton’s core. The other is The Marcum project of apartments immediately north of downtown, which will include street-level eateries and other businesses, with apartments on top.

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