Hamilton YWCA hoping to build new $11M facility, move out of historic building

The YWCA Hamilton hopes to build a new $11 million facility at 1570 Grand Blvd. so it can to significantly expand its services for abused women and provide housing for low-income people, many of them battling addictions.

Wendy Waters-Connell, executive director of the YWCA, told Hamilton City Council on Wednesday the YWCA houses Butler County’s only domestic-violence shelter.

“It is full every day, and we no sooner have a family move out, and a new family moves in,” she said. “We also operate supportive housing, 31 units, at 244 Dayton St. in Hamilton, that iconic, gorgeous building in the middle of German Village.”

Council on Wednesday held the first of two required considerations of a zoning change that would allow new YWCA offices and residences to build at the Grand Boulevard location.

The YWCA is working with the development group called The Model Group to build office space and about 65 apartments in a three-story, 50,000-square-foot building.

Eventually, the YWCA would sell its existing Hamilton location, which some have speculated could make a nice hotel location as the city prepares for the Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports complex, which is expected to start attracting 10,000 or more people to town beginning in late 2021.

“It is a transformational time in our city and in our mission, and I need a bigger boat,” Waters-Connell told council. “I need a bigger piece of land, and I need a state-of-the-art building.”

The proposed building would double the space for domestic-violence victims.

Waters-Connell told the Journal-News the YWCA will submit its application for a $9 million Low-Income Tax Credit grant by Feb. 15, and if that grant is won, the project could break ground in late 2021.

Construction would take about 18 months.

“We’re talking about 2022 or early 2023 before it’s open,” she said.

Currently, when domestic violence victims can’t get into the current shelter, they are referred to facilities elsewhere in Ohio.

Most of the apartments will be for low-income women, most of them with a mental-health diagnosis and need additional support services.

The YWCA requested a rezoning of the 3.7-acre property from an Industrial 2 designation to an Industrial Planned Development area. The rezoning likely will receive a final vote at council’s Jan. 29 meeting.

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