City officials have said they’d like for the seven-floor, 92-year-old Goetz Tower to offer first-floor commercial space and market-rate apartments.
In May 2019, the city reacquired the former First National Bank building from Cincinnati State’s Board of Trustees for $2, the same price the college bought the building from the city.
Ferrell, elected to council along with Muterspaw in November 2021, said for the redevelopment of downtown to continue, residential must be available.
“We can open businesses all day long,” Ferrell said, “but until we have people living there, we can only move forward so far.”
That means potentially redeveloping the Goetz Tower, the Manchester Inn and the Snider Building, he said. Former City Manager Jim Palenick has said it would be cheaper to demolish the Manchester and rebuild than renovate the 100-year-old hotel.
“We need to stop thinking about the history of what was and think about the future of what can be,” Ferrell said.
He said with the state of Ohio offering special tax incentives, it’s “imperative” to move these projects forward in the next few years.
Ferrell, a Realtor, was asked if he’s interested in redevelopment due to his profession.
“I have an agenda,” he said. “I want to make my city better and this is a step in that direction.”