New goal for Main Street apartments in Hamilton: About 70, with street-level retail

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Stunning aerial view of downtown Hamilton

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The number of apartments developer Jim Cohen plans to build in the 300 block of Main Street in Hamilton has risen from 50-plus to “around 70,” with an addition of four retail spaces on the street level.

“I don’t know that there’s been ground-up residential construction on Main Street in over a hundred years,” said Cohen of CMC Properties, the same company that developed The Marcum complex of apartments, restaurants and shops downtown.

Hamilton’s city planner, Liz Hayden, agreed Cohen’s estimate of the first residential development in a century seems to be the case along that part of the Main Street business corridor. All the newer development has been commercial, such as Walgreens, Family Dollar and Family Video, she said.

“So this is a big deal,” Hayden said.

Jim Cohen of CMC Properties has released a concept drawing of what his approximately 70-unit apartment building, with four retail spaces, in the 300 block of Main Street, may look like. It may change because the design is not final. PROVIDED
Caption
Jim Cohen of CMC Properties has released a concept drawing of what his approximately 70-unit apartment building, with four retail spaces, in the 300 block of Main Street, may look like. It may change because the design is not final. PROVIDED

There have been smaller groups of apartments being renovated recently along Main, but “the scale of this is so different, impact-wise, and those aren’t new buildings. Those are old apartments that have been shuttered for a long time that are coming back to life, which is just important,” she said.

“We’ll be bringing a bunch of people now living right on Main Street, and I think that’s a pretty attractive place to live.”

With the overall trend of people returning to urban cores, where they can walk to shopping and eateries, he believes there will be demand for the apartments, “in a city that’s really progressing, and they are introducing a lot of new restaurants and a lot of new businesses on Main Street, so it becomes this kind of cool vibe, where you live right above all these shops and services.”

He hopes for completion in the spring of 2022.

“The city expressed that they’d like some retail,” Cohen said. “I’m not super-keen on the idea, but the city’s pretty adamant about it. I don’t think it’s going to hurt. I just feel like there’s plenty of retail on Main, but I think architecturally, it probably adds a little bit to the building, and they want it to look like everything else on Main, and retail on the first floor really fits that.”

The design isn’t finished, but “We’re shooting for 70, let’s put it that way,” Cohen said. “We’re going to do mostly one-bedrooms, because we feel like that’s what the market is in that location.”

The building will have a roof deck, providing outdoor space for residents, along with a patio or balcony for each apartment.

Cohen said the building will fit in with that area of Main Street, but will have a 21st century “feel to it, and then when you go inside the units, they’re all going to be very modern and very high-design.”

Cohen sees retail struggling a bit for the next few years.

ExploreHUB on Main project including craft beer bar, outdoor area moving forward

Also: “I’m looking at Main Street, which appears to have plenty of retail space that’s still available — either vacant or underserved — and what downtown Hamilton really needs is people living on Main Street, not more shops,” Cohen said. “But that’s an argument that’s over, because I’ve already agreed to do it.”

People interested in leasing the apartments or retail spaces can contact him at jcohen@cmcproperties.com or 513-984-3030.

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