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Hotel plans fall through, neighbors want greenspace to stay

PENDLETON, Ky. (Angela Ingram) -- The future of a Cincinnati landmark is up in the air Monday night after a multi-million dollar deal to renovate it falls through.
The old SCPA building was supposed to become a hotel.  But not anymore.  The hotel deal that neighbors thought would flood the area with jobs is dead.  Core Redevelopment had been working with Remark Hospitality to turn the building into an "AC Hotel by Marriott."  Now the owner of the building, John Watson, is planning to turn the old SCPA building on Sycamore into roughly 150 apartments.

Michael Cox of Core Redevelopment said, "It'll be done as a certified historic rehab, certified by the National Park Service and as part of that process will maintain a lot of the historic nature and character of the building."

The old School for Creative and Performing Arts in Pendleton has a greenspace at the north side of the building.  The developer wants to use a portion of that greenspace for parking.

"We think it's in the neighborhood's best interest and in our best interest to maintain as much of the greenspace as possible," said a supporter of keeping the space green.
At a meeting of the Pendleton Neighborhood Council it was clear that some people support the idea of apartments but they don't want to give up the greenspace.  And they want more details of how the parking plan will impact neighbors and the tenants.

Tabatha Anderson of the Pendleton Neighborhood Council said, "The first floor windows of the school, those are going to be first floor apartments.  But if you put a parking structure there, does the parking structure abut the windows? How are these apartments actually going to get any light in?"
During the meeting the developer gave a couple of options for parking and pros and cons of both, including cost effectiveness.  But neighbors say they won't give the owner a letter of support without more details.  The developer says he wants the building open for occupancy by next summer.  If construction does not start by the end of this year the project runs the risk of losing Ohio Historic Tax Credits.

The owner told the group that he will be back in 30 days with visuals that will give the group a better idea of the design details.

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Video HERE



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