the BLUE (Kenwood/Cooper Corner)
Click here for an FAQ regarding the BLUE project.
A note about the BLUE development
(April 27, 2023 - Blue Ash) The City has learned of the pending litigation/bankruptcy proceedings involving Ray Schneider, the owner of Circle Development, which is the company that is spearheading the BLUE project. The City is in contact with Schneider as he assesses his options and next steps. While the City hopes for a timely resolution to the matter, it will likely cause a delay in the BLUE development. We realize you have questions about the development’s progress and understand your concerns. We will strive to keep you informed as we learn more.
City Council votes to approve the BLUE final development plan
(February 10, 2023 - Blue Ash)
City Council has voted to approve the final development plan for the BLUE from Circle Development. Read the resolution and see the plans here.
Planning Commission recommends approval of the BLUE with conditions
(January 6, 2023 - Blue Ash)
At last night's Planning Commission meeting, the Commission recommended that City Council approve the final development plan for the BLUE with conditions. The plan can be viewed here (PDF).
Council approves concept plan
(September 9, 2022 - Blue Ash)
Blue Ash City Council approved the concept plan for the BLUE at the council meeting on September 8, 2022.
You can watch the concept plan presentation from August 11 on YouTube here.
New design concepts presented for the BLUE
(August 12, 2022 - Blue Ash)
Reztark Design Studio presented updated concepts for the BLUE project at last night’s City Council meeting during a public hearing for concept-level Planned Unit Development (PUD) approval.
The new designs included modifications to access roads to improve traffic flow and the inclusion of modern art sculptures at key locations. You can watch the update on YouTube here.
Several residents spoke during the public hearing portion of the meeting, with a majority expressing concerns about traffic near the proposed mixed-use development.
City leaders said their concerns were heard and will be taken into consideration as the planning phase continues.
A second reading and vote on the PUD legislation is scheduled for the September 8, 2022, Council meeting.
Public hearing set for the BLUE
(July 15, 2022 - Blue Ash)
A public hearing has been set for August 11, 2022, at 7:05 p.m. to consider approval of a concept Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the BLUE and designate approximately 6.2 acres of land northwest of the intersection of Kenwood and Cooper Roads as a PUD District.
Remediation project at the BLUE site
(June 10, 2022 - Blue Ash)
You may see some activity at the site of the BLUE on the Kenwood/Cooper corner.
Work crews will be completing a remediation project. A fence will be placed around the location so crews can clean up contaminated soil.
The project is expected to last about a month.
the BLUE project presented to the Blue Ash Business Association
(May 6, 2022 - Blue Ash)
Circle Development and Reztark Design Studio presented plans for the BLUE at the Blue Ash Business Association Luncheon on May 5.
(May 3, 2022 - Blue Ash)
the BLUE site awarded nearly $400k in brownfield remediation funds
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has awarded Kenwood Road Development, LLC a $396,000 Brownfield Remediation Grant.
The funds are part of the Ohio Remediation Program to help local communities clean up dozens of contaminated properties to make way for future economic development.
“The projects we’re funding today will not only revive these sites for new development, but they’ll also improve quality of life and open the door for exciting new opportunities for the citizens of our state,” said Governor DeWine in a news release.
The grant award document states: “Since 1937 the site has seen a variety of commercial uses including a grocery store, dry cleaner, salon and day spa, and bowling alley. Planned cleanup and remediation including removal of hazardous soil, backfill of site, groundwater and soil samples, and installation of oxidation solution into treatment lines. After cleanup and remediation, the site is planned to be developed into a mixed-use development including apartments, office, retail, and restaurant space.”
The grant was part of a $60 million statewide grant announcement on April 26.
This represents the first group of grants awarded as part of Round 1 of the Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program, with nearly $350 million to be invested in total across the state in the coming months.
the BLUE Update
(March 17, 2022 - Blue Ash) After hearing resident feedback, Circle announced at the March 10 City Council meeting that it would be completing a traffic study of the area surrounding the development.
PHOTOS: the BLUE Open House
(March 8, 2022 - Blue Ash)
The Open House for the BLUE was well attended in City Council Chambers last evening.
Around 100 residents turned out to ask questions and hear more about the project from representatives from Circle Development.
Circle displayed renderings of the BLUE, which allowed attendees to view them at their leisure while chatting with the developers.
Kenwood/Cooper Corner, "the BLUE", Open House Set for 3/7
(February 23, 2022 - Blue Ash)
The developers of the Kenwood/Cooper Corner, now dubbed “the BLUE”, are hosting an open house on Monday, March 7, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 4343 Cooper Road.
Interested citizens are invited to attend to learn more about the project and offer feedback.
Representatives from Circle Development will be on hand with renderings and details of the proposed mixed-use project and will answer questions.
Market and economic assessments have changed the project from what was originally presented to Council on April 8, 2021. Read more about the history of the project below.
Under the current plans, the BLUE will have an inviting, modern façade of ground-floor restaurant/retail, a plaza, a center park, and upper-level office space at the corner and along Kenwood Road, with the residential units, amenities, and parking tucked behind.
- 65,000 sq. ft. of restaurant/retail space
- 35,000 sq. ft. of office space
- 250 residential units
- A center park
- A corner plaza
- 650 parking spaces
Circle will also be presenting the project to the Blue Ash Business Association in May and the Blue Ash-Montgomery Rotary Club in June.
Kenwood/Cooper Corner Project Update
(February 11, 2022 - Blue Ash)
City Council received an update from Circle Development on the Kenwood/Cooper Corner project at the January 13 Council meeting. The presentation included a history of the project, updated renderings, economic benefits, and next steps.
After a market assessment determined that a hotel was too risky in the current environment, it was removed from the project and the commercial space, including restaurants and office space, was increased. The updated renderings show a second level of office above restaurants and retail at the Kenwood/Cooper corner (previous plans included one story of office) and residential where the hotel was previously located at the north end of the site.
Also, at last night’s meeting, City Council approved a resolution of support for brownfield remediation funds. The Blue Ash Chili/salon site was once occupied by a dry cleaner which caused soil and groundwater contamination. The developer will remediate the site to residential standards.
A public input process is forthcoming and it is anticipated that the project will come before Planning Commission in the next few months.
Downtown Update: Kenwood/Cooper Corner
(August 13, 2021 - Blue Ash)
At the April 8, 2021, City Council Meeting, Circle Development presented a redevelopment concept for the former Hosbrook garage (owned by Blue Ash) and the former Ringo Lanes and Blue Ash Chili (owned by the developer) at the northwest corner of Kenwood and Cooper Roads. The City purchased the property in late 2020 as it is a key piece to ensure the future success and viability of downtown Blue Ash.
At a work session on August 10, 2021, Blue Ash City Council was presented with a market assessment for the project. Councilmembers had requested the assessment to determine if there was market support for the elements of the design. In most instances, that question was answered with a resounding “yes”.
The assessment, presented by Global Retail Strategies, called for an increase in amenities at the location. It found that more specialty retail stores, home-grown restaurants and entertainment, and entrepreneurial or co-working office spaces will best utilize the space and provide for economic sustainability long into the future. To make these amenities viable, compatible, and feasible, the assessment also found it is important to supplement these elements with a residential component of 250-300 apartment units. A boutique hotel that was presented in the original concepts was removed after the assessment determined it was too risky in the current and future hospitality market.
Circle Development and Reztark Design Studios also presented updated information regarding their conceptual designs. Highlights included a pedestrian-friendly design, lower streetscape profile, the elimination of the hotel, a repositioning of the residential component, and modified parking garages. City Council requested updated renderings to better understand the design changes.
The City’s planning consultant from McBride, Dale, Clarion was also at the meeting to evaluate the project in accordance with the City’s Downtown Strategy Plan. As the project was crafted with this plan in mind, it was no surprise to find that it fits the plan's goal of being a vibrant, family and pedestrian-friendly place. The development will also be a community focal point intended to complement Summit Park as opposed to competing with it.
Council requested time to review the information presented at this meeting and next steps including Council feedback and a public input process are forthcoming. There is no deadline at this time and it is possible (or even likely) that the plan will continue to evolve after much more community input.
What's Happening in Downtown Blue Ash? Your Questions Answered
The Hosbrook Corner
(April 20, 2021 - Blue Ash)
You may have noticed some activity at the northwest corner of Kenwood and Cooper Road. While there are currently no official development plans for the Hosbrook property in Downtown Blue Ash, a developer who controls the adjacent properties recently presented an informal development proposal to City Council. At this time, there is no formal approval timeline or process in place, and Council has not made any decisions.
In 2020, Blue Ash City Council authorized the purchase of the 2.5-acre Hosbrook property (shown in blue above). The City of Blue Ash is in the process of demolishing the structures located on this property to remove the dilapidated buildings and minimize liability. The adjacent 3.8-acre property (shown in orange above), which includes Blue Ash Chili and Ringo Lanes, is controlled by Circle Development Company. The developer is planning to demolish the structures on the property at a later date.
Circle Development has expressed an interest in working with the City to develop both pieces of land as one cohesive development, which would be bounded by Kenwood Road, Cooper Road, the railroad tracks located on the west side of the property, and Keystone Plaza to the north. At the April 8, 2021, City Council Meeting, Circle Development gave an informal presentation with conceptual designs for the site and answered questions from Council Members. Click here to read the meeting minutes.
The design proposal included a mixed-use development with office, retail, restaurants with outdoor dining options, a 250-unit apartment complex, a 75-85 room boutique hotel, a 600-space parking garage, and an outdoor gathering space.
Again, there is no formal approval timeline and Council has not made any decisions. When the time comes, there will be a public input process and a formal zoning approval process. Residents will be able to stay informed about these steps at blueash.com. Any development plans will be guided by the City’s downtown strategy plan.
Demolition work this week in Downtown Blue Ash
(March 31, 2021 - Blue Ash)
Demolition work is getting underway this week in downtown Blue Ash.
The former Hosbrook Automotive buildings and two residential structures at the corner of Kenwood and Cooper Road are being torn down for future development opportunities.
Those who watched the demolition work today said it was "time for a change" and "bittersweet."
City Council authorized the purchase of the 2.5-acre property at its May 14th meeting and closed on it in December.
Development plans will be guided by the City’s newly adopted downtown strategy plan.