the BLUE FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the BLUE?
the BLUE is a mixed-use development proposed by Circle Development for the Kenwood/Cooper Corner in downtown Blue Ash. Circle Development’s plan includes:
- 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
Where would it be located?
If approved, the BLUE will be located on the former Hosbrook property (owned by the City) and the adjacent property which includes Ringo Lanes and the former Blue Ash Chili (owned by Circle Development).
What happened to the Hosbrook property?
The 2.5-acre former Hosbrook property was purchased by the City in 2020 as it is a key location and focal point of downtown. Demolition of property at the site began in March of 2021.
When were the plans first introduced?
The original plans for the BLUE were presented to City Council at the April 8, 2021, City Council Meeting.
Why did the plans change?
The original plans changed after a market assessment determined that a hotel was too risky in the current environment. The hotel was removed from the project and the commercial space, including restaurants and office space, was increased. The updated plans were presented to City Council at the January 13, 2022, City Council Meeting.
Where can I learn more about Circle Development’s presentations?
You can view the initial presentation slides and see a conceptual video here. You can listen to audio of the initial presentation to Council here (skip to about 1/3 of the way into the file). You can watch the updated presentation on YouTube here.
Was the public allowed to weigh in on the project?
Circle Development held an Open House for the public on March 7, 2022. Around 100 residents attended to ask questions, offer feedback, and hear more about the project.
Will this project overload the school district?
In short, no. Apartment projects contribute a significant amount of property tax for the school district. Recent projects, including 4900 and The Approach, have generated only 19 students between the two and $1.36M in annual school revenue. That’s over $71K per student. Compare that to the average single-family home in Blue Ash which contributes $3,400 per year to the school district.
What is being done about traffic and safety?
After hearing resident feedback, Circle announced at the March 10, 2022, City Council meeting that it would be completing a traffic study of the area surrounding the development.
What are the next steps?
Once the traffic study is completed, Circle Development will submit an application to Planning Commission for a zoning change and project approval. Planning Commission will make a recommendation to City Council and City Council will hold a public hearing and vote.
What is the City’s Downtown Strategy Plan?
The Downtown Strategy Plan is was adopted by City Council in April of 2020. The goal of the plan is to develop goals and policies that can be amended as needed due to economic, demographic, and real estate fluctuations. There are five core strategies in the plan:
- Strengthen quality of place
- Actively manage change
- Set fiscal parameters
- Use planning and zoning tools
- Control key properties
Read the full Downtown Strategy plan here.
If approved, when will the BLUE be completed?
Construction of the BLUE would begin in the spring of 2023 and conclude in 2025.
Who can I contact if I have additional questions about the BLUE?
Gregg Lund, Circle Development, firstname.lastname@example.org