PIQUA — Two outside developers are seeking a zoning designation change for property located in Piqua for the purpose of constructing a new apartment complex.
The parcel area is located on the 400 block of Wood Street and is situated across the street from its current owner, Transformed Life Church, located at 421 Wood St. The property is located near the intersection of Wood Street and Roosevelt Avenue and is also near the bike path, also called the East-West Ohio to Indiana Trail.
Miller-Valentine Residential Development, LLC — also referred to as the Miller-Valentine Group — is the applicant for the zoning change and the contract purchaser of the property. They are seeking to rezone the property to R-3 multi-family residential use in order to develop a 62-unit multi-family apartment complex with on-site parking.
The property is currently zoned I-1 for light industrial use and is a vacant, outdated railroad structure.
“It was part of the rail spur that surfaced in the community many years ago,” City Planner Chris Schmiesing said during Tuesday evening’s Planning Commission meeting. “The property has not functioned in that capacity for quite some time, nor has there been any industrial use type activity there for quite some time, nor would that type of use be appropriate in this location.”
Schmiesing said that there were general businesses near the property toward the intersection of Wood Street and Roosevelt Avenue along with residential homes in the other direction along Wood Street, adding later that rezoning the property to multi-family residential “would be much more relevant to the surrounding properties.”
Also, due to the property’s location within the city, Schmiesing said, “This property, quite frankly, would not be marketable, for light industry type use.”
Josh Hughes of the Miller Valentine Group of Dayton and Cincinnati along with Wes Young of St. Mary’s Development Corp., who are partnering on the potential project, attended the Planning Commission meeting to explain their project goals for the apartment complex.
“We take pride in being a good, local partner,” Hughes said.
The Miller-Valentine Group and St. Mary’s Development had also recently partnered the Piqua Improvement Corporation with the goal of redeveloping the Roosevelt Field House near downtown Piqua into a senior housing complex as the kick-off to the city’s campus plan. It would have featured a number of senior apartments, but the project was not able to obtain a necessary tax credit for the location.
The transaction of the Piqua school district selling the property to the Piqua Improvement Corporation was also contingent upon the project receiving that tax credit, so the Piqua school district still owns the property.
The Roosevelt Field House is still noted as a site for future redevelopment as part of the city’s campus plan for that area.
“Our interest in Piqua remains,” Hughes said.
In regard to the property on Wood Street, the Miller-Valentine Group and St. Mary’s Development said they plan on having a variety of one, two, and three-bedroom apartments in the building, with on-site parking and energy-efficient appliances.
“We appreciate the opportunity to be back in Piqua,” Young said. “We try to take really good care of the properties.”
Pastor Brian Hamilton of Transformed Life Church also spoke in favor of the zoning change.
“Obviously, we’re for this project. Not only changing the zoning of it will put the apartments there, but it will also clean up some of the buildings that are on that property,” Hamilton said. He said that the church had other ideas for the property, but the plans did not come to fruition. “I think this will be a win for that area,” he said.
A resident spoke against the zoning change and against the potential apartment complex, citing potential upkeep of the apartments as a concern.
“I’m all for redevelopment, but I’ve seen some of the properties, the apartment complexes in this city, and what they’ve been left to go to,” Paul Bubeck of Piqua said. “You see the deterioration,” he said. He cited the former high school that is now senior housing, saying, “They let the place go down.”
About the proposed apartment complex, Bubeck said, “You’re going to have the same problem with this here.”
The Planning Commission unanimously approved the zoning change. The request will move forward to the Piqua City Commission for final approval before the zoning is officially changed.
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