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City Picks Developer for Ludlow Yards Project

The City of Ludlow has chosen its preferred developer for a large-mixed use development.

Philadelphia-based Pennrose was selected at Thursday night's city council meeting to develop Ludlow Yards.

But what the project will ultimately be is still a mystery.

"This is not a selection of a project. It is selection of a developer who will negotiate terms with the the city to determine the project that is ultimately best for Ludlow," said Joe Klare, director of real estate development at the Catalytic Fund, which helped Ludlow with its request for qualifications and guided the 5-member citizen committee that recommended Pennrose.

It was nearly a year ago that the City of Ludlow first floated the idea for such a project, and released a possible design by Covington-based Hub+Weber Architects. At the time, architect Jim Guthrie, who worked on the design used to market the site, said that Ludlow Yards - which would ideally celebrate the city's connection to its railroad history - would include open and airy spaces with an abundance of glass and natural light for design studios, creative firms, and technology companies. It could also be ripe for a craft brewery, an events center, and even a Ludlow history museum, he said.

On Thursday, it was unclear what would ultimately be placed on the site, but council members wanted to make sure that there would be an emphasis on market-rate housing.

Pennrose was selected over two others who submitted because it spent the most time in the city and created a more Ludlow-specific vision, Klare said. "They had a vision for the future of Ludlow, connecting the project to the Riverfront Commons project, and they just seem to have a more comprehensive vision," he said.

Whatever that vision becomes, it could still be a while before dirt starts to move. If it were finished in two years, it would be a fast project, Klare said.

As negotiations on the project begin, council member Tom Amann wanted to ensure that members of council are included since they were not part of the committee. 

Much of Pennrose's work is seen on the east coast. The company recently opened an office in Cincinnati.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Slideshow Images & Captions: 
Design used to market Ludlow Yards