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As Large Property Hits Market, Villa Hills Could Be Poised for Potential Development

Villa Hills now has the potential for another large development opportunity. 

As the city awaits finalized plans for the former St. Walburg Monastery, an adjacent parcel is now on the market.

"It has beautiful views of the river just like the convent property and I think put together, it has the potential of being the most interesting development in greater Cincinnati," said Adam Koenig, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker who is representing the property.

The Benedictine Sisters of St. Walburg Monastery announced the sale of their property to Ashley Commercial Group in June. The adjacent property is currently home to radio towers owned by iHeart Media to broadcast WCKY, the call letters for the station branded as ESPN 1530, which airs sports programming. 

Listed at $3.2 million, the property is basically a turnkey business opportunity, too, since iHeart pays a hefty lease (in the five figures each month, Koenig said) to operate the towers there.

But, Koenig said, the 32 acres are also primed for development.

He cited Norton Commons, the mixed-use development and planned community outside of Louisville, as an example of what's possible. Koenig, who is also a Republican state representative from Erlanger, took some of the St. Benedictine nuns, Villa Hills Mayor Butch Callery, and city clerk/treasurer Craig Bohman to the Prospect, Ky. community to show them the concept.

"I think it's a great layout for what could happen in Villa Hills," Koenig said.

Mayor Callery agrees that the site has potential.

“The radio station property has the potential to enhance and complement the anticipated mixed-use development in the Sanctuary development," Callery said in a statement to The River City News. "It should make the planned development on the neighboring property even more successful. Further, the development of the radio parcel would allow the city to address a safety concern with the Prospect Point subdivision. Currently the only connecting road of the Prospect Point development is over a dam. In the unlikely event it would fail, there is no any other access point to that community. Developing the radio station property would provide another way in or out for residents and first responders.”

Koenig grew up in Villa Hills and served on the city council before being elected to the Kenton County Fiscal Court and then the state legislature. He said the deed on the sprawling parcel at 1100 Amsterdam Road last changed hands in 1978 and is owned by a man from northern Indiana. There are four towers and a utility building on the site, all maintained by iHeart, which would get 18 months notice if the lease is to be terminated.

Being a native of Villa Hills, Koenig said that he understands the city needs businesses, "as well as some new infusion of interest in order to maximize their potential as a city."

He said in the 1990s there was talk of merging Villa Hills with Crescent Springs but it didn't make sense for Villa Hills, and now with the commercial business boom in Crescent Springs, such a proposal wouldn't make sense for that city. The sites near the river offer Villa Hills a chance to catch up to its neighbor.
 
To see Koenig's listing, click here.
 
Written by Michael Monks, editor & Publisher
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