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Senior Housing, Grocery Discussed as Possibilities for Old Drawbridge Site

After months of silence, the developers of the former Drawbridge Inn site in Ft. Mitchell updated city council on forthcoming plans this week.

There were not a lot of specifics about tenants, but general references were made to a grocery store, senior housing, coffee shops, and possibly single-family housing.

"This senior living we're very excited about because it gives people the opportunity to stay in the neighborhood," said Mike Brandy, of Bellevue-based Brandicorp, which is developing the site with partners.

A Texas-based company is exploring a mostly independent senior living community development there.

Earlier this year, plans for a senior housing community at a site adjacent to the old Drawbridge site were shot down by the city, but these new plans were enthusiastically received Monday.

The famed local hotel and meeting space that previously occupied the site was razed to make way for what Christ Hospital and Brandicorp had hoped would be home to a mixed-use development anchored by a new outpatient surgical center.

A lengthy legal battle, brought on by St. Elizabeth Healthcare to keep Christ's plans out of the Northern Kentucky market, followed and Christ ultimately waved the white flag on the site after a loss at the Kentucky Court of Appeals, deciding instead to expand its presence in Ft. Wright.

News of a possible grocery store being part of the revamped plans for the site were first reported by The River City News more than a year ago.

Brandy did not say which specific potential tenants are exploring options at the site, but he referred to them as "top-tier."

"It's a very exciting time and we are getting a lot of people interested," he said.

Developer Chuck Berling also explained to council that the new plan includes a centering of the current road that runs off Buttermilk Pike. The realigned street would run down the middle of the development, he said.

In other new information, the developers have acquired the last two remaining parcels not previously owned by them.

Now, the attention turns to a timeline for the actual development to begin.

Developers expect to have a plan to be considered by the Kenton County planning commission early next year.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher