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Greiwe Development breaks ground on One Highland, a mixed-use community in Fort Thomas

By Mark Hansel
NKyTribune managing editor

Wet weather shortened the groundbreaking ceremony for the new One Highland development project in Forth Thomas, but it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the project’s partners and community stakeholders.

Greiwe Development, one of the region’s leading developers of lifestyle communities, broke ground on One Highland, the new mixed-use luxury condominium and commercial/retail development in Fort Thomas, Tuesday.

Tom Williams of North American Properties talks about the One Highland project Tuesday. Campbell County Commissioner Tom Lampe and Rick Greiwe were among those who also spoke about the project. Greiwe Developers leads the project team, which also includes Sibcy Cline (Photo by Mark Hansel).

Firm principal Rick Greiwe joined partners Tom Williams of North American Properties, Rob Sibcy of Sibcy Cline, and civic leaders for the official groundbreaking ceremony.

Fort Thomas is a new market for the partners, who have collaborated on a succession of high-end condominium projects throughout Cincinnati — most recently Hampstead Park in Mariemont and Hyde Park’s 2770 Observatory.

Together, they specialize in building high-quality residences in walkable neighborhoods with dining, shopping and entertainment amenities. One Highland will follow suit by providing future residents luxury, modern living — complete with in-building commercial space — in the center of Fort Thomas.

“From the city’s walkability to nearby amenities, proximity to downtown Cincinnati and park-like setting, Fort Thomas is the type of community that’s in demand with today’s condominium buyer,” said Greiwe. “One Highland will be in the heart of the city, and it will capture the spirit of Fort Thomas’ history, unique geography, and ‘city in a park’ sensibility. We’re excited to give the community an engaging place to live, work and gather.”

North American Properties purchased Newport on the Levee in late 2018 and is in the process of revitalizing that property. Williams said the company is looking forward to the development of One Highland as well.

“When Rick first mentioned Fort Thomas, we thought it would be very exciting to go into a new market, so we’re looking forward to this,” Williams said. I think you’ll really love the product he is going to build. Thank you for welcoming us to this part of the world, we’re really excited to be here and we look forward to the project.”

Williams acknowledged that every project has its challenges and encouraged anyone with concerns, as the project moves forward, to contact Rob Sibcy, day or night.

Sibcy took the good-natured ribbing in stride and said he welcomed the opportunity to be part of the project.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Sibcy said. “One thing about Fort Thomas, it’s an interesting community, because once you grow up here, you don’t want to leave, so it’s hard finding alternative housing. Hopefully, we’re going to create 18 more houses on the market that are in Fort Thomas.”

The presentation portion of the ceremony was moved inside across the street from the development site, to Colonel De headquarters, because of the inclement weather.

Founder De Stewart moved the Colonel De world headquarters in Fort Thomas in 2016.

Stewart died in 2018, but his wife Susan and other family members have continued to support the renaissance in Fort Thomas.

At left are renderings of the One Highland project. At right is a photo of the site as it looks today, bottom, and a photo from the site looking toward Fort Thomas (renderings provided, photos by Mark Hansel). Click to enlarge.

“I am absolutely thrilled with the project that is going in across the street,” Susan Stewart said. “I think it’s going to be great for the community and it’s going to be great for our restaurant. As everybody was talking, I could feel the Colonel with us today.”

Details of the project and a timeline for development were also introduced at the groundbreaking.

One Highland Commercial Space

The mixed-use, three-level building will enhance Fort Thomas’ downtown urban environment, providing 12,000 square feet of new opportunities for commercial functions at the corner of Highland and North Fort Thomas Avenues. It will have large storefront windows, accessible tenant spaces and outdoor areas.

The second phase of the project will introduce an additional two-level commercial building with 8,400 square feet of space. A 30-foot wide garden between the phase one and phase two buildings will add greenspace to the property. Modern commercial office and retail space are currently not available in the city center.

Residences at One Highland

Designed with empty-nesters, seniors and single professionals in mind, One Highland’s one-level living condominium residences will be on its second and third levels— a new-to-market housing option for the area. Residents will enjoy one-level living that includes elevator access to a private parking garage with two assigned parking spaces and storage for every unit. Each residence will offer open living and kitchen areas, designer finishes, covered outdoor balconies, and master suites with dual walk-in closets and spacious en suite baths. Large windows and 10-foot ceilings will provide natural light throughout. Third-floor spaces will have additional vaulted ceilings.

The residences, ranging from $695,000-$1,200,000, will include:

• 1,700 and 1,850 square-foot two bedroom and two baths

• 2,000 square-foot two bedroom, two baths and study

• 2,250 and 2,860 square-foot two bedroom, 2.5 baths and study

An overflow crowd filed into Colonel De in Downtown Fort Thomas to hear details of the One Highland project (photo by Mark Hansel).

As in Greiwe’s previous projects, the building’s architecture and design will echo the aesthetic of the Fort Thomas community — pulling inspiration from nearby Tower Park. Materials will include stone masonry, brick and a masonry/glass corner feature. The roof pitches along Fort Thomas Avenue are characteristic to the city and are planned to complement nearby buildings and homes. At street-level, a covered promenade with occasional trellises will provide an urban oasis for pedestrians. The corner plaza will be an energetic place for the community to gather.

“One Highland will enhance what our city already has to offer to our residents. From new-to-market housing options and modern commercial space, the added amenities will only serve to improve our quality of life,” said Fort Thomas Vice Mayor Roger Peterman. “Making this project a reality is a great investment for our community now and for future generations.”

Campbell County Commissioner Tom Lampe said the county has not been directly involved in the project, but has supported the city every step of the way.

Lampe said he was at a meeting recently where the discussion focused on areas primed for economic development. 

“This project was kind of lingering out there, a lot of discussion about it, and I thought why not Fort Thomas,” Lampe said. “We had a potential partner bring a development opportunity to us that was in line with our long-range plan. It was compliant, eventually, and it was brought to us with desirable partners.”

Lampe credited city leaders for sending the message to development partners that Fort Thomas was reading and willing to do what was needed to get the project done.

Ensuring adequate parking for the new project, One Highland will have resident parking below street level in a private parking garage, and public parking available on a surface lot with an estimated 40 spaces.

Project Timeline

• Groundbreaking: February 4, 2020

• Commercial Sales: February-June 2020 — Michelle Klingenberg and Terry Ohnmeis, Cushman & Wakefield, 513-763-3023

• Condominium Sales Launch: April 2020 — Pam and Doug Schuerman, Sibcy Cline, 513-368-9349

• Grand Opening: Fall 2021

Joshua One, M+A Architects, Martin Koepke Landscape Design and Greiwe Interiors join Greiwe Development, North American Properties and Sibcy Cline as project partners for One Highland.

Contact Mark Hansel at mark.hansel@nkytrib.com

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