Hamilton’s  Housing Renaissance

Hamilton’s Housing Renaissance

Transformative investments are helping shape Hamilton’s expanding housing landscape

Like many communities across the country, Hamilton also faced a need to increase housing availability for its residents. With the ongoing development of businesses like restaurants, bars, boutiques and athletic venues, Hamiltonians are also starting to see serious investment in new housing units of all forms. From infill apartments, to new construction homes, and creative adaptive reuse of buildings into lofts and townhomes, the goal is diversity in price and choice.

Maybe the most noticeable and immediately impactful development in Hamilton has been the newly constructed Rossville Flats on Main Street across from True West Coffee. The location offers an urban feel in very walkable area with multiple
restaurants, bars, markets and nightlife options for tenants to take advantage of. The modern-looking but historically appropriate building offers 1 bed 1 bath and 2 bed 2 bath units from $1,255 to $2,300 per month. CMC Properties recently began leasing its properties after construction was finished.

“Hamilton has really been going through a lot of changes over the last five or six years,” a representative of Rossville Flats said. “Main Street in particular, has developed new restaurants and shops such as a new deli, and the family-friendly Hamilton’s Urban Backyard.

With all of that happening on Main Street, developers decided to build something here for urban living. Something that allows you to live your life right outside the door: you can grab a coffee, a bite to eat, or go to the pharmacy . . . and all of it is walkable.”

One organization making a big investment in Hamilton’s housing needs is the Butler Metropolitan Housing Authority (BMHA). The BMHA is dedicated to providing affordable rental housing to low and moderate-income persons in Hamilton.

Ben Jones of BMHA tells The Hamiltonian they help residents of Hamilton through two programs: The housing choice voucher program and the public housing program. The BMHA helps lower-income residents of Hamilton find reliable housing in one of its 550 units across the city.

“There’s always been a need,” Jones told The Hamiltonian. “During the last few years, COVID disrupted things a little bit. I just consider the data for 2020 and most of 2021 an anomaly. Those were just crazy years.

“We have seen the need tick up here in the last couple of years. We’re trying our best to meet that need. You know, the biggest thing that we’re doing now is a comprehensive rehabilitation/ redevelopment of our properties.”

BMHA is planning over $100 million in investments at multiple properties around the city. The timeline for completion is around two years, but units will begin becoming available along the timeline before the projects are 100 percent completed. Most notable is the 179-unit Henry Long Tower, which does in fact tower overthe Great Miami River, supplying a view of the city. The longstanding apartment building has been a staple in the city but was in desperate need of updates and renovations.

Additionally, the 151-unit Dayton Lane Gardens building across the river is also in line for a $50 million rejuvenation, supplying reliable and comfortable spaces for Hamiltonians to reside in a different area of the city.

However, BMHA isn’t just offering investments in apartments alone. They are planning a $45 million pledge to the Jackson Bosch & Thornhill subdivisions which boast 30 two-, three-, and four-bedroom houses for Hamilton natives to live.

The Riverside Homes project on Front Street is another candidate for a substantial BMHA investment, including a complete demolition and rebuilding, in phases. BMHA’s massive investments offer a bright future for the state of housing in the city of Hamilton.

“There has been a lot of development of apartments, especially here in the downtown core,” Jones said. “And that’s always good. That drives economic development and that brings jobs for people of all socioeconomic categories. It helps pull everybody up.

We do need to work to increase the amount of affordable housing here in the county as a whole. There are a lot of people that are working towards that. It’s a balanced approach.”

Another Hamilton building that is being redeveloped is the former Ohio Casualty Building which was bought by Third + Dayton Properties. Sitting at the corner of 315 Dayton Street, the building offers standard housing, as well as short-term corporate housing and student lodging. The residential building is next to two other Third + Dayton properties which are primarily utilized for commercial purposes.

Pseudo-outside investors are starting to notice the appeal of investing in the Hamilton area as well, and a large developer has chosen the west side of Hamilton for its next venture. Noticing a need for two and three-bedroom townhouses, PLK is offering a housing feel for those who can’t commit to a mortgage but want to go in a different direction from an apartment.

“We’re probably looking at about two years to complete it,” Nick Lingenfelter of PLK said on the Water Cove development. “This particular style of home is a two-story direct entry, so it feels much more like a townhome or a condo.”

With locations all around Cincinnati, Florence, and Covington, PLK realized it only made sense for them to dip its toe in the Hamilton real estate market. They started work on the construction site for the Water Cove development a couple of weeks before the holidays—which is located behind the Meijer off Eden Park Drive—and are expecting their clubhouse—which will closely resemble the properties as a model home—to be completed by September. Each unit is said to have a heavy focus on style and design, featuring granite countertops, wood floors, and center kitchen islands.

“Hamilton’s really been on a growth spurt lately, and one of the things we noticed is that this demographic appeared to be the most underserved in form, in terms of new product in the area,” Lingenfelter said.

“What we realized is that there’s definitely a need for more two, and three bedrooms. This helps people who either can’t get financing for a home or don’t want to own a home. To us, this definitely felt like an underserved area and demographic we want to hit. Understandably, we like this product a lot. The city already has a lot of studios and one bedrooms, but when the opportunity affords itself, we would always love to build two- and three-bedroom houses because that renter is usually more long-term.”

Westfield Place Homes is an organization looking to appeal to the home builder. Located near Hamilton Freshman High School is Westfield’s lot which was paved and ready for building as of August 1, 2023. Developers are offering custom 2,200 square foot ranch homes as well as 2,600 square foot two-story houses. It’s a perfect choice for those who want to build a new home.

The influx of housing that can already be seen is only a drop in the bucket from what it will be in three to five years. With units from one studio apartments to 2,600 square foot houses, it will be much easier for every socio-economic status to not only live in Hamilton but also live comfortably.

Pairing that with the economic boom in terms of small businesses and the many additional amenities in the city, the future of Hamilton, OH is a
bright one, any way you look at it.

Back to blog