New Kettering senior housing part of plan for vacant Ohio Bell/AT&T site

KETTERING — New senior housing is part of a rezoning request involving the vacant Ohio Bell/AT&T building on Woodman Drive.

About 70 rental units for seniors are being discussed in Kettering for 3233 Woodman, the focus of a plan to reclassify about 7.5 acres due in part to its location and the lack of available sites for such development, city records show.

An effort by Oberer Land Developers to change a vacant office building on industrial zoned land to allow for residential use “is not a common occurrence” in the city, said Kettering Planning and Development Director Tom Robillard.

“We are very pleased to see a vacant, unused building like this get reused and get redeveloped, get reinvested in,” he said. “So that’s a very positive thing for Kettering.”

Multi-family residential use is permitted under office zoning – which Oberer is seeking - and the company has said it intends to provide senior housing, according to Robillard.

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Attempts to reach rezoning applicant Greg Smith of Oberer were unsuccessful.

Records still list Ohio Bell as the owner of the land. Oberer has a contract to buy the property should the rezoning – which was approved by the planning commission last month – and development plans be approved, Robillard said.

Development plans have yet to be submitted, he added. The rezoning is set for a Kettering City Council public hearing on Tuesday and may be voted on in September, Robillard said.

The zoning change “will allow the property owner to convert the existing building to accommodate senior, rental housing,” according to Kettering records.

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“With an aging population in Kettering this re-use strategy is appropriate for this site,” City Planner Ron Hundt wrote.

Kettering’s estimated 54,800 population includes as nearly as many people 65 or older (18.5%) as it does under 18 (21.1%), according to 2019 figures from the U.S. Census.

The Oberer proposal comes at a time when sites for new housing in Kettering are at a premium, according to the city.

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“The proposed use cannot be accommodated by sites already zoned in the city due to lack of transportation or utilities, or other similar development constraints, or the market to be served by the proposed use cannot be efficiently served by the geographic location of the existing zoning districts,” according to Kettering records related to the plan.

“In Kettering, there is a lack of large available sites for new development. The vacant sites that do exist are mainly in several of the city’s business parks. These locations are not appropriate for multi-family residential re-use,” those records state.

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“The location of the subject site, near other multi-family properties and close to retail centers, makes the property well-suited to the proposed senior housing development. This standards can therefore be met by the proposed rezoning.”

Ohio Bell still owns more than 18 acres along Woodman, including the land proposed for rezoning, according to Montgomery County Auditor’s Office records.

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