Former Warren County factory site receives multi-million dollar grant

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Former ammo factory being developed into biz and housing

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

An award of nearly $6 million is the latest boost for a project expected to transform an area of southwest Warren County with a new bridge, trail connector and millions more in development on a former factory site.

The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) last week announced the award of $5.7 million in federal funds for the Grandin Road-King Avenue Bridge over Little Miami River. It will be part of a project redeveloping of the large former ammunition factory on the site with millions in environmental cleanup.

In all, the project is expected to cost as much as $40 million.

King Avenue in South Lebanon and Grandin Road in Mason is “one continuous road that provides a direct connection” from Ohio 48 to I-71 and “essentially a direct connection” to I-75, according to the county’s application.

RELATED: County plans $9.5 million bridge near Peters Cartridge Factory redevelopment

“Historically, the King Avenue Bridge has been inaccessible to trucks, school buses, RV’s, etc.,” according to the application. “Currently though, the structural condition of the bridge is the greater consideration. The Warren County Engineer’s Office estimates that the remaining service life for the bridge is five years.”

RELATED: Microbrewery to be part of Peters Cartridge Factory redevelopment 

The bridge project, estimated at $9.5 million last year, calls for a 48-foot-wide, two-lane structure with shoulders and an 11-foot-wide dedicated pedestrian/bikeway with barrier separation.

It is to include improved “horizontal alignment and a new vertical profile to moderate steep vertical grades on the King Avenue approach,” according to OKI.

A new tunnel crossing of the river under Grandin Road and a relocated parking area for the trail is also anticipated as part of the build. The application projected construction in 2022.

Redevelopment of the former cartridge factory, a 14-acre complex at 1415 Grandin Road, across from a parking lot for the scenic trail along the river, has been valued at $25.4 million.

A $5 million EPA cleanup preceded the development.

Already, the redevelopment project has received millions in public assistance, ranging from forgiveness of property tax on the improvements — opposed by the Kings Local Schools — to a $491,000 tap-in fee reduction from Warren County to $2.4 million in state historical tax credits.

RELATED: Annexation paves way for another subsidy for former Peters Cartridge Factory project

The Bloomfield-Schon development is to include 130 residences and 15,000 square feet of commercial development, including a microbrewery.

The county application listed no local match funds, but acknowledged a “non-federal match” was a condition of receiving the federal money.

In addition to $5.7 million in federal funds, there is to be a match of more than $2.4 million on the bridge project, according to the OKI announcement.

Last August, Tunison indicated the developer would not be contributing to the bridge project, but Tunison had not identified where the money would come from. He could not be reached after the OKI announcement.

OKI spokesperson Ashley Patrick said Tunison was required to sign an affidavit that his office was good for the matching funds.

RELATED: School district objects to redevelopment tax break

The federal funding was among $41 million allocated to 24 transportation projects in an eight-county region spanning the Tri-State area. The money comes through Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) and the Transportation Alternatives (TA) programs.

“With unanimous support, the board of OKI has delivered a $41 million infrastructure package that will strengthen the eight-county region,” OKI Board President and Butler County Commissioner T.C. Rogers said in the press release.

RELATED: 8 Butler, Warren county projects get federal funding

The road and bridge funds go to 12 projects, also including more than $5.6 million to be equally matched by local governments for work on Ohio 129 and Liberty Way, including a roundabout near Liberty Center, according to OKI.

“OKI supports a transportation network that integrates diverse modes, and these projects advance this mission,” OKI CEO Mark Policinski said in a press release. “For the communities we serve, these projects mean safer walks to school, less congested trips to work, and increased opportunity for active recreation. For the region we represent, these projects signify a more vibrant economy that retains talent while attracting residents and visitors alike.”

King Avenue-Grandin Road Bridge over Little Miami River

$5.7 million in federal funds

More than $2.4 million in matching local funds

The project would include a new 48-foot wide (two-lane) bridge with shoulders and an 11-foot dedicated pedestrian/bike way with barrier separation. The new bridge would improve horizontal alignment and result in a new vertical profile moderating steep vertical grades on the King Avenue approach. In addition, a new tunnel crossing of the Little Miami Trail under Grandin Road and a relocated parking area for the trail are to be constructed.

Source: Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments