At the March meeting, your Clifton neighborhood council (CTM) passed a resolution stating its support for a full-service grocery store in the property formerly occupied by Keller’s IGA. Vice Mayor and Clifton resident David Mann introduced a motion in support of CTM’s resolution to City Council that has been referred to the Council’s Neighborhood Committee for consideration on Monday, March 24 at 2pm.
CTM felt strongly that the neighborhood’s wishes regarding a grocery store should be voiced to the City now, since it appears that the purchase of the former IGA property may be more likely now that its current owner, Steve Goessling, is considering offers less than the $2.3 million he has been asking for the building. CTM’s position is that if developers purchase the property, they and the City should be aware that the Clifton neighborhood wishes it to contain a grocery store component. We believe the resolution is worded such that it will not deter any developers interested in the property, even developers who may want to include a grocery component as part of a larger mixed-use development.
It is important to note that because CTM has a critical role in neighborhood zoning issues and other decisions impacting local businesses, it cannot and will not endorse any particular enterprise, including the Clifton Market Coop. CTM’s role is to strongly advocate for the return of a grocery store to the Ludlow Avenue business district, and we believe the resolution passed Monday night is an effective tool for Clifton.
The resolution is provided below, verbatim.
Resolution to Support Grocery Development on Ludlow Avenue, March 10, 2014
In the three years since Kellers IGA closed its doors on Ludlow Avenue, residents of Clifton have made their wishes clear: they want another grocery store. They’ve expressed their wishes in hundreds of posts on social media, at almost every meeting of CTM (Clifton Town Meeting), and in letters and emails to CTM. Clifton is a walkable neighborhood, and walking to the grocery store is something residents sorely miss.
Many businesses have also told CTM Trustees that their sales declined after the grocery store closed. They say they are barely hanging on, that they miss having a grocery store as a big anchor to increase foot traffic and patronage throughout the business district.
In February, 2011, CTM affirmed to the Mayor, the City Manager, and City Council that CTM’s goal was to “promote a full-service grocery store that serves the neighborhood.” It is now time that CTM reaffirms that goal. On March 10th, this resolution was reviewed with and accepted by the Clifton Business and Professional Association (CBPA).
The current administration of Clifton Town Meeting would like to reassert that the highest and best use for the property located at 319 Ludlow Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 is full service grocery retail. CTM is not endorsing any specific grocery solution and will not take the lead for any specific solution. If the building remains a stand-alone grocery store (or supermarket as the current land use definition would imply), the solution could be a grocery chain, an independent grocer, or a Food Coop. If the current building is replaced, the solution could also be a mixed use property with a minimum of 15,000 square feet of street level grocery retail in concert with a multi-storey co-occupant(s).
– Ben Pantoja, President, Clifton Town Meeting