City Planning Commission on Development Done Right


High praise from city officials greeted Terrex Development and Messer Construction as they presented a thoughtful, economically inclusive plan to develop the southeast quadrant of Reading Road and East Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, a project they’ve planned in close collaboration with the Uptown Consortium. As a result, at the August 18 planning commission meeting, commissioners approved a measure to rezone the area of land for use as a planned development.

Developers Terrex and Messer presented to the commission their preferred developer agreement (PDA), which is a cornerstone of corridor planning and an essential step in strategically planning a city’s limited space. As part of the presentation, developers additionally shared their economic inclusion plans which outlined strategies to ensure the new development works for the community, not against it.

Messer and Terrex shared their goal to have at least 25 percent minority-owned businesses and six percent women-owned businesses in the corridor, along with a workforce of at least 12 percent minority groups and at least three percent women. 

The developers plan to use the land, which the city agreed to sell earlier in the summer, for a mixed-use project that will include a hotel with ground-floor retail and three office buildings with a combined 450,000 square feet of office space.

A city only has so much space, and good city planning helps make the best use of the space within a city’s limits while respecting the growing needs of a diverse population. The Messer and Terrex project is an example of responsible development, a sentiment echoed by City of Cincinnati Planning Commission President Daniel Driehaus who, in addition to praising the developers for “doing things right,” said that he looked forward to seeing the project completed.