The Milford Board of Education approved the sale of Milford Main tonight to CMC Properties, the same company that developed the Riverwalk Flats apartments & condominiums in downtown Milford, as well as many properties in Greater Cincinnati. Details on the sale can be found here.
The contract ensures the sale requirements outlined in the auction a few months ago were met: keeping Clermont County Educational Service Center there at least through the next school year; allowing the board to remove the Rookwood fountain and mural from the building; and maintaining the façade of the building.
The vote was 3 for the sale (Yockey, Hewlett, Brady) and one against (Knepp). Board member George Lucas was out of town. Mr. Knepp’s reason for voting no was because the contract provides for preservation only of the façade of the building, not the entire original building. While the end result may be keeping the entire original building, this is not required per contract. Mr. Knepp has been against keeping only the façade since the beginning of the process.
The board cannot control what CMC does with the land and building, outside of the contingencies already named, but we did have a good discussion in executive session with Jim Cohen, CMC President, about his plans and intentions. All board members – including Mr. Knepp – believe Mr. Cohen is going in a direction that will benefit the community (in fact, Mr. Knepp stated if it weren’t for the façade issue, he would have voted yes). The intentions are not yet public since there are still zoning and other due diligence requirements that could come into play. In addition, Mr. Cohen intends to ask for input from the community before moving forward.
The school district has been evaluating options for Milford Main for approximately 10 years. Most recently, the Business Advisory Council (BAC) recommended divesting the district of the building due to high maintenance costs that will likely be required in the next few years. A number of companies and people have looked at the building, but none have had the vision and commitment to take it on. Mr. Cohen and CMC are invested in Milford and want to see this area developed in a way that will benefit the entire community.
I personally feel very positive about the sale and about Mr. Cohen’s commitment to the city and the residents of Milford.