During a meeting of the Batavia Township Trustees Tuesday, Jan. 5, plans to expand the University of Cincinnati – Clermont classrooms to the former Ford plant were unveiled.
During the meeting, trustees approved a zoning overlay district for the plant and heard plans from developers, Ohio Realty Advisors. Tracy Green, a representative from the Ohio Realty Advisors which will be managing the development, was at the meeting.
The college has plans to move into the two-story, 80,000 square foot office space at the plant creating classrooms for nursing, allied health and education.
Green presented tentative plans to renovate the office facilities to accommodate classrooms for the college.
"This plan is important to UC Clermont," said Chris Smith, board member for Clermont County CIC. "With UC Clermont moving into the site, more additional companies will look at the site. People will be needing job skills that UC can offer and that will attract other tenants. A college can draw other educational facilities and economically impact the area."
He noted that he had spoken with Congresswoman Jean Schmidt about ways to attract small businesses to the area and said that much can be accomplished by having an educational facility nearby.
Batavia Township Trustee Archie Wilson said that the trustees were very strong on supporting UC Clermont College but he questioned whether the renovation of the office facilities would create many jobs in the area.
"In response to your question, UC Clermont currently offers a two-year degree program," said Greg Robinson, senior architect for University of Cincinnati. "At UC Clermont we are seeing tremendous growth and need to expand. In the future we are looking at a separate program. We would call this campus UC East and it will include four-year degree programs. This is an opportunity for the University of Cincinnati to expand the programs."
The school is expected to attract dozens of new jobs and draw hundreds of students from the surrounding area.
With the addition of overlay zoning, the former Ford plant can attract not only manufacturing, but also other types of businesses. Industrial Realty Group, based in Los Angeles, Calif., currently has an agreement to purchase the 1.8 million square foot facility from Ford Motor Company. The development of the property will be handled by the Ohio Realty Advisors. The sale of the property is expected to be final in February.