Crawford Hoying Announces Partnership with Trinitas and Expansion into the Cincinnati Market with The District at Clifton Heights

October 30, 2020

Note: The below article was published in the Cincinnati Business Courier on October 30, 2020. To read the full cover story, click here.


Deaconess site in Clifton Heights slated for mixed-use makeover by industry heavy hitters.

Loren King had given up finding a partner for his ambitious plan to remake the 5-acre former Deaconess Hospital property near the University of Cincinnati in Clifton Heights.

For more than a year, King, CEO of Lafayette, Ind.-developer Trinitas Ventures, had talked with some of the nation’s best mixed-use developers to create a $420 million mixed-use development that would blend student housing, retail, apartments and a hotel. But King wasn’t able to find the right fit.

He decided Trinitas would itself act as lead master developer of what would be known as the District at Clifton Heights.

“We were only going to do it if we thought it would improve the execution and the overall quality of the project,” King said.

The coronavirus pandemic hit just as Trinitas started working with Cushman & Wakefield, the global commercial real estate services firm, to find development partners for each of the project’s different components. In short order, Cushman connected Trinitas with Crawford Hoying, Columbus’ busiest commercial real estate developer and a firm that had completed more than $1 billion worth of development over the past five years.

Just as Trinitas couldn’t find the right partner, Crawford Hoying couldn’t find the right project to add in Cincinnati.

Brent Crawford and his partner, Bob Hoying, have focused on projects where they have a chance to transform a market. The firm is known for its Bridge Park development in Dublin, a mixed-use development that will be a more than $700 million project when completed. It is playing a pivotal role in reactivating downtown Dayton with its Water Street District development. Crawford, principal and founder of Crawford Hoying, said they’ve looked at deals every year in Cincinnati for the past 10 years.

“Either they weren’t large enough, maybe the partnership wasn’t right, the product type wasn’t right,” Crawford said. “We’ve been very patient waiting for the right opportunity.”

After hitting it off, Trinitas and Crawford Hoying now form a 50-50 joint venture as the master developers of the District at Clifton Heights. And this isn’t just any mixed-use project.

Along both sides of Straight Street just west of UC’s Uptown campus, Trinitas and Crawford Hoying plan to build more than 850 student housing beds, over 150 hotel rooms, 170 senior housing units, and up to 400 apartments, combined with about 30,000 square feet of commercial space and more than 600 new parking spaces. The total investment over the next five years likely will be more than $420 million.

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