With 100 condos called Gateway Corridor set to become available in Over-the-Rhine by this summer, and plans for many more in the coming years, the prospect of a new residential core is luring merchants to the neighborhood.

The condos, with prices in the $80,000s-$300,000s, are part of the Gateway Quarter project that has transformed the intersection at 12th and Vine Streets. That's a good sign for stores like Metronation, a specialty gift shop, which will relocate from its Ninth and Elm address so that it can expand to carry a furniture line. There's also plenty of buzz about Park+Vine, a "green" general store that will offer everything from home furnishings to footwear.

The condos currently cost less than most downtown. Although there hasn't exactly been a flood of buyers in the OTR area yet, the units at Gateway One, situated along Vine between Central Parkway and 12th Street, have generated lots of interest. While the Vine and 12th intersection is bustling, developers are also salvaging and transforming buildings on Republic and Race streets. The Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) and businesses such as the Model Group, Urban Sites and Northpointe Group have banded together for the condo renovations, timing projects so new blocs of units open as other buildings fill up.

Construction projects will likely change the face of Alexandria: Two developments along U.S. 27 and Tollgate Road are expected to create more than 1,500 homes. Ameritek Custom Homes recently announced that it will build 600 houses and condominiums close to Arcadia, a joint venture of Drees Homes and Fischer Homes that was announced last fall. Anne Mitchell of Drees Homes says that since Fisher and Drees own adjoining land, the companies will work to create a notable entrance and amenities for residents. The builders will work separately on homes, however, and each will erect a variety of models. The construction of the Eastern Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, expected to cost $75 million, will also have a major impact. Mitchell says the new treatment plant capacity makes building in the area all the more attractive.

HarvestInfo moved to a new location in downtown Lebanon in March. The Mason-based company helps businesses increase their web site functionality by, for example, aiding their planned job creation and redevelopment initiatives. HarvestInfo brought 42 employees to a building formerly owned by the Loveland Firefighters Association on Karl Brown Way. Loveland Assistant City Manager Jeff Wright says this is a great match. "The relocation of HarvestInfo to downtown Loveland absolutely validates the historic district."

If there weren't enough reasons to shop in Kenwood, even more high-end stores are on the way. April marked the groundbreaking for Kenwood Towne Place, a $175-million project that will change the skyline along I-71. The development, located next to Kenwood Towne Centre, will feature a Kroger's Fresh Fare, the supermarket's answer to Wild Oats. Also look for an Ethan Allen store and the area's first Crate & Barrel. The structure will also have eight floors of office space. A five-level underground parking garage will hold up to 1,600 vehicles. All this new development shouldn't strain traffic in the area, says Greg Bickford, Sycamore Township's planning and zoning director. He cites three different studies in the last five years (one conducted by the township, another by Kenwood Towne Centre and another by Kenwood Towne Place), saying that some stoplights will have to be adjusted, but no other changes should be needed.

Economic development news relevant to the Tristate business community may be emailed to econdev@cincybusinessmag.com.