Philanthropist Mary Emery’s nearly 100-year-old vision for Mariemont will come one step closer later this month when Nolen Park, a 26-unit condominium project, opens on Madisonville Road, just north of the village square.

Nolen Park is the third of a four-phase luxury condominium development of more than 100 homes that began five years ago by developer Rick Greiwe. The first two projects, the 25-unit Jordan Park and 31-unit Emery Park, are sold out.

Only seven of the 27 units of Nolen Park, which start at $460,000, remained at the end of October. Construction on the fourth and final phase, an as yet-unnamed 23-unit building, will begin in the spring. All the buildings are Tudor Revival, in keeping with the community’s character, but feature custom, modern interiors and underground parking reached via elevators allowing single-floor living.

When completed, the four phases will represent more than $60 million in new real estate development in Mariemont that began in 1921 by noted planner John Nolen to fulfill Mary Emery’s vision of a mixed-use community modeled after an English garden town.

Greiwe spoke with Cincy about what inspired his project and what’s made it so successful.

How did this project come about?

I read a book by Millard Rogers (former Cincinnati Art Museum director and Mariemont resident) on Mary Emery’s vision and how she and John Nolen worked together to create Mariemont. I was fascinated. Their plans were cut short by Mary Emery’s death and the Great Depression. Rogers’ book included illustrations of Mary Emery’s plans. I got copies and had renderings made on what we could do with modern materials. I went to the Mariemont city fathers and said, “Here is what Mary Emery wanted to do. Here are her plans and what we think we can build. Do you want to partner with us?” We’ve been embraced with open arms.

You undertook this project during a difficult housing market in the midst of the recession.

I have two strong partners. My equity partners are North American Properties, Tom Williams’ company, and Rob Sibcy of Sibcy Cline. These guys were able to get the financing to do these projects even in really tough times. CR Architecture + Design is our architect.

What is the target market?

We’re drawing a lot of residents from Indian Hill, Terrace Park and Anderson Township. It’s people who value a walkable community and want to downsize. I think all the wind is in our sails because of the demographics in America, people who are in early 60s or late 50s. That population is going to double between now and 2021. So we have more and more buyers who are trying to decide what they’ll do next.

What’s next after phase four in Mariemont?

When I started 13 years ago, I wanted to focus on communities that had an opportunity to have a lifestyle. People want more than a home. They want to have fun and be able to walk somewhere and go to the town square without getting in the car. They want to walk the dog through tree-lined streets and be close to entertainment. That’s why Mariemont has been such a home run, because it is a lifestyle.

We’d like to do a project in Hyde Park. We have some ideas over there. I’d like to do one in Montgomery, if I can find a site. And I’d like to do another project downtown. If it’s a walkable community, that’s where I’m looking.