Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, August 22, 2008

WNNA meeting with X.U. officials to air on NCT

At this past Tuesday night’s West Norwood Neighborhood Association meeting at the Community Center, a panel of five top Xavier University officials answered 18 previously submitted questions regarding the Xavier Square project. They were John Kucia, Administrative Vice President; Liz Blume and Byron White with the Community Building Institute; Luther Smith, Dean of Students; and Chief Michael Couch of Xavier Campus Police.

Our roving reporter was able to attend an hour of the meeting and came away impressed both with the candor of the Xavier panel members and with the easy dialogue and information sharing between them and the attendees. John Kucia’s opening remarks included an acknowledgement that communication with WNNA and the Norwood community regarding Xavier Square and other issues had gone awry. He apologized for this and assured the audience that, in the future, officials would be more responsive to concerns and questions about the impact Xavier Square will have on Norwood.

We will post the air times the meeting will run on NCT as soon they’re available. In meantime, here are some of the questions the Xavier panel addressed:

- What does the Montgomery Road business design include?
- Will Montgomery Road or Cleneay be expanded?
- How much green space is in the design?
- Will there be a focus on bringing in locally owned businesses to Xavier Square?
- Will the functions of Xavier Square be tax-exempt?
- How will new housing for students impact Norwood’s housing market, for better or worse?
- How will traffic be affected by the new development?
- Why did Xavier recently attempt to purchase the Hamilton county Business Incubator?

The last question on the list above is the only one to which we will supply the answer. John Kucia emphatically denied that Xavier either had any plans to purchase or had ever made any attempt to purchase the Hamilton County Business Incubator. Rather, Trammel Crow, a private developer, did inquire into purchasing the property with the intention of building a private student housing facility, which, of course, Xavier would be opposed to since it is developing its own housing options.