Steve Bloomfield, developer and co-founder at Bloomfield/Schon + Partners out of Cincinnati, Ohio will be addressing students in the Baker Program in Real Estate’s Distinguished Speaker Series on March 12 to share his experience developing projects for over 25 years. Bloomfield is currently in the process of developing a multifamily property in Ithaca, NY, and several multifamily projects in Cincinnati.
Bloomfield moved to Cincinnati in 1978 from Baltimore as an assistant city planner and became director of the city's then-new Department of Neighborhood Housing and Conservation, which provided support for housing development in Cincinnati. In 1984, he left to become a private developer, teaming up with partner Ken Schon to form Bloomfield/Schon + Partners.
Fast forward to 2005, their firm bought the American Can Company site in the Northside, and developed a $22 million project that includes 110 market-rate apartments and 12,000 square feet of commercial space, which was completed by 2011. The project is characteristic of the type of development Bloomfield/Schon + Partners undertake: former factory or industrial buildings re-imagined into loft-style apartments. The American Can site had been built in 1921 to manufacture canmaking machinery and spare parts, but the site had fallen into years of vacancy, decay, and vandalism. It is a Cincinnati city landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Bloomfield also re-developed the Cincinnati Ford Motor Factory in Walnut Hills with a $10.5 million overhaul in 2003. The renovation transformed the former home of the Model T assembly line into a modern and iconic 120,000squarefoot office tower.
In addition to apartments and office, the firm’s Erie Condominiums project in Hyde Park brought 13 green (LEED certified) new construction condominiums to market, ranging from about 2,000 to 4,400 square feet, located about one block from Hyde Park Square. The project opened in 2009.
Among several projects under development and in the pipeline, Bloomfield/Schon + Partners will be undertaking a large redevelopment project on the former Peters Cartridge Factory site in Cincinnati. The main three-story factory building is located along the Little Miami Scenic River and Central Parkway Bike Trail on a 14-acre site, making it ideal for the firm’s vision of around 100 loft-style market-rate apartments, with a selection of restaurants and pubs along the ground level. The existing factory spans 250,000 square feet of floor space, and the project cost is pegged at somewhere between $20 and $30 million.
Developing projects of this nature poses a significant challenge, not only for environmental cleanup reasons, but also due to the various funding sources and project complications that are required to make it happen. Bloomfield and Schon have certainly proved that they are willing and able to undertake such a task, and Baker students are eager to hear Bloomfield share his experience and plans during his visit to Cornell University.