Western & Southern on May 13 announced an agreement with Cincinnati Union Bethel (CUB) that will sell the Anna Louise Inn in Lytle Park to Western & Southern for $4 million, ending years of entanglements over how the property, which is in need of millions of dollars in renovations, should be used.
As part of the deal, the Inn will move to a new location in Mount Auburn at the corner of Reading Road and Kinsey Avenue, near several other social service agencies. The settlement also provides CUB time to construct the new Inn, so none of the current residents will be displaced. CUB will still retain its $13 million in city- and state-distributed federal funding to develop the new property.
The Anna Louise Inn, which provides safe and affordable housing for low-income women, has called the Lytle Park location home since 1909.
The new agreement will dissolve all ongoing litigation; most recently, Western & Southern accused the Inn of potentially discriminating against men.
In 2009, Western & Southern passed up on an opportunity to purchase the Inn for $3 million, before CUB obtained funding to renovate the building and stay in the neighborhood, a decision Western & Southern admitted it regretted. Since then, the Fortune 500 company has been battling with the Inn in hopes of getting another chance to purchase the property.
Now, Western & Southern plans to renovate the building into an upscale hotel, which will essentially give the company a monopoly on real estate in the Lytle Park neighborhood.
It’s a bittersweet change for the Inn, explains CUB President and CEO Steve MacConnell, but “ultimately, it’s the right decision,” he says. “After two years of litigation, the women — and us — we were all feeling so much uncertainty, and ultimately what’s best for the women is what we’ve always had in mind.”
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