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Cincinnati: Downtown: W&S Condominium Project (3rd & Broadway)

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W&S still interested in Anna Louise Inn property

2:41 PM, Aug. 10, 2011   

Written by

Kimball Perry

[email protected]

 

 

Western & Southern Financial Group remains interested in acquiring the downtown home of the Anna Louise Inn, despite what its attorney said in court Wednesday.

 

"We're not trying to take the Anna Louise Inn," Western & Southern attorney C. Francis Barrett said in court Wednesday.

 

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110810/NEWS010702/108110324/W-S-still-interested-Anna-Louise-Inn-property?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|News

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Judge: Lawsuit to stop Anna Louise Inn expansion can continue

3:12 AM, Sep. 9, 2011   

Written by

Kimball Perry

 

A powerful Cincinnati insurance company can continue its lawsuit aimed at stopping a planned expansion of the Anna Louise Inn.

 

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Norbert Nadel issued a ruling today denying a request by attorneys for the inn and the City of Cincinnati to throw out the suit.

 

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110908/NEWS010702/109090307/Suit-stop-Anna-Louise-Inn-gets-go-ahead?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|News

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This makes the larger point that centrally located real estate is becoming more and more desirable in cincinnati and most U.S. cities. Get ready for more of these fights as it becomes more and more clear that the whole governmentally supported financial system that made suburban development possible and profitable isn't going to return and the attractiveness of more centrally located developments grows. Heartless as it may seem, the cities that are going to succeed are the ones that figure out how to get the most investment, jobs and tax receipts over time from their land. The services that shelters such as this provide are essential for a decent and humane society, but can we afford to subsidize non-income producing organizations on prime downtown land? And should Cincinnati be relied on to provide such services for the entire region?

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Government supports a financial system that makes nearly every downtown and inner-city project possible. Queen City Square, Fountain Square renovations, the Lazarus department store, Gateway Quarter, et. al.

 

I do agree that these fights will be more common. What is interesting is that this has essentially been happening on a more small scale in Over-the-Rhine as various developers have interacted with the homeless shelters and social service agencies there. As a result, we have a "poop in" event, protests, and threats of lawsuits. But Western & Southern have ties to many lawyers in the city, clout and of course money...

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The subsidization of suburbia through fannie mae and  freddie mac purchases of mortgages in the secondary mortgage market, va and fha loan guarantees, and mortgage interest deductions have been vastly larger than the value of the handful of small specialized subsidies created to subsidize urban redevelopment in the last 40 years. Only those places developed in the last 40 years, mostly suburbia, have benefitted from these subsidizations. These subsidies have totaled more than a trillion dollars in costs not paid by suburbanites, but which they have benefitted from. The unsustainability of these arrangements created the opportunity for the New York banks to plunge us into the great depression we are in now. There is a new opportunity in all this for cincinnati. The much lower per unit costs of providing roads, sewer, water and other public services in higher density areas means that higher density areas have an enormous advantage as local govn'ts will have to pay much more of their own way in the years ahead. I'm no tea partier. These are not moral questions for me, they are financial ones. We have to learn how to negotiate and make deals for the greater public good if we want to grow. We must find a way to provide services for those in need while increasing population and city tax income. cincinnati has cheap land and this shouldn't be that hard to do. Maybe the new Port Authority can be part of this.

 

Cincinnati, and most other American cities, would be unrecongizably denser, while mason wouldn't even exist, if all these arrangements hadn't been created and an unsubsidized private market in land and housing had existed since WWII. W&S is no different than rural landowners who lobbied gov't to build expressway exits on their land in the 60s and 70s. Cincinnati and America's housing crisis isn't because we've had too much free market land development, but because we haven't had enough. 

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Anna Louise Inn residents sue Western & Southern

8:56 AM, Sep. 16, 2011     

 

The dispute over the future of the Anna Louise Inn went to federal court Friday when the inn’s residents accused Western & Southern Financial Group of bullying them as part of an illegal campaign to drive them out.

 

Sixteen residents claimed in a lawsuit that Western & Southern’s opposition to a planned $13 million renovation of the 102-year-old inn is discriminatory and violates federal fair housing laws.

 

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110916/NEWS010702/309150093/

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If they are only residents, they have no standing to sue. They would have to own the property or be officers of the organization that operates it to have any standing to sue. A civil suit of intentional harassment through abuse of the civil law system is extremely hard to to establish even if they had standing. This will be thrown out. Surely they understand this and it is just a publicity stunt. These fights to the death are cincinnati's biggest problems. Both sides have to learn the art of the deal if we want to grow our downtown or regional economy. I think 3cdc gives us a local example of how to do this sort of win/win.

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Anna Louise Inn wins OK over challenge by Western & Southern

2:54 AM, Sep. 20, 2011

Lisa Bernard-Kuhn

 

A city appeals board on Monday approved the building permit and design plans for a $12.4 million renovation of the Anna Louise Inn.

 

The decisions by the Cincinnati Zoning Board of Appeals mark a major victory for the inn’s owners, non-profit Cincinnati Union Bethel, which provides housing at the inn for low-income women. Both the permit and plans had been contested by downtown-based Western & Southern Financial Group, which wants to purchase the 102-year-old inn and redevelop it.

 

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110919/BIZ01/309190087/Anna-Louise-wins-OK?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|

 

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Inn owners again sue W&S

2:13 PM, Oct. 11, 2011

Written by

Dan Horn

 

 

The owners of the Anna Louise Inn told a judge Tuesday that the planned renovation of the building is in jeopardy because of Western & Southern Financial Group's campaign against the project.

 

They accused Western & Southern of misusing the court system to delay the $13 million project until promised tax credits expire and banks refuse to sign off on loans.

 

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20111011/NEWS010702/110120317/Inn-owners-again-sue-Western-Southern?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

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Western & Southern eyes big Broadway development

Business Courier by Tom Demeropolis, Staff Reporter

Date: Friday, January 13, 2012, 6:00am EST

 

Western & Southern’s Broadway garage, topped by an iconic rotating clock, could be demolished and redeveloped as a new garage with residential space above.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/print-edition/2012/01/13/western-southern-eyes-big-broadway.html

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Cool- also, I have no idea how I wasn't aware of the massive garage plan at 7th & culvert.

 

I just wish these garage plans could be paired with a plan to develop the surface lots nearby.

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My sources tell me that Western & Southern will build a new headquarters at this site, and I suspect Barrett will use this as his opportunity to finally build the undisputed tallest tower in the city.

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When?  It has been FOREVER since we had a new tower downtown! LOL

 

Haha...yeah. What's interesting is that downtown Cincinnati will more than likely get three new towers (2nd & Walnut, 5th & Race, 3rd & Broadway) at least 15/20 stories in height each within the next five years.

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To revisit the actual logistics of this project, this site appears to be very small, but is much larger than the footprint of most similar projects in New York or Chicago.  The QCS tower covers a footprint measuring approximately 125x200 feet.  This proposed tower site measures exactly 200 feet square, so it's almost twice as big.  But the QCS parking garage (underground and above ground) occupies the north 275 feet to 4th St.  So I think we'll definitely see the small houses on Arch St. demo'd for underground and above ground parking.  This extra land would allow about 50 more cars per parking deck level, and allow tiny Lawrence St. to become a garage access point. 

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Four more points...

 

Look at how convenient this tower site is for east siders.  The 3rd St. Viaduct and Lytle Tunnel each dump cars right at the base of this tower.  I've long thought that the redesign of FWW was made to intentionally favor east siders, in combination with the fact that downtown offices have all been built east of Vine St. since I-71 was completed. 

 

Then, you have QCS and this new tower looking directly over Great American Ballpark.  There's your answer for why the big money fought so hard for the stadium on the river -- they were already looking to make 3rd the site of the next wave of towers. 

 

Point #3: I've said it before, but another big tower will motivate P&G to build its own monster tower, I'd guess either on the lawn in front of its older building or on the site of the garage opposite St. Xavier Church.

 

#4: Western-Southern hates the streetcar because it's public money being spent a few too many blocks west, improving the value of property it doesn't control and increasing the possibility of a competing office tower. 

 

 

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So I think we'll definitely see the small houses on Arch St. demo'd for underground and above ground parking. 

 

Just throw them on a truck and drop them off a few blocks away at Banks phase 2!  ...an oversimplification, I know.  Sad to see them go, if they do.

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Haha...yeah. What's interesting is that downtown Cincinnati will more than likely get three new towers (2nd & Walnut, 5th & Race, 3rd & Broadway) at least 15/20 stories in height each within the next five years.

 

That would be sweet if all of them do happen in the near future. 

 

My sources tell me that Western & Southern will build a new headquarters at this site, and I suspect Barrett will use this as his opportunity to finally build the undisputed tallest tower in the city.

 

If they are to go that tall, it would definitely take some mixed use in the form of residential/office.  I don't see the market for another large block of new office space, even if they do make a large chunk of it their own.  I believe they would gamble on a fair amount of spec space, but not more than 100,000 - 200,000 s.f.

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@ Cincinnati Kid-  I think the "build the undisputed tallest tower" quote was a joke... Since Barrett built QCS, the undisputed tallest tower :)

 

I'm WAY more concerned with what would happen to W&S's current headquarters.  IT's not tall, only a few stories tall, but it is a BEAUTIFUL building.  Would be crushed to see it gone.

 

Cincinnati-life-insurance-building-detail.jpg

the-western-southern-life-insurance-co-cincinnati-ohio-framed.jpg?frame=https%3A%2F%2Fs3.amazonaws.com%2Fee-staging%2Fthumbnails%2F34426%2FszJBywhRPV_framer.png&mask=https%3A%2F%2Fs3.amazonaws.com%2Fee-staging%2Fthumbnails%2F34426%2FszJBywhRPV_frame_mask.png

Photo87537.jpg

 

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  So I think we'll definitely see the small houses on Arch St. demo'd for underground and above ground parking. 

 

Are those the last of the 1800's rowhouses that started disappearing, along with the factories that once blanketed that area and eastward to Mt Adadms when the parkway went in and the pretty much doomed the rest with I-71?  Sure would be nice to save them.

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Here are the row houses:

archst.jpg

 

Some might remember that there was a single row house that faced 4th St. until about 2001.  When it was demo'd, many speculated that Queen City Square was imminent.  Perhaps it was, but some detail of the plan fell through at the last moment. 

 

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Yep, those look great...except for the office style awning!  The middle one is probably civil war era. W&S already owns them, so unfortunately we would probably lose this delightful little slice of old Cincinnati.

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I really don't think they would look good at the banks.... Not sure why that has become a popular idea... Also, the likely hood of that is absolutely 0% as even if W&S said yes, Carter Dawson would almost certainly say no. They could, however be moved to an empty plot in OTR or Pendleton...

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Put them at Mercer Commons instead of one of the proposed buildings people hate so much. There's already money earmarked for those plots, it would just mean a downgrade in density. (I don't know the cost of moving vs. new construction, but the quality of materials would also be better.)

 

Or what about making them part of the Park Haus program? Sell them for roughly the cost of relocation plus renovation.

 

This would obviously require cooperation between W&S and 3CDC, but frankly 3CDC's involvement is probably what it would take to make relocating these realistic. I don't think W&S cares one bit to save them, and would view it as a hassle to deal with someone with much less clout than 3CDC.

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Put them at Mercer Commons instead of one of the proposed buildings people hate so much. There's already money earmarked for those plots, it would just mean a downgrade in density. (I don't know the cost of moving vs. new construction, but the quality of materials would also be better.)

 

Or what about making them part of the Park Haus program? Sell them for roughly the cost of relocation plus renovation.

 

This would obviously require cooperation between W&S and 3CDC, but frankly 3CDC's involvement is probably what it would take to make relocating these realistic. I don't think W&S cares one bit to save them, and would view it as a hassle to deal with someone with much less clout than 3CDC.

 

 

Look who is on the board of 3CDC....probably not realistic though.

http://www.3cdc.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors/

 

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^ He's on the board, but I don't think he would initiate the idea. The connection could for sure help if more preservation savvy people on the board or otherwise involved in the organization were to approach him.

 

It's probably not realistic, but if citizens put up enough of a stink it might shift some (heavy) gears. I don't think CPA has the balls and the Paul Wilham crowd would probably make Barrett want to tear down the buildings just to spite them. So it's a pie-in-the-sky idea. But if Barrett actually cares about the city and its long-term health, and not just the money he can make off direct tangibles, he will explore options. I'm not holding my breath.

 

BTW - for reasons jmeck stated above, plus Barrett's status in 3CDC, you see why 3CDC is not gung-ho about the streetcar. Even though the streetcar's effects are clearly aligned with 3CDC's goals, as well as the health of the city generally.

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Put them at Mercer Commons instead of one of the proposed buildings people hate so much. There's already money earmarked for those plots, it would just mean a downgrade in density. (I don't know the cost of moving vs. new construction, but the quality of materials would also be better.)

 

Or what about making them part of the Park Haus program? Sell them for roughly the cost of relocation plus renovation.

 

This would obviously require cooperation between W&S and 3CDC, but frankly 3CDC's involvement is probably what it would take to make relocating these realistic. I don't think W&S cares one bit to save them, and would view it as a hassle to deal with someone with much less clout than 3CDC.

 

 

Look who is on the board of 3CDC....probably not realistic though.

http://www.3cdc.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors/

 

 

Yikes, looks like 3CDC is run by all the CEO's in Cincinnati.  Although it also looks like that's where the funding comes from.  CEO's generally aren't going support something if it doesn't benefit their company.

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I really don't think they would look good at the banks.... Not sure why that has become a popular idea... Also, the likely hood of that is absolutely 0% as even if W&S said yes, Carter Dawson would almost certainly say no. They could, however be moved to an empty plot in OTR or Pendleton...

 

Because the Banks is 3 blocks away at the same elevation and is desperately in need of some character.  That said, I would bet that these are too large and heavy to be succesfully moved anyway, meaning that a journey uphill all the way to OTR is even more unrealistic.

 

/EDIT: Not that I don't love the idea of saving these buildings and filling up some vacant lots in OTR.  But when you move a building, you have to move everything in its path like powerlines, stop lights, etc.  Assuming they are even movable, taking them more than a few blocks would be a monumental undertaking. 

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It seems that row buildings would be harder to move than a free-standing house, just for a lack of staging room.  But when the garage is demo'd, there will be plent of space to get them down Arch St.

 

In my old newspaper research I read of a home that was moved from Walnut Hills to the West End back around 1920, which means it traveled down the Gilbert Ave. hill.  Unfortunately, for all that work, it was likely flattened with the rest of the West End.  When I lived in Boston, I worked in a house that was moved...twice. 

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Much larger buildings have been moved (including full churches, such as one cut in half in Canton), so I would not doubt that it is possible. I would not put them at the banks, however.

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^ There isn't actually a project, date, announcement, or even determination on whether this will be condo or office.

 

The only thing that W&S has said:

 

They want a new headquarters in a new office tower

 

They want to do something else with the site that the garage is on.

 

They want more condos/apartments downtown.

 

However, it seems as though this project would be a few years off.  A majority of W&S staff park in this lot.  W&S has announced they will be building a new garage between 7th & New Street & Culvert. Their staff could then park there during the transition. 

 

Taking a 500+ space garage out of that portion of downtown would be very unpopular to the major corporations down there (W&S being one of the largest).  The Southeast quadrant is the highest average price per month ($150) and also has the lowest "available" spots on any given day.

 

I think we could hear an announcement on the plan this year, but no action for a few.

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there have been a few UC thesis projects that i can remember that actually proposed this ^^^^ idea.  I have posted one of them in the past which was actually sponsored by WS (money for model, determination of brief & program)- from my old GA (PJ Bauser).  WS would like to keep the old structure is what I have always heard so the complication was how to do that... then the hearst tower came along.  I still think the joint between old and new on that building is horribly resolved... a partial glass curtain in front of WS's historic facade would be nice and provide more usable sq ft above (by not immediately setting back above 3 stories).

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Put them at Mercer Commons instead of one of the proposed buildings people hate so much. There's already money earmarked for those plots, it would just mean a downgrade in density. (I don't know the cost of moving vs. new construction, but the quality of materials would also be better.)

 

Or what about making them part of the Park Haus program? Sell them for roughly the cost of relocation plus renovation.

 

This would obviously require cooperation between W&S and 3CDC, but frankly 3CDC's involvement is probably what it would take to make relocating these realistic. I don't think W&S cares one bit to save them, and would view it as a hassle to deal with someone with much less clout than 3CDC.

 

 

Look who is on the board of 3CDC....probably not realistic though.

http://www.3cdc.org/who-we-are/board-of-directors/

 

 

Yikes, looks like 3CDC is run by all the CEO's in Cincinnati.  Although it also looks like that's where the funding comes from.  CEO's generally aren't going support something if it doesn't benefit their company.

 

Yes, that's how 3CDC has always been. Former Mayor Charlie Luken asked the business leaders to get together and spark a revitalization in the urban core. In part, much of 3CDC's success can be attributed to the fact that its board is comprised of the most brilliant business minds the mega-region has to offer. It's certainly not a coincidence.

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^I actually think the CBC of today likes being backroom brokers of sorts. They don't really dabble in economic development as much as they do in public and regional policy decisions.

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