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Cincinnati: CUF / Corryville: Development and News

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How much does it cost to buy mature trees? I'm sure they're much more expensive than buying a young tree from a nursery, but perhaps the additional expense would be small relative to the overall cost of these streetscape projects? I know they planted some mature trees at Smale, and it helps make the park feel like it's been there for more than just a year. On Short Vine, ideally they would plant mature trees with the canopies already above the sight-lines for the signs. I have no idea how expensive those kinds of trees would be. 

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If you could get a tree large enough that its canopy started above sign level (I would say 15 feet or so, thus it would have to be at least 30-40 feet tall in total) it would not only be fantastically expensive, like a minimum of $1,000 each, if not triple or quadruple that with installation, but it would need to be brought in with a large tree spade, and I don't see being able to dig a hole that big in an urban streetscape.

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For streetscaping they have to be the kind where the roots go straight down into the ground rather than out like most trees do so that they don't ruin the sidewalk in 2 years.

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If you could get a tree large enough that its canopy started above sign level (I would say 15 feet or so, thus it would have to be at least 30-40 feet tall in total) it would not only be fantastically expensive, like a minimum of $1,000 each, if not triple or quadruple that with installation, but it would need to be brought in with a large tree spade, and I don't see being able to dig a hole that big in an urban streetscape.

 

Easily. Where I work, we require 3-inch caliper trees at the time of planting for street trees and depending on the type of tree it can range but $400 - $800 is probably in the ballpark. That is probably about a 15 foot tall tree. So double that for something in the 30 foot range. Landscapers and developers will complain about the price and availability of a 3-inch caliper tree so I can't imagine what something twice that size would cost. The double or triple estimate would be pretty accurate. 2 to 2.5 inch caliper seems to be a much cheaper and more heavily available size.

 

Not to mention, larger trees are more likely to react poorly to relocation, and will either stagnate for a few years while they reestablish their root system, or just not take to the transplant and die. Even when you have a client that can afford it, they usually back off when you tell them it's going to look worse before it looks better.

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If the rumors are true and Kroger intends to not rebuild the Corryville store, it will be interesting to see what goes in its place.

 

I still think this site would solve a lot of problems for UC and 5/3 Arena.

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UC wants to renovate Fifth Third Arena to make it seat *fewer* fans (easier to sell out games, better sight-lines, more suites)... I think they're pretty set on not building a new basketball arena.

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UC wants to renovate Fifth Third Arena to make it seat *fewer* fans (easier to sell out games, better sight-lines, more suites)... I think they're pretty set on not building a new basketball arena.

 

They are set on renovating 5/3 because they are land locked.  If this opens up then they can build a brand new state of the art arena while still occupying 5/3, then move in at completion.  If 5/3 was to be remodeled they would have to rent US Bank during construction, and it was going to amount to no more than lipstick on a pig. (i.e. no major changes).  A brand new building and they can compete directly with US Bank Arena for shows and events.

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I'm just excited at the prospect of some different grocery chain coming to that site.  I understand how Kroger moving to MLK is a good deal for Kroger, but there's definitely still a market for a grocery story near campus.  I could easily see the University Plaza plan modified to be more urban scaled with a more urban minded chain like Trader Joe's or something similar moving into that site.  And while we're at it, bring the streetcar station back to the plan!

 

Before we all go crazy though, does anybody know if the Kroger move is a done deal?

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My apologies if this is covered elsewhere on this site but I see you mentioned a streetcar "station" at University Plaza instead of just a stop.  Would the idea be to connect an East-West line going from Hughes High School to Walnut Hills along the Calhoun/Taft/McMillan corridor with the North-South line coming from downtown going up to the hospitals and zoo? (or would it be the northern terminal of a gondola lift coming from up the basin? :) )

 

Very interesting suggestion to put a new UC arena at University Plaza- makes sense on a few different levels, the first being staying in the same neighborhood as the students.  My question would be if that would helpful to the city in the recent situation we had in trying to land the RNC.  I suppose it would be feasible to use if connected to downtown by the streetcar. 

 

Agree campus area could still use a close in grocery store if Kroger moved to MLK interchange. 


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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My apologies if this is covered elsewhere on this site but I see you mentioned a streetcar "station" at University Plaza instead of just a stop.  Would the idea be to connect an East-West line going from Hughes High School to Walnut Hills along the Calhoun/Taft/McMillan corridor with the North-South line coming from downtown going up to the hospitals and zoo? (or would it be the northern terminal of a gondola lift coming from up the basin? :) )

 

Very interesting suggestion to put a new UC arena at University Plaza- makes sense on a few different levels, the first being staying in the same neighborhood as the students.  My question would be if that would helpful to the city in the recent situation we had in trying to land the RNC.  I suppose it would be feasible to use if connected to downtown by the streetcar. 

 

Agree campus area could still use a close in grocery store if Kroger moved to MLK interchange. 

 

Not much thought has yet been put into what path the streetcar would take once it gets uptown. Still a lot of factors up in the air.

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http://www.urbancincy.com/2014/06/construction-work-on-30m-corryville-apartment-project-on-pace-for-fall-2015-completion/

 

Sounds like good news for urban development and increasing density.  Good to know this is not just planned as student housing as well, which will increase the likelihood of sustainability considering rising cost of school.

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http://www.urbancincy.com/2014/06/construction-work-on-30m-corryville-apartment-project-on-pace-for-fall-2015-completion/

 

Sounds like good news for urban development and increasing density.  Good to know this is not just planned as student housing as well, which will increase the likelihood of sustainability considering rising cost of school.

 

...if you mean it will drive down the cost of renting in houses, which I suspect all of these recent projects have.  It is insanely cheap to rent a room in a house anywhere around UC, like typically under $400/mo.  I paid more than that to rent a room in a house at OU more than 10 years ago.  It was cheaper to live in Cincinnati than a college town then and now. 

 

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^Agreed. I had friends who rented a 5 bedroom house in Athens for about $600 a piece per month. Though it was in quarterly payments instead of monthly. Strange how different the housing market is there.

 

I got a 1 bedroom apartment for a year at UC for about $515 a month right on McMillan by Quiznos. Average housing prices are only going up with the new construction. I'm not sure the effect it is having on the existing housing prices, though.

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Out of curiosity, why do people rip on these developments so much for having secure entry? All other things aside (since I think these are mostly awful developments, but for other reason) this is no different than literally any other large building anywhere. They all have some form of secure entry. When you have hundreds of people in one building it's the only possible way to have consistency in only allowing residents in. And that's no different than locking your front door on your house. It's not a public building so it shouldn't allow anyone else in but it certainly won't have "Supermax security levels." That statement is ridiculous. Having a key swipe entry type system isn't supermax level and I can pretty much guarantee that's what it'll have. That argument has always felt completely ridiculous to me since if you live in any large building anywhere you'll have some form of secure entry.

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To me college needs to be more than net surfing, Netflix streaming and video games. That's all you can do in those controlled environments. Sitting out on the porch with a beer as girls stroll by then come up and smoke a J with you doesn't happen if you're all locked up.

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...so you're saying that literally every single person should have the same college experience as you? I lived in one of these types of buildings for a year (hated it for other reasons) and I wasn't "all locked up." That implies you can't leave which is hardly the case.

 

Some people aren't interested in sitting on a porch, drinking a beer, and having random people come 'smoke a j' with you. But that doesn't mean they aren't out doing other things. You're implying that if you live in any other form of residential building other than a house you can't have spontaneity in your life which is highly inaccurate.

 

And based on what I saw from friends who lived in McMillan Manor (or whatever the hell it's called these days) the random people coming over, partying, joining in with new people, etc. does happen in these places, it just differs in how it occurs.

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I guess what surprises me the most about these units is how nice they are, particularly given the financial realities of being a student.

 

I always kind of viewed the college experience as either dorm life or living in a kind of run down apartment building not living in a secure entry 1000/mo apartment building - an obscene price by Cincinnati standards and I'm going off of what they were when I was in college... (I'm sure the prices are even higher now since the apartment crunch hit).  Not everyone is a trust fund kid, and even some who are probably should have to understand at some point the realities of not having much money.

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There are huge class divides in college.  It shows itself in the cars people drive, the places they live, and the drugs they can afford.  People look at UC as having improved because wealthier people are sending their kids there now.  If you look at US demographic trends, births plummeted in the 1970s but returned to baby boom numbers by the early 1990s.  That's why more people are in college now.  Meanwhile tons of white people are inheriting more money than ever before as the WWII generation, which was the first to benefit from employee stock purchase plans, retire.  That's why the luxury car makers are poised for massive growth in upcoming decades, along with these insanely overpriced student housing complexes. 

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I think the problem is that these aren't 1000/mo apartments yet many talk as if they are. 500-600 per month per person all inclusive is basically the same or only slightly more than the average house which comes out to around 400/mo per person plus utilities, internet, etc. I paid $515/month in UPA and I know at the time McMillan Manor was 550/month for the 4-person rooms. Both those were all inclusive. All four houses I've lived in have fallen into the 500-550/mo. range when everything is said and done. These aren't any more overpriced than most houses are in the area. There are a handful of small buildings pushing 700/month per person but those aren't the norm.

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It needs to be pointed out that a "plex", which is an apartment building with at least 8 units, is much more profitable for a landlord than is a single family house, duplex, or 4-family.  The so-called cap rate can easily top 10% whereas a house like the ones in CUF rarely beat 5%.  In other words if you have $1,000,000 to invest it's much wiser to buy a 20-unit building than 10 2-bedroom houses. 

 

The problem is that these larger investors often get tax breaks and other incentives (U Square is LEED certified, for example) that small-time landlords can't get on top of the inherent advantage of those larger complexes.  There is little to no tax incentive for small-time landlords to fix up their properties, that's why you see all these hillbilly landlords driving their rentals into the ground.  If you want to see the quality of housing improve for single-family rentals, there has to be a reversal of the tax situation -- taxes that incentivize renting homes (especially historic homes) rather then tearing them down for these soulless complexes.  The problem is that Cincinnati's property tax is so damn low to begin with there is hardly anything to incentivize. 

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I think the problem is that these aren't 1000/mo apartments yet many talk as if they are. 500-600 per month per person all inclusive is basically the same or only slightly more than the average house which comes out to around 400/mo per person plus utilities, internet, etc. I paid $515/month in UPA and I know at the time McMillan Manor was 550/month for the 4-person rooms. Both those were all inclusive. All four houses I've lived in have fallen into the 500-550/mo. range when everything is said and done. These aren't any more overpriced than most houses are in the area. There are a handful of small buildings pushing 700/month per person but those aren't the norm.

 

If you look at the three "older" new complexes right now, the cheapest options are each are below:

 

UPA: $645/person (4 beds, 2 bedrooms)

65 West: 662.50/person (4 bedrooms) (Parking included)

Campus Park Cincy (formerly McMillan Manor): $630/person (4 bedrooms) (parking included)

 

These all include utilities (unless you use too much) and wifi. Two include parking. I'm sure the new ones in Corryville cost more.

 

Just like Jake, I prefer living in older houses or apartments. I lived in UPA one year at UC and didn't really like the furnished apartments. Though it's all about the residents' preferences. Or the parents' preferences in many cases.

 

Unfortunately I think that a lot of students don't realize they would like the other style of living over new apartments with a garage and electronic entry and will never give it a try. I have strong connections to every building I've lived in except for UPA because it just felt generic and unimportant. I hope that's not the impression students get of Cincinnati because they live in bland buildings. I realize some people may think this is a stretch of an argument, but it's my honest opinion. Older buildings gave me a connection to the city that I didn't feel before that.

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As the owner of a CUF house valued at exactly $100,000, the property tax is currently right around $2,100 per year.  Of that Cincinnati's tax is only about 10%.  Obviously if that tax were to completely disappear as an incentive it's doesn't make for much of one.  To really create a property tax incentive for houses, the CPS millage would have to be waived, which comprises about 40-50% of the total tax. 

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I'll definitely agree they aren't as good to live in. My one year in UPA was about 11.5 months too long. But I gave it a try just out of curiosity/ease. It offered proximity that my other residences didn't, but that was never an issue since I didn't mind walking a mile to reach campus.

 

Prices might actually be higher than I remembered since it has been about 5 years since I lived in UPA. But in that same time it seems like houses also went up in price. All four of the houses I lived in over the last 5 years went up in price after I lived in them. By a substantial amount. One went up 100/bedroom despite being an awful house with huge issues. But it was big and had 5 bedrooms so it rented quickly.

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The reason why the tax abatement in Mt. Adams and OTR is a big deal for developers is because those properties tend to be worth much more.  Many condos in Mt. Adams and OTR are priced over $200,000 so the city tax incentive is a bigger deal.  The single-family and 2-family row houses in CUF all sell from about $90,000 up to about $105,000.  Cosmetic condition is basically irrelevant.  And the problem is that the closer a specific property is to an area where a landlord thinks he might be able to sell out to a plex developer, the more they let a property run down.  Look at the houses on the north side of Lyon St, for example.  Euclid in Corryville is another example.  Those guys on Lyon St. think they're going to pair up with dudes on McMillan around Mr. Tuxedo and make the magic happen. 

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http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2014/06/03/apartments-planned-alongside-newport-levee/9914113/

 

This article describes how this apartment complex will bypass ordinary property taxes and make direct payments.  This is the exact kind of BS that puts the little guy at a huge disadvantage.  And by little guy I mean small-time landlord. These tax abatements would be fairer if they were granted 20 years from the construction date in order to finance renovations and repairs.  But usually the investors who build a complex sell it as soon as it reaches full occupancy. 

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The new streetscape on Short Vine is coming along and it seriously looks amazing. The wider sidewalks and burying of utilities make an enormous difference. It looks like they are, in fact, going with the "festival streets" type of design between Corry and Daniels. I'm not sure if that concept will be extended north of Daniels at all.

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I went up there about a week ago. The HUGE sidewalks feel so much nicer. The street's reduced width is quite apparent and will definitely stop any ability to speed through the area. I can't wait to see all the utilities buried. The burying of powerlines is an action that will forever make me smile.

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I think there's some misunderstanding on how a property tax abatement works....

 

The residential property tax abatement is very good.  It is an abatement on the improved value.  and it has a cap.  For a new construction home that cap is $275K.  If I build a $500K tax abated home I pay full taxes on the land (in wealthy areas can be upwards of $100K) and then I pay full taxes on the value above $275K.  So for a $500K new home in a wealthy area on a normal but nice lot (hyde park, etc.) It could be a discount of $175K on your tax bill.  You still pay full tax as if your house was valued at $325K. So many people think you pay ZERO in taxes if you're abated. For renovations it's the same, and you have to spend around $10K on improvements to be eligible. Do a 30K addition to your home? you can lock in your value for 10 years so you aren't "punished" tax wise for improving an old home. 

 

That being said, the abatement for new construction apartments, like those in Corryville or UC is very different.  It becomes a 100% abatement on the improved value for X number of years (usually between 10 and 15 years) and there's no 'cap'.  So they are only paying the taxes on the land.  And Dusty Rhodes values land around UC like it's worth pennies.  There are sizable lots where the land is valued at $10K. It's pretty insane.

 

I wish the City would change the process in Uptown.  I wish the abatements would start to phase down to 50% of the improved value in the next couple years.  There's been so much development, and they all fill up right away, but we need to start saying, OK, now we want the market to take over with less incentive.  I'd rather have the abatements stay at 15 years but only be for 50% of the value, than have them shrink to 8 or 10 years but be 100% of the value of the improvements.

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I think there's some misunderstanding on how a property tax abatement works....

 

The residential property tax abatement is very good.  It is an abatement on the improved value.  and it has a cap.  For a new construction home that cap is $275K.  If I build a $500K tax abated home I pay full taxes on the land (in wealthy areas can be upwards of $100K) and then I pay full taxes on the value above $275K.  So for a $500K new home in a wealthy area on a normal but nice lot (hyde park, etc.) It could be a discount of $175K on your tax bill.  You still pay full tax as if your house was valued at $325K. So many people think you pay ZERO in taxes if you're abated. For renovations it's the same, and you have to spend around $10K on improvements to be eligible. Do a 30K addition to your home? you can lock in your value for 10 years so you aren't "punished" tax wise for improving an old home. 

 

That being said, the abatement for new construction apartments, like those in Corryville or UC is very different.  It becomes a 100% abatement on the improved value for X number of years (usually between 10 and 15 years) and there's no 'cap'.  So they are only paying the taxes on the land.  And Dusty Rhodes values land around UC like it's worth pennies.  There are sizable lots where the land is valued at $10K. It's pretty insane.

 

I wish the City would change the process in Uptown.  I wish the abatements would start to phase down to 50% of the improved value in the next couple years.  There's been so much development, and they all fill up right away, but we need to start saying, OK, now we want the market to take over with less incentive.  I'd rather have the abatements stay at 15 years but only be for 50% of the value, than have them shrink to 8 or 10 years but be 100% of the value of the improvements.

 

I have heard that complaint from others as well. Hamilton County puts too little value on the land itself. I wonder, if the land itself was valued higher, how much it would encourage people to build on vacant lots in the urban core rather than use them as parking lots or just hold onto them indefinitely.

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I think there's some misunderstanding on how a property tax abatement works....

 

The residential property tax abatement is very good.  It is an abatement on the improved value.  and it has a cap.  For a new construction home that cap is $275K.  If I build a $500K tax abated home I pay full taxes on the land (in wealthy areas can be upwards of $100K) and then I pay full taxes on the value above $275K.  So for a $500K new home in a wealthy area on a normal but nice lot (hyde park, etc.) It could be a discount of $175K on your tax bill.  You still pay full tax as if your house was valued at $325K. So many people think you pay ZERO in taxes if you're abated. For renovations it's the same, and you have to spend around $10K on improvements to be eligible. Do a 30K addition to your home? you can lock in your value for 10 years so you aren't "punished" tax wise for improving an old home. 

 

That being said, the abatement for new construction apartments, like those in Corryville or UC is very different.  It becomes a 100% abatement on the improved value for X number of years (usually between 10 and 15 years) and there's no 'cap'.  So they are only paying the taxes on the land.  And Dusty Rhodes values land around UC like it's worth pennies.  There are sizable lots where the land is valued at $10K. It's pretty insane.

 

I wish the City would change the process in Uptown.  I wish the abatements would start to phase down to 50% of the improved value in the next couple years.  There's been so much development, and they all fill up right away, but we need to start saying, OK, now we want the market to take over with less incentive.  I'd rather have the abatements stay at 15 years but only be for 50% of the value, than have them shrink to 8 or 10 years but be 100% of the value of the improvements.

 

I have heard that complaint from others as well. Hamilton County puts too little value on the land itself. I wonder, if the land itself was valued higher, how much it would encourage people to build on vacant lots in the urban core rather than use them as parking lots or just hold onto them indefinitely.

 

Our property tax is just plain low to begin with -- typically about 75 mills in Hamilton County.  States like Ohio with a state income tax tend to have very low property tax.  "Low Tax" states like Texas push duties onto local governments, who are forced to fund basic services through higher sales and property taxes.  In Texas cities property taxes are often double what is typically seen in Ohio cities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is the big announcement about redeveloping the MLK Reading (interchange) area from the Uptown Consortium:

 

http://cin.ci/1hlbhGW

 

The area is pretty desolate, but I'm wondering what historic buildings will be torn down this time?  I at least want to get the conversation rolling about preservation while its early this time around, as Coryville's character has already suffered an awful lot from the actions of this group.

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Crossroads to hold services at Bogart’s

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2014/08/29/exclusive-church-or-punk-rock-show-crossroads-to.html

 

Crossroads Clifton will hold once-monthly services at the venue until December – it’s taking that month off to put on 29 productions of its “Awaited” Christmas show – and it will start weekly Sunday services in January, Yates said.

 

I'm curious where they would locate for a more permanent location around UC. Any chance Crossroads would renovate an old empty church?

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Wow!  Groundbreaking architecture!!!!! (sarcasm, you will see why)

 

 

New version of apartment project at former Christy’s/Lenhardt’s site proposed

Oct 16, 2014, 9:28am EDT

Tom Demeropolis Reporter- Cincinnati Business Courier

 

Gilbane Development Co., part of the team that initially proposed a project at the southeast corner of West Clifton Avenue and West McMillan Avenue, has some new plans for the site.

 

The developer is now looking to build a mixed-use building on the 1.65-acre site with about 190 apartment units, according to materials filed with the City Planning Commission. The building will have two levels of underground parking with 380 spaces. A row of six, three-story townhouses with separate entrances will face Lyon Street. Finally, a separated commercial space of up to 9,000 square feet will be at the corner Clifton and West McMillan streets.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2014/10/16/new-version-of-apartment-project-at-former-christy.html?page=all

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I also just noticed the rendering for the retail space, instead of using a faux name (e.g. "Chipelto" used in a Banks rendering)  just went with "retail" and "signage".  How inspirational, maybe I will stop there to buy some generic dry goods.

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This is typically when someone chimes in with "better than the empty lot that was there before", and in many cases they'd be right.  But this garbage compared to what was torn down?  What an embarrassment.

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