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ryanlammi

Cincinnati: CUF: Development and News

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There really wasn't a good thread to post this in except for the Demolition Watch, so I added this one. Below is the same thing I wrote in the other thread.

 

I went to the CUFNA meeting today with a bunch of people and here is what the developer wanted to do:

 

* Demolish Christy's

* Demolish the building at the corner of West Clifton and West McMillan (home of Clifton Natural Foods)

* Demolish several (two or three) homes on Lyon

* Construct a seven story building (current one is four) at the corner that would house 500 (mostly, though it is illegal to discriminate) students in furnished apartments (like McMillan Manor (or whatever it's called now) and University Park Apartments above Calhoun Garage)

* Have an anchor retail store at the corner. Put a leasing office and workout room facing the street on McMillan (only a single retail tenant)

* Install a two-story parking structure behind the buildings on West McMillan going up to front Lyon Street and West Clifton

 

The developers made it sound as if the project couldn't be done unless both buildings were demolished.

They also said they would number their reserved parking spaces to the number of units, not beds and try to give incentives like Zipcar and bus passes for students.

The council was adamant about saving Christy's and keeping a local retailer like Clifton Natural Foods, citing other projects that have brought national chains. They were also pretty upset about demolishing the building at the corner because its the gateway to the last of the old building stock. They were also very skeptical of shorting the students on parking saying that they will park on residential streets (developer didn't seem to understand).

 

As for Christy's, the general managers of Christy's are opening it back up on Friday (woo!), however Christy has been trying to sell the property without telling the managers of her lack of interest in saving the structure. A group of us decided to meet at Rohs Street Cafe on Saturday at 2pm to discuss possible next steps and to articulate what we want/don't want out of a potential project. Anyone is welcome. Only board members were allowed to speak at the meeting today because it was a CUFNA board meeting (not a regular CUFNA meeting), so a lot of us didn't get to express our feelings. Though the council did do a decent job advocating for the existing buildings (some of them were more concerned about parking, though).

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Also, Jenco Brothers Candy opened the other day. They have a lot of self serve candy that I assume you weigh at the register and pay per pound. I also saw a pop machine and what looked like a slushee machine, though I was just passing it on the bus and noticed they were open.

 

389569_292618114180243_302832396_n.jpg

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^^^ Wow, so glad there are actually some with a voice speaking up for these historic buildings.

 

^^ Heh, a candy store. I would be interested in hearing someone's review of this place. Someone who is not worried about getting diabetes.

 

^ It looks good, going from construction photos on FB. I'd like to see the finished interior.

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I wish it were there when I was a teenager. Could have been a nice alternative to the Buzz, Angst, and Sitwell's. (Edit: Though maybe not...there isn't much seating.)

 

^ Hey, thanks. That was fast! :clap:

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^^^ Wow, so glad there are actually some with a voice speaking up for these historic buildings.

 

I'm happy too :).  A good compromise with the developer might be to suggest that he'll save money in not demoing the old buildings by building on the area that is currently the parking lot.  He can then take some of that savings and put it into the design of his apartments differentiating his product on a crowded marketplace.  I mean how is he going to beat his competition?  Think about it that way ;).

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For all of you worried about saving the old buildings: What will come of them? I appreciate the historic architecture as much as the next guy, but why save the building if it's going to sit vacant and/or in rough condition?

 

 

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For all of you worried about saving the old buildings: What will come of them? I appreciate the historic architecture as much as the next guy, but why save the building if it's going to sit vacant and/or in rough condition?

 

Because they're the historic fabric of the city.  Once you remove that, you can never get it back.  And they are almost always replaced with bland, poorly built crap (if you're lucky), and with surface lots if you're not.  Obviously, you can't save every structure, but ones that are of historical and/or architectural significance should be preserved whenever possible. 

 

Christy's won't sit vacant.  It's a great building in a good location that has been a successful restaurant and bar for years.  It even has a nice biergarten.  They're not talking about tearing it down because it can't be saved, they're talking about tearing it down because doing so makes their project easier to implement.  I'm not as familiar with the other buildings being discussed, but I assume the situation is similar. 

 

I'm all for new development within the urban core, but not at the expense of the city's finest buildings.  This can be worked around, I'm sure.  The question is whether that will happen or not.

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I wish it were there when I was a teenager. Could have been a nice alternative to the Buzz, Angst, and Sitwell's. (Edit: Though maybe not...there isn't much seating.)

 

I haven't heard anyone mention Angst in years.  I miss that place.  Had a lot of fun times there post-midnight in high school.

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Christy's is a very interesting building.  It's been closed since I turned 21 in December and haven't had a chance to enjoy the biergarten, but it's always looked like a pretty cool place to enjoy a drink.  Does anyone know if people still live above the bar/restaurant? And if Christy really does want to sell the lot, that probably doesn't bode well for saving the structure.

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Lendhardt's (which everyone insists on calling Christies even though its just the Bar.... I guess that said something about the state of the restaurant though).  Is actually located in an old Mansion that was built by Christian Moerlien by for one of his daughters I believe.  It's even located on Moerlien Street.  I think its eligible for historic status on that ground.

 

First it was McMillan Manor.

Then it was Sterling McMillan

Now it's "Campus Park"

http://www.campusparkcincy.com/

 

They have gutted the lobby and filled its windows with posters showing even douchier-looking happy students. 

 

Wow even the logo is Douchey.  Open up a sports bar next door, preferably with a bull in it.

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Christy's is a very interesting building.  It's been closed since I turned 21 in December and haven't had a chance to enjoy the biergarten, but it's always looked like a pretty cool place to enjoy a drink.  Does anyone know if people still live above the bar/restaurant? And if Christy really does want to sell the lot, that probably doesn't bode well for saving the structure.

If you want to be depressed about what this city has already lost, check out this link:

 

http://www.bettshouse.org/lost/

 

Sadly, a lot of that was voluntarily demolition.

 

Lendhardt's (which everyone insists on calling Christies even though its just the Bar.... I guess that said something about the state of the restaurant though).  Is actually located in an old Mansion that was built by Christian Moerlien by for one of his daughters I believe.  It's even located on Moerlien Street.  I think its eligible for historic status on that ground.

Yeah, that naming was just bad.  They should have been just Lenhardt's or just Christy's.  It's confusing to have both.  I'm assuming they weren't completely separate enterprises, but I really don't know. 

 

As for the ties to Moerlein, my dream is that Greg Hardman buys the property and runs it under the Moerlein name.  Seems like it is different enough from the Lagerhouse to avoid cannibalizing its business, and would serve the college student market if nothing else.  Hardman seems like a guy with a soft spot for historic ties, so I don't think this is completely outside the realm of possibility.

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The lack of quality bars in Clifton is unreal.  With the location of the building and all the activity around U Square, a bar serving local brews, like the Lager House, would do really well here.  U Square has Keystone Bar and Grill moving in, but the outdoor space at this building is very unique to Clifton.  And considering how packed Woody's is for happy hour, I think the neighborhood would support another drinking hole.  However, I think Lendhart's and Christy's would need to be cosmetically touched-up to be successful.

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The lack of quality bars in Clifton is unreal.

 

All we really have around here is Adriatico's for a selection of craft brews. Otherwise, it's slim pickings. Murphy's sucks for beer selection and rude, crappy owners and staff. Bearcat Cafe is ok, but not my cup of tea. Adriatico's is hardly a bar. I agree and do my outings downtown and OTR.

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I believe Greg is aware of the situation. I'm not sure about how involved he is. He is one of the principal members of the Brewery District, and I know that they are familiar with the proposal.

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Okay, thanks. Well that is good to know. At least he is aware of the option to pursue such a project, then. Must have crossed his mind. Who knows if he is actually in a position to take something like that on, though. Only he knows.

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I noticed that urbancincy is reporting that there will be 245 parking spaces and wcpo is reporting only 50.  Who's right?

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I'd be fine if the building (s) that houses Clifton Natural Foods are demolished for this project since they don't seem to be anything special but hopefully the mansion built by Moerlein is able to be preserved. Obviously the developer would have to scale back their proposal to make this happen. 

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Actually that building is quite unusual for Cincinnati, I don't know of another in that style. 

 

Given all the crap that's been built in the past 10 years in this area, we have no reason to believe that this thing will look any better than McMillan Manor, U Square on the loop, Short Vine crap, etc.

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Given all the crap that's been built in the past 10 years in this area, we have no reason to believe that this thing will look any better than McMillan Manor, U Square on the loop, Short Vine crap, etc.

 

But, given all the people/businesses all that crap has brought to CUF, we have reason to believe this project will probably happen with or without tearing down Lenhardt's.

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What people and businesses?  There were at least a dozen, if not two dozen businesses torn down for this development. 

 

Adding 2,000~ residents for 9 months out of the year does not significantly change the amount of commercial activity an area that already was seeing 30,000~ students and 10,000 staff visit daily. 

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I heard the developers said if Christy's stays then no deal. I wonder why they don't build it at the Stop-and-Go or Pomodori's instead? There isn't crap to look at at those corners.

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What people and businesses?  There were at least a dozen, if not two dozen businesses torn down for this development. 

 

Adding 2,000~ residents for 9 months out of the year does not significantly change the amount of commercial activity an area that already was seeing 30,000~ students and 10,000 staff visit daily. 

 

People as in 65 West is 100% leased and USquare is over 50% leased 6 months before it opens.

 

Businesses as in UPA having one open space and USquare being something like 90% leased.

 

These apartments aren't like the dorms.  People don't pack up and leave for every long weekend or break.  I lived in 65 West this past summer and there were people everywhere.

 

I'm not sure that 10,000 staff ever visited daily, but UC's offices and the eventual hotel should bring plenty of people to the area as well as all of the residents living above.

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