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Cincinnati: Downtown: Fourth & Race (Pogue Garage) Redevelopment

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The Tower Place deal was sleazy and this deal is sleazy.  Cranley is all over this.  Yet the streetcar-haters keep bringing up Mahogany's. 

 

You can draw a straight line from Cranley taking office, cancelling the parking deal (i.e., reworking it on his terms... we still got the pain but not the benefits), diverting the funding for 4th & Race to 8th & Sycamore, and 4th & Race getting massively downsized and delayed. But no one at the Enquirer is paying attention so this story isn't going to get told.

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Reference to the original deal. I had forgotten they would also be required to build the 8th and Sycamore garage under the canceled parking lease deal.

 

We lost this thread during the recent website outage, although other than funding being secured, not much else has been in the news.

 

 

Pogue’s Garage to Make Way for 30-Story Residential Tower, Grocery Store

By Randy A. Simes ― February 20, 2013

 

Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney briefed City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee of the specifics of a plan to modernize and lease some of the city’s parking assets. Part of the immediate $92 million infusion, as part of the plan, would be used to spark the redevelopment of Tower Place Mall and Pogue’s Garage.

 

Dohoney stated that the vacant Tower Place Mall would be converted into a 500-space parking garage, with 20,000 square feet of street-level commercial spaces fronting onto Race and Fourth Streets.

 

“Residential is a huge factor in the ability to attract and retain retail, but what retail really wants is customers,” explained David Ginsburg, President/CEO of Downtown Cincinnati Incorporated (DCI), with regards to the state of the center city’s retail scene.

 

Cont

 

 

towerplacerender-900.jpg


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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It was $6 million, sorry. 

 

Here is some background on the $1 sale to Ndukwe's nascent company:

http://blackcincinnati.blogspot.co.id/2014/06/did-smitherman-vote-to-give-his-donor.html?view=mosaic#!/2014/06/did-smitherman-vote-to-give-his-donor.html

 

Here is the sale for $15 million after $9 million in work:

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/2014/12/11/mabley-place-garage-sold/20271511/

 

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Question about the current design. Having this site cleared gives a wide open view the historic buildings on the south side of the street. Is something lost by having the parking garage face the street on the second, third, fourth, fifth stories etc in the proposed design? On the south side of the street in the historic buildings that "zone" is habitated by human activity (office and residential,) on the north side under the proposed design it is parking garage dead space. I know we have a lot of focus on retail and building entrances for street level activation, but I wonder if there's something psychologically important/appealing about having the upper stories in this kind of low to mid rise "zone" activated as well. Is having two habitated low to mid rise "zones" facing off across the street a key to a great street, one that just "feels" right?


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2017/09/21/exclusive-fourth-race-developers-share-possible.html

 

Construction on the planned $106 million apartment tower and parking garage at Fourth and Race streets probably will not start until the first quarter of 2018, officials with the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. and Indianapolis developer Flaherty & Collins told the Business Courier.

 

But Flaherty & Collins now plans to add one story to the project, taking it from 225 units to 264 units and from 14 stories to 15 stories. The project will have 30,000 square feet of first-floor retail, six stories of parking and eight stories of residential units.

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^^^I was wondering what was going on with the financing since the article stated there was no TIF Money for this project so it is taking 3CDC a long time to get financing for the garage since the bonds will be backed by the future revenue of the ground floor retail (I believe) and the parking ramp revenue.

 

Flaherty and Collins had decided on their own to add an extra story (must have made sense to them) but financing is contingent on the ramp getting built.

 

Wasn't there TIF Money in this even after the latest down sizing?  That must have went away...

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Cranley was the inventor of Cincinnati's TIF's back around 2003.  Since he was about the only person who understood how it works, he pictured how he would use it for political patronage.  Part of the reason why he hated the streetcar was because it consumed some of the OTR TIF's. 

 

So if Cranley preliminarily negotiates a deal with a developer that involves TIF's, he can purposefully stall the project by simply denying them. 

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I thought I recall that when this project was downsized it reduced the amount of TIF money needed, not completely eliminated it? So that money went somewhere else (Central/Walnut?) Or it is earmarked for something not announced yet (possibly something to do with convention center and/or hotel?... just speculating).

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So basically out of town developers are getting screwed so that Cranley's administration can grease the wheels for local developers? Does this mean that Skyhouse's financing could also still be in jeopardy?

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So basically out of town developers are getting screwed so that Cranley's administration can grease the wheels for local developers? Does this mean that Skyhouse's financing could also still be in jeopardy?

 

Yeah.  There is a well-circulated but vague rumor that Cranley put the kibosh on a $100+ million apartment project near the convention center spearheaded by Chicago developers.  This, ironically, is how things were done for decades in Chicago.  You had to go through Daly to get anything built. 

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I just read the article where it got back online and it is a $5.5 million forgivable loan that was given to this project and I think the same for 7 and Broadway project.  That may still be a part of it, they are just trying to find financing on the ramp.

 

I think Skyhouse happens either way, only subsidy is abatements, and they own the parking ramp and will pay $7 million into the streetcar the next 30 years.

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^^While I agree that doesn't sound good, the city was going to have to spend that money all along to get it ready for any developer.  At least 3CDC took most of the risk and all of the cost out of the taxpayer's hands. 

 

The Enquirer has lost the ability/staffing to go to the next level of a story and has turned into a click-bait farm.   

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It just shows how unnecessary it was to bring 3CDC into this deal in the first place. It was a mini-scandal that the city was going to have to pay to move Paragon, so instead 3CDC payed them, but in the end, the city is still on the hook for it anyway. If 3CDC wasn't involved and we would've just let F&C do the entire development, it probably would be done by now.

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I take that article as a complete non-issue. There's no sign the agreement will be cancelled, and the project will likely happen. Much ado about nothing.

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In other news, they have started to patch the Mabley Place Garage finally. Crews started working on new steel structure and Facade for the whole left by the old vehicle bridge today. No more boarded up building...

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I take that article as a complete non-issue. There's no sign the agreement will be cancelled, and the project will likely happen. Much ado about nothing.

 

The important detail is that either the city or 3CDC can cancel the agreement at will. There's no evidence that either party will cancel, but if 3CDC decides tomorrow it's not worth their time, they can say "we're done" and the city has to pay them back. The city has no negotiating power in the matter.

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^Yeah... but that's not exactly "scandalous". Essentially, the City asked 3CDC to finance the demolition in return for having an option as developer. If they can't make the development work, the city pays them back for the demolition and the property reverts to the City. The City then would be able to re-coup that expense by selling the development-ready parcel to somebody else (assuming the property is worth more than the demolition expense).

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I forget where I saw it but someone said that there has basically been a "hole" in downtown real estate for years. By "hole" they mean famous downtown project that stalls out and becomes surface parking. For the 90's and 2000's that was 5th and Race. Now its 4th and Race.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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I know this isn't Pogue's garage site related, but during the site crash the CBC posted an article about the historic building diagonally across from the Pogue's site. I don't have a subscription (I know, I know I'll get one the next time it's offered at $100) and I'm wondering what the plan is for this building.

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I know this isn't Pogue's garage site related, but during the site crash the CBC posted an article about the historic building diagonally across from the Pogue's site. I don't have a subscription (I know, I know I'll get one the next time it's offered at $100) and I'm wondering what the plan is for this building.

 

Are you talking about the Textile Building

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It's not the Textile Building (which is on the same corner and is already occupied)... it's the old vacant Otte Carpet Co building: https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2017/10/24/exclusive-9-5-million-renovation-planned-for.html?ana=twt

 

Fourth & Race Street Partners LLC, which shares the address of Union Savings Bank’s headquarters on East Kemper Road, has submitted an application for more than $920,000 in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits to help redevelop the building at 33 W. Fourth St. The building, known as the George F. Otte Carpet Co. Building, would be renovated after sitting vacant for more than 15 years.

...

The project would rehabilitate the six-level building, getting space ready for commercial tenants on the ground and first floor, as well as getting the upper levels ready for office tenants. A rooftop addition and roof deck would be constructed to expand the fourth-floor penthouse.

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^I think they will exit the region entirely, unfortunately. When they announced they would not be going to the Kenwood Collection, I think that all but sealed their exit from the market. The only way I can see them staying is if they replace Dillard's at the Kenwood Mall, which actually could be plausible. Kenwood's tenant mix seems to be almost identical to Beechwood in Cleveland, and they have a Saks there. I hope they can stay. Tiffany's recently signed a lease extension a year or two back, I think. At that time, they said that business was good, and there was no benefit to moving. I think they could hang on downtown, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they moved up to Kenwood, too.

 

They city has been 'working' on keeping Saks and Macy's for almost 5 years at this point. I was involved in some of those meetings and discussions with Macy's execs, and most of the stuff the city was touting as reasons to stay have not panned out. No new residential tower over Macy's. 4th and Race's original proposal died, and then the drastically downsized replacement proposal seems to be stalled, if not dead, too. The Crown Plaza building sits empty and decaying. The convention center remains undersized and the parking lots around it still undeveloped. The Millennium is still a mess with no real plan for improvement. The west side of downtown is pretty crappy, and the city doesn't seem to care too much about making it better and more attractive to retailers, so I really can't fault Macy's or Saks for wanting to leave. I'm actually shocked they have both hung on for so long.

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Do you think Saks will try to relocate within Cincinnati or just close altogether? Same as with Tiffany?

 

This isn't exactly apples-to-apples, and we still haven't heard that Saks is indeed closing, but when they shuttered their location in downtown Pittsburgh a few years ago they didn't relocate but unfortunately left the region altogether.

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^I think they will exit the region entirely, unfortunately. When they announced they would not be going to the Kenwood Collection, I think that all but sealed their exit from the market. The only way I can see them staying is if they replace Dillard's at the Kenwood Mall, which actually could be plausible. Kenwood's tenant mix seems to be almost identical to Beechwood in Cleveland, and they have a Saks there. I hope they can stay. Tiffany's recently signed a lease extension a year or two back, I think. At that time, they said that business was good, and there was no benefit to moving. I think they could hang on downtown, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they moved up to Kenwood, too.

 

They city has been 'working' on keeping Saks and Macy's for almost 5 years at this point. I was involved in some of those meetings and discussions with Macy's execs, and most of the stuff the city was touting as reasons to stay have not panned out. No new residential tower over Macy's. 4th and Race's original proposal died, and then the drastically downsized replacement proposal seems to be stalled, if not dead, too. The Crown Plaza building sits empty and decaying. The convention center remains undersized and the parking lots around it still undeveloped. The Millennium is still a mess with no real plan for improvement. The west side of downtown is pretty crappy, and the city doesn't seem to care too much about making it better and more attractive to retailers, so I really can't fault Macy's or Saks for wanting to leave. I'm actually shocked they have both hung on for so long.

 

That second paragraph is certainly a dark indictment of the city leadership at this point. I think Cincy has a rather happening downtown but reading that and a recent trip to Indy puts the situation in perspective.

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^The problem is that the same damn core of blue blood families are in charge of Cincinnati now as were during the 90s dark days.  They think that because they formed 3CDC that that organization will do everything.  Well it has accomplished a lot but it hasn't done enough to make this place an attractive one for transplants.  People like Cranley fundamentally do not understand why people enjoy living other places more and pay huge sums for the privilege of doing so. 

 

These people are unwilling to give up control for the betterment of the city.  If it sinks, they're going to be sipping cocktails up in the cabin with one hand on the wheel and the other one taking selfies, the whole way down.   

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