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Cincinnati: West End: Development and News

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A handful (less than 5) single-family flips occurred in 2015 in the West End.  None of them were Dayton St. mansions but rather smaller single-families like what you'd see up in CUF. 

 

The weird thing about how everything is laid out is that Central Parkway and Central Ave. create a 2-block no-man's land between OTR and where most residential is located.  That's why people are slow to jump on anything in the West End.  Also, owning a car with a building without a garage means your vehicle will be broken into at least once, if not several times per year.  You might even have a bad month in which it's broken into more than once.  Most people don't have the stomach for that. 

 

If some of the industrial buildings are renovated into residential and new construction happens on any of the 10-20 major empty lots, then things might take off. 

 

That said, even now, $40k is too much to pay for a shell in the no-man's land that are almost all of the residential streets except for Dayton...you're looking at $150k in work to get three decent units in this thing, then you'd struggle to get $2,000/mo in rent between them because of the afore-mentioned car break-in issue. 

https://www.sibcycline.com/Listing/CIN/1469809/824-Poplar-St-City-OH-45214

 

 

 

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It's weird that neighborhoods like The Olde West End, and Lower Price Hill (which is like a small mini OTR) would be home to million dollar condo's in other big cities like Boston/Chicago/NYC, and trendy restaurants and shops, but in Cincinnati it's like no one cares.

 

 

Mod Note: Edited for NSFW language.

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There are plenty of neighborhoods with beautiful homes just outside of downtowns throughout the country that are dilapidated. We aren't an anomaly. NYC and Chicago are anomalies in how big they are.

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^For sure. In Savannah you'll have $3 million+ homes on one side of the street and a dilapidated old mansion converted into section 8 housing that has since been mostly abandoned on the other. In Atlanta you have skyscrapers on one side of the street then a sudden drop to early 20th Century houses on the other that look like they belong in rural Georgia. Even in the giants like NYC you have this. My friend's uncle lives in Williamsburgh. Across the street from his modern highrise are a series of abandoned row buildings.

 

Houston was filled with this. Older neighborhoods that were right by Downtown or the Medical Center but looked bombed out and several blocks had clearly been fully demolished but some older homes from the early 20th Century were left. Same with San Antonio. New Orleans, even pre-Katrina, had much of this dichotomy. Chicago has a gigantic grass field within 5 minute walking distance of The Loop that still sits undeveloped and swaths of older homes, some very attractive, on the South Side only a short distance outside of The Loop that sit abandoned or in danger of further demolition.

 

No major city in the US sans maybe SF and Boston (since they're tiny in terms of land area) is immune to this happening. Neighborhoods, no matter how successful the city, will cycle and that means at some point even the most logical neighborhoods to be desirable will go through a downward phase.

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Anecdotally, I know a couple that used to live in OTR and recently moved one block into the West End, and their car insurance went up simply because they're in a different ZIP code. That alone might not be a huge factor, but there may be other similar disincentives that discourage investment in the West End as opposed to OTR.

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Chicago has a gigantic grass field within 5 minute walking distance of The Loop that still sits undeveloped and swaths of older homes, some very attractive, on the South Side only a short distance outside of The Loop that sit abandoned or in danger of further demolition.

 

That giant field is interesting.  Its actually the site of an old massive rail yard the reason for it not being developed is a lack of infrastructure (and possibly some industrial remediation) to connect the area as it literally only housed an absolutely staggering number of rails (it was basically the main line for most of the US to approach Chicago which was and still is our biggest rail hub).  There have been proposals floated to redevelop it but nothing has materialized, I think it stalled out largely due to the crash in 08 - something should be coming in the pipeline soon.

 

The South Loop is in pretty good shape with very few abandoned buildings left, though you get to motor row and southwards of Cermak street and it becomes a mess.  Bronzeville has some gorgeous and unique early 20th century architecture that is reflective of its status when it was built as one of the richest neighborhoods in Chicago (it was only later when it became the african american ghetto).

 

St Louis makes Cincy's level of abandonment in the basin look manageable and tame - North STL is one of the saddest places I've ever seen as there are so many gorgeous brick rowhouses that are mostly gone with the few remaining oftentimes being slowly worn down by scavengers for the high quality brick that city was famous for.  Its also has an architectural quality that is top notch particularly in the Midwest.  Combine this with large overzealous urban renewal projects from the 1930s-1970s and some absolutely hideous infill built to suburban specs in the 1990s.  Its a giant disaster.  I also feel its another area with architecture of a similar quality and age to the west end or even Lower Price hill (though less dense) that's in even worse shape.

 

Cincy is pretty bad though but there is a fighting chance if people act quickly.

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​Will this be the home of Messer’s new headquarters?

 

messermap*750xx546-307-0-59.jpg

 

Messer Construction Co., the region’s largest general contractor, finally set its sites on a location for its new headquarters.

 

The full-service commercial construction company had planned to expand its corporate headquarters in Bond Hill, located at 5158 Fishwick Drive, but determined it was not worth the investment. Now, Messer is working with the city of Cincinnati to acquire a more than 1.1-acre site in the West End, where it would build a new office for its growing workforce.

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2016/04/09/will-this-be-the-home-of-messer-s-new.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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This has huge implications for adding activity to the quiet City West neighborhood as well as for establishing an east-west link into Downtown along Court St. Here's hoping it's not designed like a suburban office park surrounded by parking on all four sides.


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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I wouldn't be surprised if Messer built a headquarters that was like a fortress and everyone drove in and out of work in a private parking lot. Not sure this will add a lot of activity to the street, unfortunately.

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In addition to the 1.1 acre lot in the quote above (which is on a dead end along the highway, far back from Court Street) the article says they are buying a 4.2 acre site that is currently an old Hostess bakery (that fronts Court Street). That's a lot of land for a two story 50,000 square foot building so I'm guessing there's going to be a lot of surface parking. The way the article mentions the bakery seems to imply that it would be demolished and replaced with parking, and the 1.1 acre plot in the back would contain the building (which would take up about half of it).

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Its near neighbors of Burke and Turner already have similar concepts with one suburban-esque building with lots of surface parking around it, so I would expect the same general layout here.

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This area is right next to the CBD, if it is not going to be treated like a continuation of the CBD then it should be treated like one of the inner neighborhoods.  A suburban style development misses the mark completely, and is not a step in the right direction. Glad Messer wants to move into the West End, just wish there were rules in placed for responsible inner neighborhood development, and long term vision.

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The Planning Commission packet says:

... allow Messer Construction to remove paving on the Cutter Street ROW, build parking over the ROW, and permit Messer Construction the appropriate rights to main (sic) its improvements in the ROW area.

 

I am afraid that they are going to have the building "face" I-75 to maximize their exposure to passing motorists. It would be much better for the neighborhood if the building had a proper front on the Court St side. The current Hostess factory is a windowless wall facing Court St, so I won't shed a tear seeing that thing torn down. But I really hope Messer manages their site plan in a way that is sensitive to the Court St side. 

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In addition to the 1.1 acre lot in the quote above (which is on a dead end along the highway, far back from Court Street) the article says they are buying a 4.2 acre site that is currently an old Hostess bakery (that fronts Court Street). That's a lot of land for a two story 50,000 square foot building so I'm guessing there's going to be a lot of surface parking. The way the article mentions the bakery seems to imply that it would be demolished and replaced with parking, and the 1.1 acre plot in the back would contain the building (which would take up about half of it).

 

That would be the exact opposite of what should happen to maintain what is a already a great walkable neighborhood.  The parking lot should be the thing that's "smooshed" up against the highway and the building should front Court Street where the factory is now.

 

The southwest corner of the Hostess factory actually has some historical features to it. That part of the building looks older than the rest of it. 

 

Since the east side of the property abuts an alley of townhome garages, I think it would be neat if they built a new street through the site with townhomes facing west and their garages sharing the existing alley.  Especially since City West homes are doing well as of late.  Like so:

 

26354755536_a7fee94a05_b.jpg


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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The Planning Commission packet says:

... allow Messer Construction to remove paving on the Cutter Street ROW, build parking over the ROW, and permit Messer Construction the appropriate rights to main (sic) its improvements in the ROW area.

 

I am afraid that they are going to have the building "face" I-75 to maximize their exposure to passing motorists. It would be much better for the neighborhood if the building had a proper front on the Court St side. The current Hostess factory is a windowless wall facing Court St, so I won't shed a tear seeing that thing torn down. But I really hope Messer manages their site plan in a way that is sensitive to the Court St side. 

 

I did not see the ROW removal on Cutter Street - hopefully it is just to repave for a parking lot and Cutter south of Richmond disappears to become some sort of gated parking only.  Sad that this is the hopefully scenario, better than the building at this location though.

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Since the east side of the property abuts an alley of townhome garages, I think it would be neat if they built a new street through the site with townhomes facing west and their garages sharing the existing alley.  Especially since City West homes are doing well as of late.  Like so:

 

Adding townhomes is an awesome idea.

 

I guarantee all existing structures on the site will be raised.  Visibility from the highway is surprisingly good, so I'd have to assume the building will go along the highway.  With a CPS parking lot across the street that essentially will never be developed, it will be easy to justify. 

 

Messer has their "national" headquarters building in Bond Hill.  10 or so years ago they opened a Cincinnati region office on Langdon Farm Rd to give their national operation room to grow.  I assume the "Phase 2" building will be a new Cincinnati region office someday, but that is a significantly smaller operation than the HQ. 

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Leading addiction treatment site hopes to triple in size

The call has gone out nationally and locally for addiction treatment to save lives and help curb an entrenched heroin and opioid epidemic, and in Cincinnati, a treatment leader is answering.

 

The Cincinnati Center for Addiction Treatment will expand its services to more than triple its current patient intake.

 

On Friday morning, the center expected to announce the kick-off of a $5.7 million fundraising campaign for its dual-focus project:

 

Construction of a new, 17,000-square-foot building that will house outpatient services and a new clinic.

A retrofitting of the existing building at 830 Ezzard Charles Drive in the West End to expand detox and residential services.

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2016/04/28/center-addiction-expansion-heroin-epidemic/83603016/

 

This is great news for the Cincinnati region as a whole, and for the West End in particular. I've talked to many local officials and police who say that the bottleneck in treating the drug epidemic is lack of capacity at treatment centers.

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Question. So I've been looking at the Old West End on google maps, and noticed a few things.

 

1. Why is that shady farm with all those horses allowed? I don't know if you need special permits, and if that person has them, but that area is filled with junk cars/scrap yard, and a farm filled with horses. I feel like that's violating some health codes, especially in an urban environment.

 

2. I noticed the old west end has alot of historic housing stock. My question is, are there enough buildings that are multi purposed (with ground floor retail), into where we can make a, "mini otr" of sorts with bars and restaurants, and sort of connect the entertainment options of the north otr and connect it to the old west end?

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Question. So I've been looking at the Old West End on google maps, and noticed a few things.

 

1. Why is that shady farm with all those horses allowed? I don't know if you need special permits, and if that person has them, but that area is filled with junk cars/scrap yard, and a farm filled with horses. I feel like that's violating some health codes, especially in an urban environment.

 

2. I noticed the old west end has alot of historic housing stock. My question is, are there enough buildings that are multi purposed (with ground floor retail), into where we can make a, "mini otr" of sorts with bars and restaurants, and sort of connect the entertainment options of the north otr and connect it to the old west end?

 

1. What farm are you talking about? There are some scrap yards, but I've never seen a horse farm.

 

2. Not really. There are some historic buildings with first floor retail, but they're scattered throughout and there's no street that has a continuous wall on both sides. The streets in the West End with the most historic fabric intact are purely residential: Dayton, Clark, etc. There might be an opportunity for a <a href=https://www.google.com/maps/@39.118339,-84.5312324,3a,75y,251.17h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sKXss4ygnIqSvSTy5HjCKhw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656">mini commercial cluster on Freeman</a>, especially if/when the Heberle and Baymiller schools get renovated into apartments (as is planned).

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West End will take some very serious infill in order to really become a fully functioning neighborhood again.

 

Looking on google maps, alot of the west end is intact, except below Findley Street. Everything above findley street is pretty good. Just need alot of rehabbing on the old homes.

 

Below Findley street just has so many open grassy lots.

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TroyEros[/member] and SleepyLeroy[/member]  - I still don't get what "horse farm" you're talking about. Are you looking at historic pictures of the West End from when they used horse drawn carriages? Or are you just trolling me?

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Correct! That's the one.

 

There's even reports and pictures of the horses and they are skinny as hell.

 

Again, the city is really good at giving traffic tickets and getting your car towed, but having a huge farm like this, with junk everywhere, and horses that are treated poorly, and not even one single citation? That's seriously messed up.

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This is the stable that houses the carriage horses for downtown.

 

Every once in awhile there is a Facebook flair up with people alleging the animals are being abused by being housed there, but the facility is inspected by the SPCA.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/12/carriage-horses-focus-of-cruelty-debate-/5439297/


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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This is the stable that houses the carriage horses for downtown.

 

Every once in awhile there is a Facebook flair up with people alleging the animals are being abused by being housed there, but the facility is inspected by the SPCA.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/12/carriage-horses-focus-of-cruelty-debate-/5439297/

 

The flare-ups usually regard the cruelty of horse-drawn carriages operating on busy city streets, not where the animals are housed.

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Apartments open in former West End school

 

dsc0053*750xx3872-2178-0-207.jpg

 

Sands Montessori School on Poplar Street in the West End has new life.

 

The former school at 940 Poplar St. opened last week as the Sands Senior Apartments.

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2016/11/14/apartments-open-in-former-west-end-school.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I work a block away and drive by that building a lot and I had no idea that much of anything was going on. I knew it was being renovated but it's been awfully quiet over here.

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Over neighborhood objections, panel OKs change needed for St. Vincent de Paul expansion

 

winchell-avenue*750xx1153-650-0-48.jpg

 

St. Vincent de Paul, a social service agency offering food, a pharmacy, dental and eye clinics, counseling, and other services, will expand in a new building across the street from its current site in Cincinnati’s West End under zoning changes unanimously approved by the Cincinnati Planning Commission on Friday.

 

Some West End residents and the neighborhood’s council objected to the decision, saying that the West End is oversaturated with social services. St. Vincent de Paul has been at its current facility at 1125 Bank St. since 1962, but other social services that had been in Over-the-Rhine have moved west as that neighborhood has redeveloped.

 

More below:

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2016/12/16/over-neighborhood-objections-panel-oks-change.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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