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Cincinnati: West End: Development and News

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1 minute ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

It's everywhere.  Prices have doubled pretty much everywhere in the city since 2016.  I was under contract to buy a 2-family in Norwood in early 2016 for $63,000.  That deal fell through but I'd bet that same building could get $110-130k now.  

 

So why are there still so many pockets of deep poverty in these areas if home prices are continuing to skyrocket? How do the poor people who reside in those areas continue to live there?

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Just because property values rise doesn't mean existing owners have doubled rents for the same product. They aren't going to get double rents just because the building is now worth twice as much.

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8 minutes ago, troeros said:

 

So why are there still so many pockets of deep poverty in these areas if home prices are continuing to skyrocket?

 

I think the local media has been asleep and doesn't realize that the whole city is coming back.  They're so focused on the East Side + Mason & West Chester - it's like everything from Norwood west to Indiana doesn't exist.  

 

If trends continue, Cincinnati isn't going to have cheap rentals anymore and home affordability for everyone who doesn't inherit money will be a problem by 2030.  

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

It's everywhere.  Prices have doubled pretty much everywhere in the city since 2016.  I was under contract to buy a 2-family in Norwood in early 2016 for $63,000.  That deal fell through but I'd bet that same building could get $110-130k now.  

That’s not expensive, it’s going from ridiculously cheap to average. If you think $130k is expensive then don’t look and home prices in every major city across the globe. 

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This is the common issue across the US that only Portland and Minneapolis seem to want to address appropriately.  Unless we want to be a soulless metro that is stuck in its ways, housing prices are going to go up anywhere and everywhere in the metro area.  Build out more density and smaller units to combat the growing demand for living in a great city.

 

I also think that you'll see a lot of the far northern and southern suburbs housing prices drop by 2030. They aren't well-built houses and it seems as though Millenials (if we ever own houses) want to live in first-ring suburbs and get "the best of both worlds."

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^You can't build a new house for cheap.  That's the whole dilemma.  So all of the people complaining about builders not building don't realize that it's really tough to build a new house for under $200,000 and it's tough to build an apartment complex where individual units cost less than $150,000 to build. 

 

The only "solution" is to let people put multiple mobile and manufactured homes on vacant lots, but no city has been willing to take that step.  And don't get me started on tiny houses...a tiny house is just a rip-off mobile home. 

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New dense buildings need to be built with wood, it's ridiculous that this hasn't caught on, especially amid steel tariffs.

 

The other half of the equation: the housing stock of the 80's-today further out in the metro will be affordable.  New houses have gotten incredibly expensive, yes, but there's a glut of 80's and newer houses in the far northern and southern suburbs that will be had for a bargain, like the 20's-60's houses in inner-ring suburbs a decade ago.  Tastes have changed, smaller houses and yards that are closer to the city are more desirable for young Gen Xers and Millenials with families.  There will be affordable houses available in Cincinnati, but they will be a 35 minute drive from Fountain Square on the weekend.

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1 hour ago, jmecklenborg said:

^You can't build a new house for cheap.  That's the whole dilemma.  So all of the people complaining about builders not building don't realize that it's really tough to build a new house for under $200,000 and it's tough to build an apartment complex where individual units cost less than $150,000 to build. 

 

The only "solution" is to let people put multiple mobile and manufactured homes on vacant lots, but no city has been willing to take that step.  And don't get me started on tiny houses...a tiny house is just a rip-off mobile home. 

 

 

Like in Ready Player One where Columbus has trailers stacked eight high

 

RP1-Columbus-1024x429.jpg

 

 

Unless Uncle Sam, the city or some kind of market distortion is involved builders aren't digging a hole for less than 1,600 square feet today.

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11 minutes ago, 10albersa said:

New dense buildings need to be built with wood, it's ridiculous that this hasn't caught on, especially amid steel tariffs.

 

The other half of the equation: the housing stock of the 80's-today further out in the metro will be affordable.  New houses have gotten incredibly expensive, yes, but there's a glut of 80's and newer houses in the far northern and southern suburbs that will be had for a bargain, like the 20's-60's houses in inner-ring suburbs a decade ago.  Tastes have changed, smaller houses and yards that are closer to the city are more desirable for young Gen Xers and Millenials with families.  There will be affordable houses available in Cincinnati, but they will be a 35 minute drive from Fountain Square on the weekend.

 

 

"Drive 'Til You Qualify" isn't just for the big cities any more.

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7 minutes ago, seaswan said:

https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2019/first-of-its-kind-timber-product-to-be-used-in-msu-building/

 

Saw this in the news (I have a connection to MSU), and thought it was pretty awesome. Would love to see this more widely used. 

 

I agree the full timber framed buildings are awesome. I don't think they're (yet) cost-competitive. But maybe that will change in the future.

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They are currently building a new 5-story suburban-style hotel in Canal Winchester using a large amount of wood in the structure. I was floored when I saw them doing that. For as long as I can remember those were concrete and steel.

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If people want truly cheap houses we'd have to go back to a single bathroom, no AC, minimal electric, no basement, a wood-burning stove, and no insulation.

 

So basically one of those sheds sitting in the Home Depot parking lot with a toilet in one corner and a wood-burning stove in the other.   

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20 minutes ago, GCrites80s said:

They are currently building a new 5-story suburban-style hotel in Canal Winchester using a large amount of wood in the structure. I was floored when I saw them doing that. For as long as I can remember those were concrete and steel.

 

In 2015 the International Building Code was updated to allow mid-rise Cross Laminated Timber buildings. These buildings can be built cheaper than traditional steel and concrete buildings, which is why developers pushed hard to update building codes. Greater Greater Washington has a great article on its value that can be found here:

https://ggwash.org/view/38268/its-about-to-get-easier-to-build-mid-rises-in-dc 

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26 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

If people want truly cheap houses we'd have to go back to a single bathroom, no AC, minimal electric, no basement, a wood-burning stove, and no insulation.

 

So basically one of those sheds sitting in the Home Depot parking lot with a toilet in one corner and a wood-burning stove in the other.   

 

This is deviating from West End development... and I don't know what point you're trying to make. It isn't helpful to the conversation. Or maybe you're trying to make a joke, and I don't get it. Of course, you can live cheaper if you forego a house all together. Buy a tent for and live in the woods! 

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^It's expensive to build houses and it's expensive to rehab them.  If you want to rehab a cheap house yourself, get ready to take a year off work.  But all of these people out there think that there is simply a "supply" problem without acknowledging that real people have to physically rehab or physically build that "supply".  

 

At least you can still buy cheap land in Cincinnati, so you might be able to build a house at some later date on land you already own, but likely not for much longer.  There are without at doubt 50,000 vacant residential lots in the city limits, but 100,000-150,000 new residents in the city will send those prices through the roof.  100,000-150,000 new residents hardly changes the character of the metro but within the city limits it would have a profound effect.  

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24 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

^It's expensive to build houses and it's expensive to rehab them.  If you want to rehab a cheap house yourself, get ready to take a year off work.  But all of these people out there think that there is simply a "supply" problem without acknowledging that real people have to physically rehab or physically build that "supply".  

 

At least you can still buy cheap land in Cincinnati, so you might be able to build a house at some later date on land you already own, but likely not for much longer.  There are without at doubt 50,000 vacant residential lots in the city limits, but 100,000-150,000 new residents in the city will send those prices through the roof.  100,000-150,000 new residents hardly changes the character of the metro but within the city limits it would have a profound effect.  

 

That doesn't mean there's not a supply problem. It just means the solution is complex. It can be true that it is expensive to build and rehab houses and that there is also a supply problem. 

 

Also, it's going to be quite awhile before Cincinnati adds an additional 100,000-150,000 residents. At the very high end of estimates, we might've added 10,000-15,000 this decade. So at that growth rate, expect it to take 100 years. 

 

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8 hours ago, GCrites80s said:

They are currently building a new 5-story suburban-style hotel in Canal Winchester using a large amount of wood in the structure. I was floored when I saw them doing that. For as long as I can remember those were concrete and steel.

 

 

Here's a really good article I ran across a few months ago describing the rise of stick construction.

It also does a good job explaining how and why the recent building trend has gone towards larger block style apartment buildings in cities vs. pre-recession suburban build:

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-02-13/why-america-s-new-apartment-buildings-all-look-the-same

 

Stick construction is really cost competitive nowadays, and steel prices probably make it even more so. 

Which makes me wonder why we are seeing so many of these go up as apartment units and so few go up as condominiums. This style of construction is affordable and in demand, even if it has its hazards outlined in the article. The downside is how these buildings will age.

 

It appears some places are putting pressure on this type of construction. I'm thinking for this development in Dayton, Weyland Properties decided to stay one step ahead of the city and build with steel and concrete instead to ensure approval for their building right next to train tracks:

 

https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/local/new-apartments-proposed-near-oregon-district/yQ2cO1Kc0FjYKjduAF8tIK/

 

Because the 503 will be constructed using concrete slabs, it will have a different feel than “stick-built apartments” and will be made to last and to be more energy efficient, Weyland said. The development is expected to take up the entire grassy site, which is bordered to the north by the railroad tracks and to the south by East Fourth Street.

 

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It does tie to the fact that the West End used to be full of workforce housing. Now it's not. The reason it didn't get replaced by now is due to high construction costs.

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2 hours ago, SWOH said:

 

Which makes me wonder why we are seeing so many of these go up as apartment units and so few go up as condominiums. This style of construction is affordable and in demand, even if it has its hazards outlined in the article. The downside is how these buildings will age.

 

Condos came about in the late 1970s and early 1980s because banks started lending loosely and often to condo developers.  That's how we ended up with all of the 100+ suburban condo complexes going up all over suburban Ohio (and the rest of the U.S.) in the 80s and 90s and right up until the party came crashing to a halt in 2008.  Ohioans who are retiring in 2020 with net worths of $500k-1.5M don't have a host of brand-new condo developments to choose from like retirees did in 2015.  That's why "downsizing" to brand-new single-family home is now big-big business, but nowhere as big as the condo bonanza. 

 

The newer wood apartments in Cincinnati are awful.  I've been in U Square, The Verge, and The Deacon.  The floors do not feel solid.  They probably move in storms.  I'm sure that you can hear people in the next room and above. 

 

This is what apartments used to look like -- masonry walls facing a center hallway, masonry floors, and the ubiquitous window AC unit.  These places have sustained 50-60 years of peeing dogs and marijuana smoke. 

 

 

 

 

563_lowell.png

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On 10/17/2019 at 12:25 AM, jmecklenborg said:

The newer wood apartments in Cincinnati are awful.  I've been in U Square, The Verge, and The Deacon.  The floors do not feel solid.  They probably move in storms.  I'm sure that you can hear people in the next room and above. 

 

Can confirm, they move quite a bit in storms. The deacon is a bit better, having a little bit more concrete and steel used compared to usquare and the verge. I don't think the quality of the student apartments will be able to pass as well in any west development. I know most people living in the student apartments complain about how the buildings constantly have problems with water temperature, fire alarms going off, and faulty electrical systems.

 

On 10/17/2019 at 12:25 AM, jmecklenborg said:

This is what apartments used to look like -- masonry walls facing a center hallway, masonry floors, and the ubiquitous window AC unit.  These places have sustained 50-60 years of peeing dogs and marijuana smoke. 

I feel most of these attract slumlords who don't seem to take care of the buildings. I know most people in college avoid them.

 

I think the west end will most likely see a lot of rehab'd lofts in the large industrial buildings.

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No way those old 4-plexes (or 6 or 8-plexes) have concrete floors.  They may have block walls between units and the stairwell, but the floors are almost certainly wood framed.  That's the case in much older buildings as well as somewhat newer ones (into the 70s at least).  They don't get nearly the respect they deserve, being roughly similar in massing to the single-family houses that many of them replaced or were built.  That's surprising what with all the love for mid-century modern right now.  They're just nothing particularly remarkable on the inside. 

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On ‎10‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 11:40 AM, jjakucyk said:

No way those old 4-plexes (or 6 or 8-plexes) have concrete floors.  They may have block walls between units and the stairwell, but the floors are almost certainly wood framed.  That's the case in much older buildings as well as somewhat newer ones (into the 70s at least).  They don't get nearly the respect they deserve, being roughly similar in massing to the single-family houses that many of them replaced or were built.  That's surprising what with all the love for mid-century modern right now.  They're just nothing particularly remarkable on the inside. 

 

The staircases and hallways are often metal or concrete and usually never wood.  The wood joists and flooring in the units is usually much more robust than what was built from the 1970s onward in so-called "stick" construction.  

 

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Im curious about what fcc has planned for the ballet site..the article mentioned mixed use developement for that corner which is much better than a stand alone parking garage!

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In case anyone was still wondering if property speculation is on the uptick in the West End, check out this new listing:

https://www.sibcycline.com/Listing/CIN/1643536/1116-Garden-St-Cincinnati-OH-45214

 

Some fool paid $15k for a very narrow lot on Baymiller back in September (15x100) and that's making people think they can get good money for D-quality lots like 1116 Garden St.  This newly listed lot is 19x85 and zoned single-family.  19 feet is a lot better than 15 feet, but the rear alley isn't usable for cars and so you're forced to build a house that is nothing but a garage door facing the street. 

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8 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

In case anyone was still wondering if property speculation is on the uptick in the West End, check out this new listing:

https://www.sibcycline.com/Listing/CIN/1643536/1116-Garden-St-Cincinnati-OH-45214

 

Some fool paid $15k for a very narrow lot on Baymiller back in September (15x100) and that's making people think they can get good money for D-quality lots like 1116 Garden St.  This newly listed lot is 19x85 and zoned single-family.  19 feet is a lot better than 15 feet, but the rear alley isn't usable for cars and so you're forced to build a house that is nothing but a garage door facing the street. 

 

The landbank owns 1110 Garden St, which is a bigger plot. It probably wouldn't cost much to buy the rest of the block. St Vincent de Paul might want the land. I dunno.  Or if you owned one of those houses, you could buy it and use it for parking. Doesn't seem totally crazy to list it at $16k. 

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I drove by it this morning.  The noise from I-75 is pretty bad.  

 

There were about 10 rehabs in progress on Dayton, Baymiller, Freeman, etc.  A house on Baymiller is having its façade rebuilt.  

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9 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

I drove by it this morning.  The noise from I-75 is pretty bad.  

 

There were about 10 rehabs in progress on Dayton, Baymiller, Freeman, etc.  A house on Baymiller is having its façade rebuilt.  

 

I've noticed alot of new rehab proposals in the HCB packets as well for the West End. Seems like there is definitely a small wave coming along of reinvestment. 

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2 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

I drove by it this morning.  The noise from I-75 is pretty bad.  

 

There were about 10 rehabs in progress on Dayton, Baymiller, Freeman, etc.  A house on Baymiller is having its façade rebuilt.  

Do you mean this one on Freeman?

I believe the preservation society has this one.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1181493,-84.5312625,3a,75y,130.22h,109.63t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sO7SaaKVFjO3UA5N-DOBtag!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en

Edited by oakiehigh

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6 hours ago, jwulsin said:

 

The landbank owns 1110 Garden St, which is a bigger plot. It probably wouldn't cost much to buy the rest of the block. St Vincent de Paul might want the land. I dunno.  Or if you owned one of those houses, you could buy it and use it for parking. Doesn't seem totally crazy to list it at $16k. 

 

It would definitely be crazy to buy it for $16k, however.   I would buy a lot to park on in that area for more than $1,000.  It's crazy that vacant lot prices are escalating when we haven't seen a single party build a new home anywhere in the West End since the Hope VI project fizzled out 15 years ago.  

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In the latest planning packet a developer is seeking a zone change from manufacturing to residential multi family in a former factory at 1101 York street with 29 residential units.

 

I feel like the uptick in development in the west end has been hard to ignore lately...  

 

I know everyone was skeptical about the impact FCC would have with their west end stadium but I think it's becoming increasingly clear that FCC has indeed paved a path for renewed interest in West end developement.

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23 minutes ago, troeros said:

...I think it's becoming increasingly clear that FCC has indeed paved a path for renewed interest in West end developement.

 

Has it though?  There's been spillover development from OTR for a while now, and I don't think the stadium has a lot to do with it.  In fact I feel like the stadium acts as more of a barrier.  It looks to me simply like a continuing upswing of an already established trajectory.

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6 minutes ago, jjakucyk said:

 

Has it though?  There's been spillover development from OTR for a while now, and I don't think the stadium has a lot to do with it.  In fact I feel like the stadium acts as more of a barrier.  It looks to me simply like a continuing upswing of an already established trajectory.

 

I think we're headed toward a bona fide housing crisis by 2025 if interest rates stay low and other economic trends continue.  Property values have doubled throughout the west side in the past 2-3 years.  Suburban construction is a shadow of what is was from 1960-2007 thanks to bank self-regulation.  So everyone that is retiring and would have moved into a new condo complex (remember those?) 15-20 years ago is now moving to a flipped starter home.  It's putting tremendous pressure on the market.  

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Very cool that 1101 York will be renovated into residential. It's interesting that they're turning the first floor into garage/parking. I'll be curious who will end up living there. It's not a very walkable location and it'll be loud next to I-75.  I'd love to see Winchell St get a diet. Definitely doesn't need three lanes of traffic. 

 

image.thumb.png.f6dcf54bf4a07ed76cef1c5a5243772a.png

 

 

 

 

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