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Cincinnati: Oakley: Oakley Station

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Walnut Hills suffers from an incongruity caused by the unnatural configuration of MLK, Wm. H. Taft, and a few of the big buildings like the Kroger and the building we're talking about between Victory Parkway and Woodburn.  I don't see how the neighborhood regains the prewar rhythm without mandating redevelopment with forms identical to what was torn down.  Also Wm. H. Taft should probably be reconfigured as the disjointed series of side streets it once was and Gilbert rebuilt between McMillan and MLK either with a landscaped center esplanade or expanded landscaped sidewalks.   

 

Walnut Hills has great potential simply due to its proximity to uptown and downtown job centers, as well as dining/nightlife options in OTR, Hyde Park, Oakley, etc. Hopefully it will be developed in a way that is better looking than the USquare/Vine Street Flats garbage going up in CUF. However, I think some people have the impression that Walnut Hills is going to be "the next OTR", which I think is misguided.

 

Definitely not the next OTR. The MLK/Walnut Hills corridor at 71 is going to be something though; I predict something completely new in Cincinnati. An area of true mid-level density the likes of which we don't really have here. Kind of like Rookwood, only more "Edge City" and less "I dropped my Legos."

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Walnut Hills suffers from an incongruity caused by the unnatural configuration of MLK, Wm. H. Taft, and a few of the big buildings like the Kroger and the building we're talking about between Victory Parkway and Woodburn.  I don't see how the neighborhood regains the prewar rhythm without mandating redevelopment with forms identical to what was torn down.  Also Wm. H. Taft should probably be reconfigured as the disjointed series of side streets it once was and Gilbert rebuilt between McMillan and MLK either with a landscaped center esplanade or expanded landscaped sidewalks.   

 

Walnut Hills has great potential simply due to its proximity to uptown and downtown job centers, as well as dining/nightlife options in OTR, Hyde Park, Oakley, etc. Hopefully it will be developed in a way that is better looking than the USquare/Vine Street Flats garbage going up in CUF. However, I think some people have the impression that Walnut Hills is going to be "the next OTR", which I think is misguided.

 

Definitely not the next OTR. The MLK/Walnut Hills corridor at 71 is going to be something though; I predict something completely new in Cincinnati. An area of true mid-level density the likes of which we don't really have here. Kind of like Rookwood, only more "Edge City" and less "I dropped my Legos."

 

Walnut Hills is setup more like a lower density version of a Chicago Victorian neighborhood - streetcar oriented in its arrangement with a strong business strip surrounded by a much weaker but still fairly dense neighborhood with a mix of brick townhouses, old mansions (bigger yards on those in Cincy) and plenty of less grand frame workers houses.  Walnut Hills aesthetically reminds me of a bombed out Wicker Park - something like that is the highest it could reach though that's been much diluted by the actions of the WHRF who feels its better to scale it down than to work with the excellent resources they have - still will be a strong neighborhood but sold way short.

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To me Walnut Hills has a lot of holes to fill yet, specifically talking south of McMillan, west of Victory, and east of Gilbert.  The Windsor Redevelopment I think will be a really big, positive project that will push a lot of momentum north.  If I had the money, I would buy a fixer upper in this area because I believe it is just a matter of time.  Trevaran Flats is really starting to take shape, and it seems there is even more development going on than that.  Not certain if they are just stabilizing some buildings but they are definitely doing work on some.

 

The CBD, as it is in the current state, definitely isn't as big as OTR and I am not sure what it used to look like, but if they can fill up the current vacant buildings, etc. it will make room for a lot of infill development.  I think it is a beautiful neighborhood with a lot of diversity.

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That is one of the main problems with Walnut hills. There aren't a lot of single family homes available. All the houses have been turned into 2 to 3 apartments. Single family homes rarely come on the market and I haven't seen any good prospects come on the market as fixer uppers.

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This entire page is a thread about a different neighborhood. The word Oakley appears in only one comment, and it's not the primary subject. I am impressed...

 

So.. back to Oakley Station.

 

Has anyone seen if the expanded Apartments have begun construction yet?  I've heard that the office user section may be announced in the next month or so. 

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This entire page is a thread about a different neighborhood. The word Oakley appears in only one comment, and it's not the primary subject. I am impressed...

 

So.. back to Oakley Station.

 

Has anyone seen if the expanded Apartments have begun construction yet?  I've heard that the office user section may be announced in the next month or so. 

 

Stuff on the opposite side of Madison is pretty far along. 

 

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Yea Im hoping that and the stairs get used more as a result. Also itd be brilliant if we could ever get light rail going through there to put the station in oakley station. ?

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Yea Im hoping that and the stairs get used more as a result. Also itd be brilliant if we could ever get light rail going through there to put the station in oakley station. ?

 

That is where the terminal station of the subway's first phase was going to be.  The line was going to parallel the B&O mainline from Norwood (paralleling the south side of the railroad) over to a terminal station near where Boca used to be.  So this rapid transit station would have been within walking distance of the Oakley Station. 

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A new office tenant is looking to build a garage at Oakley Station, which up to now has only had surface parking. Does anybody know exactly where the proposed garage and office building are planned? It'd be neat if the parking garage were situated in a place that could help serve the rest of Oakley Station, turning it into more of a lifestyle center... the garage could support evening and weekend shoppers when the office tenants aren't using it as much.

 

Steve Dragon, a representative for developer Vandercar Holdings Inc., asked for council's support for an 80,000 square foot office building on the site. As part of this, council was also asked to approve a three-story parking garage, which will be located behind the building. The garage will have about 385 parking spaces and provide parking for the employees at the office building.

 

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/local/community-news/2015/05/11/office-tenant-oakley-station-unidentified/27112797/

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Insurer likely to be Oakley Station's first major office tenant

May 12, 2015, 10:29am EDT

Tom Demeropolis Senior Staff Reporter- Cincinnati Business Courier

 

 

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will be the first office tenant at the Oakley Station development, according to multiple sources.

 

Developer Vandercar Holdings Inc. went to the Oakley Community Council, asking for support for an 80,000-square-foot office building on the 74-acre mixed-use site near Interstate 71. The name of the office tenant was not revealed at this meeting, but sources tell me that health insurer Anthem will move into this new facility.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/blog/2015/05/insurer-likely-to-be-oakley-stations-first-major.html

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I have it on good authority that Anthem will be moving their Walnut Hills office (1351 William Howard Taft road) to a built to suit office building at Oakley station. It also looks like the developer will be buying their current location (building and lot) for redevelopment. Could be a good opportunity for Walnut Hills. Two developments one move

 

We know at near certainty that Anthem is moving to Oakley Station and I am now also hearing that there will be residential development at the Walnut Hills Anthem site. Something along the lines of 300 residential units that will include multiple buildings and townhomes. If so this couldn't be better news for the area. Losing the Anthem jobs during the day won't be great for some of the daytime business but replacing it with permanent residents is a big win.

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^ That Anthem complex on Taft is a fortress that doesn't add any activity to Taft or Woodburn, and in fact it sucks the life out of them.  Seems like the only businesses that employees might regularly frequent are the McDonalds and Skyline at Victory Parkway, which they'd probably drive to anyway.  The parking crater is an abomination too, so good riddance I say. 

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I agree with almost everything, but I've got to assume that at least some of those folks visit Kitchen 452, Cafe DeSales, Suzie Wongs, and Mardi Gras on Madison (when its open), as well as potentially patronizing Myrtle's or the Growler House for Happy Hour. Still, you're right, the building and lot are awful and I definitely won't miss them.

 

But we're getting off topic!

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That would be fabulous news.  I really hope they make the residential fronting the street on all sides on that block and a parking ramp in the middle of the development.  Do you think though that the site is capable of holding more than 300 residents though?  Seems a really big area.  I am not sure how much of those surface lots are Anthems but I think even the surface lot across Woodburn is also Anthem as well, passing by daily from work I think there is a sign there that says Anthem.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cincinnati,+OH/@39.1259204,-84.4808028,380m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x884051b1de3821f9:0x69fb7e8be4c09317!6m1!1e1

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Do you think though that the site is capable of holding more than 300 residents though?  Seems a really big area.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cincinnati,+OH/@39.1259204,-84.4808028,380m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x884051b1de3821f9:0x69fb7e8be4c09317!6m1!1e1

 

It's a much bigger site than either of the complexes facing Woodburn north of Madison. 

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Hopefully not demo the whole thing.  The building at the corner is actually an old telephone exchange that was incorporated into the rest of the Anthem complex, it's just hidden by a lot of trees and shrubs.  https://goo.gl/maps/Lh34v

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This project will be great, especially with the conversion of the surrounding streets -- Taft and McMillan (and I think Woodburn) -- back to two-way.

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EXCLUSIVE: $5M office development planned near Oakley Station

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2015/05/18/exclusive-5-million-office-development-planned.html

 

Another office development is being planned near Oakley Station, the 74-acre, mixed-use development along Interstate 71.

Developer Brian Swift has a preferred developer agreement with the city of Cincinnati to acquire a 4.25-acre piece of property left over from the Kennedy Connector project. On the land, he plans to develop up to 45,000 square feet of office space. The project, called Kennedy Crossing, would be an investment of $5 million to $7 million.

 

This new proposed project would be on the east side of Kennedy Ave (not to be confused with the other <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2015/04/20/exclusive-new-office-development-planned-near.html">recently announced project on the west side of Kennedy Ave</a>).

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In the June 5th Planning Commission Packet (http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/planning/about-city-planning-buildings/city-planning-commission/jun-5-2015-packet/), they recommended approval of a $6.2 million, 383-space parking garage at Oakley Station, which will be financed through TIF. The garage is planned to be placed immediately west of the existing apartment buildings.

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And meanwhile, Crossroads, the new Kroger, Target, Meijer, and Sam's have, what, 30 acres of parking among them?

 

This part of Cincinnati is approaching (surpassed?) some of the outer suburbs for auto-centric development.

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I went by it this weekend. Not a single marking other than name of contractor.  i think it may be a spec building.  It was decently built (mostly brick). Again, if they just took the main drag (Vandecar) and mashed all the retail right there it could have a moderately decent business district type feel.

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This whole garage thing is really making me mad. $24K for bus shelters for a whole neighborhood is a "pet project," but $6 million to one developer makes financial sense?

 

If the democrats on council are willing to spend money, at least they don't seem to discriminate. Whether you have a bleeding heart or are a big name developer, you'll get money from them. Republicans on council on the other hand only seem willing to make the rich richer, and give money to people that don't need it. it's such joke. This ONE deal is double the amount that the democrats wanted to shift around in the budget last week, and you'd think the sky was falling after listening to the republicans and our sorry excuse for a newspaper. I'l bet another 6 million that we don't hear a peep about this deal.

 

my city is screwed. we've done nothing for the last 60 years but build auto-oriented developments. If, despite our dedication, we aren't flush with cash by now, then MAYBE WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

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This development is pretty crappy....

 

BUT a few things about it have made it better.  It now will have 440 apartments, meaning about 650 people living there.  Walking to Kroger etc.  Almost certainly some employees will live and work in walking distance, whether at MadMar or at the Boulevard.  Additionally, the plan is now to add an additional 100,000 square feet of office space to the area. 

 

And Finally, the silver lining... SORTA is building a transit hub nearby. 

 

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/local/2014/12/11/bus-transit-hub-built-oakley/20262957/

 

The 4, 11, 51, 12x and 41 will all stop there. It will be a roughly half mile walk from the office building. Construction may start before years end.

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I was back in Cincy for a few days last week, far too short to see all the things I wanted to see, but I found myself driving through this development.  I thought you guys were all just being too critical of it...man was I wrong, this development is total crap.  It looks like a suburban highway interchange development plopped in the middle of Oakley, a huge swing and miss for the developer, although I am sure it is great financially, they really missed big time on the design.

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A coworker of mine lives in those apartments and its hard to get her to understand how folks can think of this development as a failure when "the apartments are sold out and the stores are always full." I bet that's the mentality of a lot of folks.

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Aside from the layout of the development site itself, I think the neighborhood could have been improved if they had built an underpass (at least a pedestrian one) between the site and any one of several side streets south of the tracks. 

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Aside from the layout of the development site itself, I think the neighborhood could have been improved if they had built an underpass (at least a pedestrian one) between the site and any one of several side streets south of the tracks. 

 

Agreed.  Even an at-grade "use at your own risk" crossing would be so much better than navigating the complicated mess of stairs, walkways, ramps, and overpasses at Madison, none of which seem to go the right direction or drop you off where you think they would. 

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The big ?  is what ends up happening to the two big factories remaining between this development and I-71.  Obviously these have highway visibility to the use will inevitably be commercial.  There are also more industries on the south side of the tracks.  So if all of those move out then there's more of a case for an underpass connecting whatever ends up on each side of the tracks. 

 

There is also potential for a pedestrian bridge over I-71 by re-use of the existing but little-used railroad spur that crosses over from Norwood. 

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I was back in Cincy for a few days last week, far too short to see all the things I wanted to see, but I found myself driving through this development.  I thought you guys were all just being too critical of it...man was I wrong, this development is total crap.  It looks like a suburban highway interchange development plopped in the middle of Oakley, a huge swing and miss for the developer, although I am sure it is great financially, they really missed big time on the design.

 

This developer purposefully misled the Oakley council and certain parts of the city government to get a fast, cheap, profitable development. It is crap by intention.

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Years ago I attended multiple Oakley Community Council meetings proposing a pedestrian bridge connecting the existing Oakley community on the south side of the tracks to the Millworks (now Oakley Station) development.  As expected I was poo pooed and told it would cost too much to construct a bridge.

 

I’m glad someone is bringing that idea back to light.  Here’s hoping a pedestrian bridge or underpass is built in the next five years.  I realize I’m too optimistic, how about the next twenty years?  I’m sure it will gain more steam when the highly underutilized former Kenner plant (currently Harte Hanks, etc.) is redeveloped.

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I don't think there's anything wrong with those industrial uses staying, other than their blocking any ped/bike access over I-71 to Norwood.  The old Playing Card factory might as well be in Indiana for how cut off it is from that part of Oakley.  Either way, the Cast-Fab building is just too cool to lose.  It has a Weimar Republic/Bauhaus industrial aesthetic somewhat reminiscent of the Fagus Shoe Vactory or AEG Turbine Hall, though a bit simpler and more obviously mid-century.  I would hope that if they ever leave then that building could be repurposed somehow. 

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I don't think there's anything wrong with those industrial uses staying, other than their blocking any ped/bike access over I-71 to Norwood.  The old Playing Card factory might as well be in Indiana for how cut off it is from that part of Oakley.  Either way, the Cast-Fab building is just too cool to lose.  It has a Weimar Republic/Bauhaus industrial aesthetic somewhat reminiscent of the Fagus Shoe Vactory or AEG Turbine Hall, though a bit simpler and more obviously mid-century.  I would hope that if they ever leave then that building could be repurposed somehow. 

 

If someone other than Vandercar gets a hold of it, it's possible. The other factories that occupied the site could have been re-purposed rather easily - I was in a few of them prior to demolition and the office portions that fronted each building (along the rail line, where the apartments are now) were three story spaces with plentiful daylight and large floor slabs - pretty ideal for reuse as office. I don't even think it was considered by the developer.

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One of Cincinnati’s largest credit unions plans new HQ in Oakley

Cinfed is planning to relocate its downtown operations to Oakley Pointe at Ibsen and Kennedy avenues.

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2016/02/12/one-of-cincinnati-s-largest-credit-unions-plans.html

 

 

It's sad to see that they're moving out of downtown... but at least they're staying within the City of Cincinnati.

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Saw in the agenda for tonight's Oakley council meeting that Steve Dragon of Vandercar will be presenting on "Potential Chick-fil-a" at Oakley Station.

 

Great.  Thought when I moved to Oakley/Madisonville that I was moving to an historically inner-ring suburb.  Turns out I moved to Mason.

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Yeah Oakley Station and the Center of Cincinnati is a disaster.  We didn't need more retail in this city, esp big box retail.  It just pulls business from the traditional business districts away to stuff with highway visibility.  This area could have been redeveloped into upwards of 500 single family homes.  The city could have bought the industrial land and auctioned off the lots one-by-one at a slow rate (for example 5 per month) to let the area develop a personality. 

 

 

 

 

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^^ I've come to this realization within the past week, too. Even just the "station" part of the development is about equal to all the land bounded by Markbreit, Edwards, and the RR tracks. So much potential for quiet streets with new single family homes and maybe 4 story apartment buildings fronting Madison.

 

This city sure knows how to take a great opportunity and make the least of it. Makes me want to move to Toronto.

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Saw in the agenda for tonight's Oakley council meeting that Steve Dragon of Vandercar will be presenting on "Potential Chick-fil-a" at Oakley Station.

 

Great.  Thought when I moved to Oakley/Madisonville that I was moving to an historically inner-ring suburb.  Turns out I moved to Mason.

 

I saw a rendering a few weeks ago... and it had a DOUBLE drive thru. I didn't even realize that was a thing. But apparently they wanted to have two lanes of cars idling while they wait to get their chicken sandwiches. I'm not sure if that's still the proposed layout.

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