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Cincinnati: Over-the-Rhine: Development and News (non-3CDC)

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The City has put out an RFP for redevelopment of the parking lot at 1712 Logan St: 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ud7h9ovg1jwap61/Logan RFP RFP689CEDLOGAN.pdf?dl=0

 

I had thought this surface lot might be eyed by the County for one of the FCC parking garages... but this RFP implies that the County garage(s) will be going somewhere else, but presumably near enough to Findlay Market that the Market isn't upset about potentially losing this surface lot on Logan St. 

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On 3/12/2019 at 9:53 AM, jwulsin said:

The City has put out an RFP for redevelopment of the parking lot at 1712 Logan St: 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ud7h9ovg1jwap61/Logan RFP RFP689CEDLOGAN.pdf?dl=0

 

I had thought this surface lot might be eyed by the County for one of the FCC parking garages... but this RFP implies that the County garage(s) will be going somewhere else, but presumably near enough to Findlay Market that the Market isn't upset about potentially losing this surface lot on Logan St. 

 

That's a pretty big sized lot. Thought it would have taken a while before any developer prioritized that area.

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I was offered a building for free on Linn back in 08. I was 19 and in college and the building was a total gut job if not more so I said no. Kinda wish I could take that back now.

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When I was looking for a building to buy about 4 years ago, I researched that building at 650 W McMicken and the owner was unreachable.  The Building Dept had condemnation orders on it and there was a lot of water getting in and trees growing inside.  It's worse than it looks from the photo.  The owner is currently listed as:

US CHINA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION 1076 GLOUCHESTER HABOR SCHAUMBURG IL 60193

 

Sucks when bad owners get these buildings. 

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3 hours ago, Jimmy Skinner said:

When I was looking for a building to buy about 4 years ago, I researched that building at 650 W McMicken and the owner was unreachable.  The Building Dept had condemnation orders on it and there was a lot of water getting in and trees growing inside.  It's worse than it looks from the photo.  The owner is currently listed as:

US CHINA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION 1076 GLOUCHESTER HABOR SCHAUMBURG IL 60193

 

Sucks when bad owners get these buildings. 

 

Why aren't the owners penalized in that case for allowing there owned property to become a public nusinance?

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Does anyone have any new information on the purposed projects one being the two one story building across from Washington Park being torn down and turned into an apartment building and the other being in 1518 Race street on the empty lot.

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Also, what's up with this building? Prime location across from Washington Park, great views of Music Hall, the building next door sold a condo for over $1 million, yet this building remains boarded up. What gives?

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1 hour ago, edale said:

Also, what's up with this building? Prime location across from Washington Park, great views of Music Hall, the building next door sold a condo for over $1 million, yet this building remains boarded up. What gives?

 

Yeah I've always wondered why that is as well.. 

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4 hours ago, edale said:

Also, what's up with this building? Prime location across from Washington Park, great views of Music Hall, the building next door sold a condo for over $1 million, yet this building remains boarded up. What gives?

Same as the church immediately to its south and the 36’ wide empty lot at 1330 Race... the parcels are owned by Hyde Park Community United Methodist (1345 Grace Ave, 45208). Would be curious if they are paying property taxes since they’re owned by a church. 

Edited by jwulsin

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And when is the city going to do something about the streetscape surrounding Washington Park on Elm, Race, and 12th? All three streets still have telephone poles with cobrahead lights.

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40 minutes ago, taestell said:

Any when is the city going to do something about the streetscape surrounding Washington Park on Elm, Race, and 12th? All three streets still have telephone poles with cobrahead lights.

 

No idea.

 

Related to underground utilities, I reached out to Matthew Andrews at DOTE regarding the possibility of getting utilities buried for Liberty St if/when it gets torn up for the narrowing... and here was his response in December 2017 aiming for a Spring 2019 construction start (LOL).  I appreciated that he took the time to detail out, but I also found very saddening because it makes it seem like there is no system/mechanism in place for implementing underground utilities:

 

Quote

The Liberty Street Safety Improvement Project, Central Parkway to Mansfield Street, will begin construction documents for bidding purposes this December. The goal is to bid the project in the Fall of 2018 with a Spring 2019 construction start date. The bulk of the funding is from the remaining Casino TIF fund. Undergrounding the overhead utilities is a challenging project at best. Two recent undergrounding of utilities projects met a number of issues. The following concerns must be dealt with:

  • Funding is required by both public sources (the City) and the affected property owners. All work on private property must be paid for by the property owner or a private source. This work includes hiring an electrician to reattach the electric to the residence or building. This may force the building owner to bring any old “grandfathered” electric up to present codes. This cost is typically unknown until the reattachment. Typical costs for a residence to hook up from an underground line is approximately $ 3,000. Businesses, especially those utilizing refrigeration and air conditioning – i.e., restaurants, can be upwards of $ 30,000 or more.
  • Costs for the Liberty Street Safety Improvement Project can easily double or triple with the addition of undergrounding the overhead utilities. Additional funds will be required for construction in areas that were not going to be upgraded immediately (some areas on the north side of Liberty Street) and for Duke and all the other utilities to rerun their lines, multiple conduit and pullbox installations, etc.
  • When undergrounding a corridor, Duke typically likes to upgrade their electric mode to a more efficient system (240 volts to a 207 volt three phase system). This system requires the upgrade of older appliances that range from stoves to hot water heaters to air conditioning. These are additional private costs for older buildings.
  • The project will need 100 % approval of all property owners. The law does not allow for a utility to disconnect a customer for aesthetic purposes. Agreements by property owners to underground their systems and pay the private costs are not binding and have been rescinded in previous projects of this type. This has caused additional design and construction costs and a substandard project.
  • Typical projects of this type take years of negotiating and coordinating with property owners, funding sources, the utilities (all of them – Duke, Spectrum, Bell, City lighting and traffic signals, etc).
  • All the north / south lines on Elm, Race, Vine, etc will stay in place leaving that visual “clutter” in place. Only the lines along the north side of Liberty can be removed.
  • Transformers that are set on top of utility poles need to be relocated to ground mounted pads. These typically need to be located outside the right-of-way for protection from vehicles. This requires a property owner to allow an area for permanent placement of the transformer, bollards and or fencing and sufficient space for maintenance.  This can be an impediment to future development.

DOTE has two recent Streetscape projects that included undergrounding of overhead utilities. One involved a business district with a few property hold-outs. A company headquartered in the business district had to pay the cost to underground these properties to assure the project was complete. The other Streetscape became an 8 year design process and still had some property owner hold-outs. This resulted in the addition of new poles and overhead lines to continue to power these buildings. Obviously the project was not that successful.  

 

While the Department of Transportation and Engineering is excited for the Liberty Street project and wish we can attempt the undergrounding of overhead utilities also, we do not believe that the project can locate the additional funds or include the design within the schedule of the current project. Thank you for your interest in the project. 

 

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Right, burying utilities can be a long and complicated process as we have seen in recent years with Walnut and Short Vine. (Not sure if it was mentioned here, but the poles have finally been taken down on Walnut!)

 

Fortunately there are several places in OTR where it looks like all of the actual utilities have already been buried, and the telephone poles only exist for lighting and the electric lines that power that lighting:

  • Elm Street, from 12th to Grant
  • Race Street, from 12th and Liberty
  • 12th Street, from Elm to Vine

So it seems like they have been planning ahead, and maybe they're just waiting for funding to become available for the construction of a new sidewalk and street lighting, allowing the poles to finally come down.

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22 hours ago, Ucgrad2015 said:

Does anyone have any new information on the purposed projects one being the two one story building across from Washington Park being torn down and turned into an apartment building and the other being in 1518 Race street on the empty lot.

 

Last update was in Sept of 2017: https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2017/09/27/steiner-s-washington-park-project-finally-gets-go.html

 

I know there were talks about how one of the property owners (for the one story building being demolished) for the printer shop is having major health issues, which is causing a delay in the timeline. That said, I'm not sure if that's been resolved yet. Also, the HCB gave an Approval for the design for this project and if no building permits are filed by this Summer (The 2 year condition of the HCB) than the approval for the design will expire..which I imagine means that this project will be dead....

Edited by troeros

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On 3/20/2019 at 11:43 AM, troeros said:

 

Why aren't the owners penalized in that case for allowing there owned property to become a public nusinance?

From my experience it is several reasons. 

Firstly, the city is a bureaucracy and the employees only can do so much.  

Secondly the people who own buildings like this are very good at being hard to find and transferring the property right before the City catches up to them.

Thirdly, the City has a hard time serving summons and citations to people or corporations who are out of state

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They could try keeping their bar open til normal hours. I remember going there several times at night to get drinks and food at the bar, only to be told they were closing at like 10PM on a weekend. It's a great, dark bar space, and that patio is awesome too- they just need to utilize them better. Hopefully the new ownership group will be better.

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That area is also kind of strangely at the end of development on Vine Street. With all the new development coming online in the next two years (Kroger redevelopment) I would guess that they will get more business then too especially at the bar as people walk to new restaurants further north and wait for seating. Probably a really good move by Thunderdome Group.

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Kaze has been treading water since Hideki left to open Kiki in College Hill.

 

Thunderdome buying Kaze is not a surprise but this will be their 6th restaurant in this three-block stretch of Vine Street.


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

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Er maybe it's all of the fickle "foodies" who just go to the new places, forcing "old" places to rebrand or close after 4 years. 

 

Why does anyone get in the restaurant business?  Nobody actually cares about the food, it's just what is new. 

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25 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

Er maybe it's all of the fickle "foodies" who just go to the new places, forcing "old" places to rebrand or close after 4 years. 

 

Why does anyone get in the restaurant business?  Nobody actually cares about the food, it's just what is new. 

 

I would argue that familiarity is just as important as the hot brand new concept to hit the block. It's sort of the reason why chains like Maggianos/Cheesecake etc are still popular..people want consistency with the quality of there resturaunt as much as they want the hot new trending resturaunt. 

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1 hour ago, IAGuy39 said:

That area is also kind of strangely at the end of development on Vine Street. With all the new development coming online in the next two years (Kroger redevelopment) I would guess that they will get more business then too especially at the bar as people walk to new restaurants further north and wait for seating. Probably a really good move by Thunderdome Group.

 

On weekends, Kaze is one of my go-to places as they usually have little-to-no wait. You can order anything from the food menu in the bar area (including the tables, which have table service) so that's usually what we do. I agree that Kaze and Che (another great restaurant that usually has little-to-no wait) suffer from being at the "northern edge of OTR" in the minds of many suburbanites who visit the neighborhood. It makes me wonder how Quan Hapa is doing as well.

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7 minutes ago, taestell said:

 

On weekends, Kaze is one of my go-to places as they usually have little-to-no wait. You can order anything from the food menu in the bar area (including the tables, which have table service) so that's usually what we do. I agree that Kaze and Che (another great restaurant that usually has little-to-no wait) suffer from being at the "northern edge of OTR" in the minds of many suburbanites who visit the neighborhood. It makes me wonder how Quan Hapa is doing as well.

 

I think with Quan Hapa it's kind of at a corner where people turn and go to Washington Park where as Kaza is like kind of on the last line of redevelopment on that side of the block and no foot traffic traveling south, just my opinion.

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20 minutes ago, troeros said:

 

I would argue that familiarity is just as important as the hot brand new concept to hit the block. It's sort of the reason why chains like Maggianos/Cheesecake etc are still popular..people want consistency with the quality of there resturaunt as much as they want the hot new trending resturaunt. 

 

I have worked in many restaurants in many roles.  Like 15+ years of working in restaurants.  The food is the least important factor in determining whether the place stays in business long-term. 

 

We have discussed this before on this site but rule #1 is a place NEEDS TO LOOK LIKE IT'S OPEN.   Is Scotty's open?  I don't know.  I've never seen the door open or close.  Is Kaze open?  Maybe.  Is Quan Happa open?  Yes.  The lights are on and I can see people eating.  No.  The lights are on but the crew is cleaning up.   

 

Put a sign on the sidewalk.  Prop the door open.  Let us know you're open and what you serve. 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

I have worked in many restaurants in many roles.  Like 15+ years of working in restaurants.  The food is the least important factor in determining whether the place stays in business long-term. 

 

We have discussed this before on this site but rule #1 is a place NEEDS TO LOOK LIKE IT'S OPEN.   Is Scotty's open?  I don't know.  I've never seen the door open or close.  Is Kaze open?  Maybe.  Is Quan Happa open?  Yes.  The lights are on and I can see people eating.  No.  The lights are on but the crew is cleaning up.   

 

Put a sign on the sidewalk.  Prop the door open.  Let us know you're open and what you serve. 

 

 

 

To add to this, I like Kaze but I forget exists sometimes. When I'm thinking of places to eat it is the places with prominent sidewalk presence that pop into my mind. Kaze just kind of blends in. 

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Kaze has a great patio and a great bar, but I agree about the hours needing to extend later. Some people are also turned off by Japanese because they think it's all sushi, while others come to Kaze expecting only a sushi place and don't find it. They need to be a little more clear on what their specialty is and focus on that. Having a little bit of everything is pretty un-Japanese, and I think their menu could use a little focus. That said I think they have some great food, and great cocktails and a great space, so I'm glad to see they aren't going away. 

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Echoing what others have said but they definitely need to make better use of the bar and patio.  The bar is one of the cooler ones in OTR imo but they always treated it as just a part of the restaurant.  

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So the ownership group of OTR Live/Tree House are opening their 3rd Club concept called "Copa OTR". It will be a night club/resturaunt in the day and be the first otr establishment to serve hookah. Should be announced relitavely soon. 

 

I'm happy that otr has found a niche with entertainment, and Cincinnati as a whole has become regarded as one of the better cities in the Midwest for great night life offerings.

 

That said, this will technically be OTR's 4th night club and south of liberty alone already has more than 40 bar establishments. 

 

At some point there will have to be a serious conversation on whether we want otr to be a functional family neighborhood, or if we want otr to be a mini Las Vegas. 

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Do you know where they're planning on opening their new location?  With their bad history I really hope it doesn't open near us.


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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7 hours ago, troeros said:

So the ownership group of OTR Live/Tree House are opening their 3rd Club concept called "Copa OTR". It will be a night club/resturaunt in the day and be the first otr establishment to serve hookah. Should be announced relitavely soon. 

 

I'm happy that otr has found a niche with entertainment, and Cincinnati as a whole has become regarded as one of the better cities in the Midwest for great night life offerings.

 

That said, this will technically be OTR's 4th night club and south of liberty alone already has more than 40 bar establishments. 

 

At some point there will have to be a serious conversation on whether we want otr to be a functional family neighborhood, or if we want otr to be a mini Las Vegas. 

Lol or it can be both, just like it and Newport were to some degree in the distant past.

Edited by climberguy714

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14 hours ago, bfwissel said:

Do you know where they're planning on opening their new location?  With their bad history I really hope it doesn't open near us.

Its the building right next to Tree House. Used to be VLT Acadamy. Signs are already up in the windows.

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5 hours ago, cincydave8 said:

Its the building right next to Tree House. Used to be VLT Acadamy. Signs are already up in the windows.


Yup, I saw those signs and assumed "Copa" would be a nice, new Italian restaurant.

 

19 hours ago, bfwissel said:

With their bad history I really hope it doesn't open near us.

 

No such luck, seems like Treehouse is just expanding to increase their levels of disorderly conduct and noise pollution in the area. I can't stand that place...

 

There is no possible way they are abiding by noise ordinances. Anyone know how they get away with this constantly?

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20 hours ago, troeros said:

So the ownership group of OTR Live/Tree House are opening their 3rd Club concept called "Copa OTR". It will be a night club/resturaunt in the day and be the first otr establishment to serve hookah. Should be announced relitavely soon. 

 

I'm happy that otr has found a niche with entertainment, and Cincinnati as a whole has become regarded as one of the better cities in the Midwest for great night life offerings.

 

That said, this will technically be OTR's 4th night club and south of liberty alone already has more than 40 bar establishments. 

 

At some point there will have to be a serious conversation on whether we want otr to be a functional family neighborhood, or if we want otr to be a mini Las Vegas. 

 

It can definitely have many bar establishments and still be a functional family neighborhood. That is true of the Wash Square West and Old City neighborhoods in Philly. The both have a ton more bars and clubs than OTR and both are desirable neighborhoods with all types of residents. 

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https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/04/04/exclusive-nation-s-largest-african-american-owned.html?iana=hpmvp_cinci_news_headline

 

Nations Largest African American owned archeticture firm opening first Cincinnati office in otr. 

 

Great news, adding to the number of archeticture firms in otr already and more high paid day time office works to spend money at local otr establishment!

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This article claims they will keep the Covington office, but it seems a little odd to have two offices so close together. I guess as long as having the Covington address gets them in the door to UK's campus (and UK keeps building dorms) they will keep that location. 

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On 4/4/2019 at 12:41 PM, Largue said:


Yup, I saw those signs and assumed "Copa" would be a nice, new Italian restaurant.

 

 

No such luck, seems like Treehouse is just expanding to increase their levels of disorderly conduct and noise pollution in the area. I can't stand that place...

 

There is no possible way they are abiding by noise ordinances. Anyone know how they get away with this constantly?

 

From what I understand Copa will function as a resturaunt and a bar/night club at night. Similar concept to Mixx Ultralounge when it was around on main St. 

 

I agree that tree house and otr live aren't necessarily the best neighborhors for a multitude of reasons but that being said Julian Rodgers has found a lot of success recently with his recent ventures and it's good to see that he's still investing in new ventures in the otr neighborhood. 

 

Also, tree house and otr live for better or for worse bring ALOT of night life traffic, especially during the warmer months and is definitely economically good for the few late night food vendors around like Lucy blue/Goodfellas/boom box buns, etc

 

 

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That map of shootings to me shows that 3CDC and the city's work is not done in OTR. Vine street should be safe from Smale riverfront park all the way to the zoo and no tourist visiting the city should have to feel like they are going  through a dangerous area to see the best our city has to offer. Five of the shootings are around the intersection of Vine and McMicken, and if it were up to me the city would focus on that intersection along with Findlay playground and Grant park. Instead of shifting focus on downtown/Court street with a giant "mission accomplished" banner on OTR, I think 3CDC needs to finish what they started, starting with the old Kroger site and then moving North to Findlay Playground. 

 

This is a small thing, but I would also get rid of the dumb 1-way streets that make sure no one ever drives down them. Has switching Green street one way or Elder Street one way really reduced crime? To me the more inconvenient they make the street, the less likely it is that people will use the street, meaning less eyes on that street.

 

I feel bad for Moerlein, as they literally have shootings making a loop completely around their brewery.

image.thumb.png.423ad45b2a062d293bedaca60cac6198.png

Edited by ucgrady

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I would caution reading too much into a season or two worth of shootings. Shootings often result in more retaliatory shootings, so if the "wrong one" happens, it could spark many more. It doesn't necessarily mean that the neighborhood is backsliding or anything.

 

Also, note that most of the shootings are in places that haven't seen significant investment in recent years.

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Saying Vine should be safe all the way to the zoo is asking way too much.  It's a great long term goal but that's unrealistic right now.  As Ryan mentioned above the shootings are happening where development hasn't happened yet.  I'm glad the police are going to do more on their end but what will really move these criminals for good is more development.  The area around Findlay Market has some good things going on now but nothing has happened on Vine north of Liberty.  I'm not sure when that's going to begin but that street has a great stock of buildings ready to be rehabbed.  

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11 minutes ago, ucgrady said:

That map of shootings to me shows that 3CDC and the city's work is not done in OTR. Vine street should be safe from Smale riverfront park all the way to the zoo and no tourist visiting the city should have to feel like they are going  through a dangerous area to see the best our city has to offer. Five of the shootings are around the intersection of Vine and McMicken, and if it were up to me the city would focus on that intersection along with Findlay playground and Grant park. Instead of shifting focus on downtown/Court street with a giant "mission accomplished" banner on OTR, I think 3CDC needs to finish what they started, starting with the old Kroger site and then moving North to Findlay Playground. 

 

This is a small thing, but I would also get rid of the dumb 1-way streets that make sure no one ever drives down them. Has switching Green street one way or Elder Street one way really reduced crime? To me the more inconvenient they make the street, the less likely it is that people will use the street, meaning less eyes on that street.

 

I feel bad for Moerlein, as they literally have shootings making a loop completely around their brewery.

image.thumb.png.423ad45b2a062d293bedaca60cac6198.png

 

Driving through strectches of McMicken at night and you see the poverty. You see the prositutes, the open air drug trading. Portions of North of Liberty truly resemble a 3rd world country and it's truly scary how people can live like that. 

 

Im sort of surprised that these land lords still choose to house low income residents when they can rehab their building and have a luxury unit and create a much bigger pay day for their pockets. Surely they aren't making that much off these low income residents are they?

 

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15 hours ago, troeros said:

Im sort of surprised that these land lords still choose to house low income residents when they can rehab their building and have a luxury unit and create a much bigger pay day for their pockets. Surely they aren't making that much off these low income residents are they?

 

Why fix anything up for the chance at a big payday when you have money coming in for doing 0 work? Chances are they have a 3rd party handle the tenants and completely ignore the rest.

 

The city doesn't do enough to enforce property upkeep and why be the first in the area? One rehabbed apartment won't fix the crime issues.  3CDC, continued development of the Brewery Heritage Trail/District or a major development would need to go in there first.

 

 

Edited by 10albersa
Added a line

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3 minutes ago, 10albersa said:

 

Why fix anything up for the chance at a big payday when you have money coming in for doing 0 work? Chances are they have a 3rd party deal with the people and completely ignore the rest.

 

That's a good point. 

 

Another point is that alot of these criminals are repeat offenders and under disability for carrying a fire arm. Once they are released they aren't allowed to live near a school.... So how in the hell are these termites still living in north of liberty? It's illegal for them to live their!

Edited by troeros

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6 minutes ago, Cincy513 said:

Saying Vine should be safe all the way to the zoo is asking way too much.  It's a great long term goal but that's unrealistic right now.  As Ryan mentioned above the shootings are happening where development hasn't happened yet.  I'm glad the police are going to do more on their end but what will really move these criminals for good is more development.  The area around Findlay Market has some good things going on now but nothing has happened on Vine north of Liberty.  I'm not sure when that's going to begin but that street has a great stock of buildings ready to be rehabbed.  

I think saying "all of Downtown, OTR and the West End should be safe" is asking way too much, but focusing on one street that connects the riverfront/Banks/prefessional sports Stadiums, CBD, OTR's restaurant and retail heart, the regions largest University and the region's largest hospital doesn't seem like too much to ask. It seems like a necessity and it's not that far from being a reality. From the carousel to about 15th street is well invested, and then on top of the hill, Uptown is seeing lots of new investment. Really the stretch from 15th to the Vine street curve at Mulberry is the last stretch that needs major investment.

 

My point is that instead of focusing our limited resources back into the CBD the powers that be need to focus on the intersection of Vine and McMicken (and Findlay Playground which has already been closed) to fix the missing link. I also think that intersection and up to the Curve Cafe has the potential to be one of the most interesting and unique urban environments in the midwest. 

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I'm curious how the brewery heritage  trail will do. Much of the trail is connected to many points in North of liberty...I can't imagine how many folks will feel comfortable walking around north of liberty without a guided group.

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