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

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23 minutes ago, taestell said:

Construction equipment has shown up at Freeport Row (Liberty & Elm) and dirt is being moved around...

 

So will the developer of Freeport row own the additional land parcel created by the liberty St diet? 

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Freeport Row is the NW side of Liberty & Elm, which is not getting extra developable land. That lot on the SE corner of Liberty & Elm looks even more attractive if the diet does indeed go through.

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It'll be nice to have arguably the biggest eyesore on Liberty filled in. Maybe if development along Liberty increases swiftly the city will get a move on the Liberty road diet. 

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That document is from 2014 so I don't think that plan is still being actively pursued. I still expect 3CDC to try to buy the land west of Walnut from the Wades so that they can develop the entire OTR Kroger block.

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On 3/5/2019 at 3:41 PM, taestell said:

Construction equipment has shown up at Freeport Row (Liberty & Elm) and dirt is being moved around...

Yes I was surprised to see this finally happening.

IMG_3406.jpg

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I'm really excited for this project and what it means for north of liberty. You rarely see people actively walking between north of liberty and south of liberty. Typically you see clusters that stick around Vine, race, main, Pendelton etc. Hopefully this can be a new node that can help bridge that south and north disconnect. 

 

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Does anyone know what the final plan that was approved for this site is? I remember there were a few iterations floated out there, and didn’t realize one had finally been approved. I seem to remember the structured parking component being dropped, but does anyone remember the unit count? It will be great to get some street presence on this significant corner, and renovating the two historic buildings that front Liberty will be great, too. 

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On 1/15/2019 at 8:03 PM, troeros said:

Maybe not at this point in time, but if this divorce will take another 15 years it will 

 

FWIW, someone told me that the divorce was finalized about two weeks ago. Not that this means the project is going to break ground in the next couple of months or anything.

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12 hours ago, taestell said:

 

 

FWIW, someone told me that the divorce was finalized about two weeks ago. Not that this means the project is going to break ground in the next couple of months or anything.

The divorce decree was filed 3/8/19

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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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