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

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A little news on the Shabob LLC (Jim Hohlbiens) development on Peete.  The building at 67 Peete St. was condemned during a field inspection, and he has been ordered to make about $20,000 worth of repairs.  I do not know if this building is part of the developer's plans.  Do any of you know about this?  Michael Redmond, I remember you mentioning this project.

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I believe Model Management got the green light from the city a couple of months ago for money to get going on the rehab of the these buildings.  The plan is to create affordable rental housing.  I hope it is of the apparent quality of the housing across from Washington Park....

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Model Management
uggghhhh...There goes the neighborhood! I have heard some ok things about them on mulberry st. though, maybe michael redmond could chime in. This neighborhood needs some pricey homes in the hard to reach places,then police would go back there. It would also be a great place for artists living spaces and residences being it's right next to the Pendleton arts center.

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Fortunately, also on Dandridge/Spring/Pendleton is the planned Pendleton Mews project.  Rumor has it that it groundbreaking is getting close on Dandridge. :clap:  These homes are planned to be (I think) 300k+ or so.  I have also heard about a new two-family project at Pendleton/Dandridge independent of Pendleton Mews, but I don't know the price point of these.

 

I have heard mixed things about Model Management as well.  I know a number of their existing properties aren't in great shape, but maybe they are trying to change thier image.  I've notice a couple of thier ugly properties have transferred to a "new" owner. I don't know if they were actually sold or they are just creating a new name to hide behind - which seems to happen around here.  Keep "Model Managment" on the nicer properties and a name nobody recognizes on the ugly ones.

 

Im not sure that Pendleton/OTR necessarily needs "pricey" homes.  Just more home owners.  I think it would be great to get more housing in the 90-175k range.  I think this is a largely untapped and possibly large market.  I have met some great folks who rent in the area but have occupations that can't afford to pay 200k+ for a condo. 

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Im not sure that Pendleton/OTR necessarily needs "pricey" homes.  Just more home owners.  I think it would be great to get more housing in the 90-175k range.  I think this is a largely untapped and possibly large market.  I have met some great folks who rent in the area but have occupations that can't afford to pay 200k+ for a condo. 

I compleeeeeetly agree!  More home owners! Less Model!

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I will have to look at 67 but I know that 3  buildings are scheduled to be torn down on Peete.  2 of the buildings (106 and 114 you can see them at the top of this page) both white houses on the north side of Peete are just waiting for the Ok because of a retaining wall issue behind them.  67 I believe is the red buiding further down Peete with a tarpe on the roof.  I spoke with Jim yesterday and he has two structural engineers who say the building can be saved and 1 ( bob becker) who says it can not.  Jim would like to save the buiding, it could be a great building but he is working that out with the City right now. 

 

Model Management will have there big test this upcoming year.  They recieved a substantial amount of money to do upgrades on a  building on Mulberry with the agreement that they keep it low income for two years.  That time is up next year.  Rumor has it that Model is converting 2 large low income buildings into market rate condos next year on Mulberry. 

 

As far as pricey homes in hard to reach areas, try 249,900 pre construction pricing on new construction on Peete St.  210,000 on Frintz st for luxury condos.  Whether you come out to see these on the tour tomorow or not, stop by any time to 79 Peete St and look at what is going on.  The last piece of the puzzle on Peete is in the process of being aquired by Jim Hohlbien which is 101 and 105 Peete (under contract now!)  He ownes the whole area, over 90 properties, all going to be market rate.  Joe Gorman, of Mulberry Views fame (126-134 Mulberry) is putting together investors now for more construction on Mulberry.  Doug Spitz (builder of the new contruction on Boal ( not the ones under contruction now but further up) is building 2 market rate houses next to the Main St. Steps.  Larry Rhodes is about to be unseated from his buildings on Dec. 14 when he is put in jail. 

 

If you step back, look at the major projects, Gateway to the south, 3CDC and City West to the West, the whole hill to the North (Hohlbien, Rader, Spitz, Coulter, Gorman, Hunderlaw, and Fisherand don't forget about HBA and the proposed CitiRama at the top of Hughes St.) and Pendleton to the East, a big crunch is being placed on pockets like Vine and Republic.  It is coming, but everyone needs to be unified in there support for these developers, they are taking huge risks.

 

 

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SomewhereOTR,

 

I believe what you are talking about with Model Management is an effort by the company to do lower density units.  By that I mean taking a building with ex. 30 units and going to 15.  This could be telegraphing a sign that these buildings are being prepped for condos.  Just like in the example above on Mulberry where they recieved money from the city with the agreement to keep it low income for two years and then they are free to go market rate.  I have heard they are doing this North of Liberty.  I will try and get some addresses and more info if I can.  I do not trust Model Management that much either but we will know soon enough what there true intentions are.

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The low-income tax projects that Model is completing all around OTR must stay low-income for 15 years.  They may have decreased the density at 26 W. 13th from 30 to 15 units, but each unit is still a maze of tiny rooms because the number of bedrooms determines the amount of Section 8 rent.

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I wasn't sure which OTR thread to post this too. I'm sure grasscat will move it if nec.

 

This CityBeat article has some interesting developments I didn't know about; Sam Adams watering hole, a large condo project in the Christian Moerlein building, Venice Pizza space, etc. 3CDC and Mr Leeper don't sound that evil, give 'em a chance.

 

<b>On a bus tour of Over-the-Rhine developments</b>

 

By Stephanie Dunlap

 

As usual, clowns have the right idea: Pile 'em all in a small vehicle and rattle around town for a few hours.

 

A charter bus, 50 people and a few hours circling through Over-the-Rhine seemed a quick way to boost the awareness and maybe the cooperation of the many organizations trying to revitalize affordable and market-rate housing while preserving the neighborhood's historic architecture.

 

http://www.citybeat.com/current/news.shtml

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MAJOR happenings from Model Management!!!

Based on their track record, I would think that most if not all of these renovations will be affordable rental apartments.

 

* 1622 Logan St., a complete renovation.  This is a historic property built in 1886 and contains rental apartments.

1622logan8de.jpg

 

* Complete renovations are supposed to go on at 1624 and 1626 Moore St.  However, such address does not exist, the parcel numbers don't show and the whole 1600 block of Moore is owned by St. Anthony Enterprises.  The Model projects appear to be in the area of McMicken and Lang.  If anyone can clear this up, please do.

 

* Another complete renovation is scheduled for 1627 Walnut St.  This is a historic multi-family building built around 1860.

1627walnut2rx.jpg

 

* 1642-1644 Vine St. is going to have a complete renovation.  This multi-family building was built in 1894.

1644vine1il.jpg

 

 

POSSIBLE FUTURE MAJOR NEWS

 

* The city may enter into a Preferred Developer Agreement with Mohawk Area Development Corporation for the property it owns at 254, 258-266, 270-272 and 278 Mohawk Ave.  #254 is occupied by a multi-family building that's been vacant since January 2003.  These are single-family sites, and the developer hopes to build up to 10 new market-rate single-family homes with off-street parking.  This would fill in a huge vacant gap in that part of Over-the-Rhine and bring badly needed homeowners and could be a boost to the Brewery District.

 

* The city may enter into a Preferred Developer Agreement with Dottie Lewis for the properties it owns at 1725 and 1727 Vine St. (Vine and Elder).  She responded to one of the RFPs that the city put out for properties it owns around Findlay Market.  She wants to develop three condo units with off-street parking, though I don't know where she'd put it unless it was tucked behind the building off of Republic.  This is off to the Finance Committee but it's heavily supported and should go through.

 

 

Updates:

 

* Urban Legacy's condo project at 400 Reading Rd. continues.  They will be putting balconies on the upper floors, including some overhanging Broadway.  This required payment of $100 to the city to grant them an aerial easement.

 

 

Buildings Lost:

 

* 216-218 Magnolia St.  Multi-family dwellings owned by Downtown Property Management Inc.  No apparent reason for demolition.

216magnolia7xo.jpg

 

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I thought this story on iRhine touched a lot of bases and addressed some concerns and some solutions as far as preservation and gentrification.  There are some links within the story that can be found by clicking on the linked evrsion at the bottom.  This is from 11/7/05:

 

 

Over the Rant: AlteractiveSpeaks

by Dyah Kartikawening, iRhine

 

This is Cincinnati that is easily remembered as "a place twenty years behind the time" just because Mark Twain said so. The Queen City of the West has been declining since 1940s, leaving a couple of traces and abandoned houses and rotten infrastructure. Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine, its very own downtown neighborhood, is still struggling from riots four years ago. Is it?

 

Negative news coverage has taking over Over-the-Rhine. As if no one has done anything after the riots. Regardless of many things that are happening in this neighborhood, the word "April riots 2001" is still followed every news covering Over-the-Rhine. What I've seen is otherwise. There are many things still undone, but progress is there.

 

Downtown Cincinnati, Inc. recorded $52.3 million near-term residential development, with 614 condominiums, and 1,595 rental, in Over-the-Rhine (State of the Downtown, Downtown Cincinnati, Fourth Quarter 2004 Report, December 31, 2004) . New businesses are opening. Ideas are implemented. Over-the-Rhine is perhaps a neighborhood that has the most civic organizations. It is also a neighborhood that host many non-profit arts organizations to provide arts and culture activities in Cincinnati. Many people are working toward different things but similar goals. Over-the-Rhine has incrementally gotten over the riots.

 

Over-the-Rhine has been preserved by neglect. Since the beginning of its history, Over-the-Rhine seems to be very strong for anyone to destroy it. Started from the German community, the Appalachian residents in 1970s, the African American community, and all the people who felt the amazing characters of the feel of urban neighborhood want to be part of it. Although we have lost a big chunk of the West End from the urban renewal shock, we still have Over-the-Rhine, one of the biggest historic districts with a distinct German character and Italianate style buildings with a sense of place. Over-the-Rhine is one of the biggest assets Cincinnati cannot ignore.

 

 

Grassroots Historic Preservation is not a paradox

 

Historic preservation is an option to re-develop Over-the-Rhine. Historic preservation is no longer a luxury, but a successful method of economic development. Other inner-cities had made it, getting over gentrification and homelessness, providing affordable housing, and bringing back economic development in inner cities. One of the ways to achieve that is by using our own potentials instead of focusing on what is wrong.

 

The impact of preservation is obvious, on the project and beyond. J. Randall Cotton, associate director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia mentioned that historic preservation bringing jobs, people, and investment back to communities. He mentioned that historic preservation has a civic value that improves our quality of life.

 

The City of Seattle used to have the Neighborhood Matching Fund, a $4.5 million fund for neighborhood-initiated improvement projects in historic preservation, parks, public arts, and civic-leadership workshop. The fund is administered by The City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and managed to fund 250 self-help community projects. Jim Diers, in his book Neighbor Power: Building Community the Seattle Way mentioned that neighborhood residents can become leaders who able to make a difference in their neighborhood, if organized.

 

Diers himself is a lifetime community organizer who made his way out of the community to lead the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods for fourteen years. "No More Studies" is one of the boards carried by SESCO (South End of Seattle Community Organization) when they marched to demand the construction of a new Lucile Street Bridge in Seattle. Diers learned from his organizing experience that communities are interested to work toward immediate result instead of long term planning projects. But, communities voices are heard when they are organized.

 

The City of Cincinnati has a similar program with a much smaller funds, called the Neighborhood Support Program. But the program is limited to the neighborhood community councils and has been cut from $12,000 to $7,000 per neighborhood this year.

 

Otis White, the founder of Civic Strategies, Inc had another story of civic leadership in a community called Delray Beach Florida. In ten years, the neighborhoods have been successfully organized themselves, take charge, and collaborate with local government in sharing responsibilities of neighborhood development.

 

Over-the-Rhine provides an ideal location for small businesses, especially with its storefronts and apartments over retail. It would make more sense to build and to support small and local businesses that will create more jobs for families and create a sense of community and retain the character of the place. Donovan Rypkema in the Economic of Historic Preservation mentioned that small businesses account more than 85% of all new job created. Strengthening civic leadership by supporting local businesses including starving artist sounds fit for Over-the-Rhine.

 

 

Don't say the G word

 

But how can historic preservation happen without gentrification? Development activity or revitalization is not similar with gentrification. Gentrification does not automatically occur when higher income residents move into a lower income neighborhood either. But the word gentrification is linked with its negative context of displacement of people. It was first used in 1964, by sociologist Ruth Glass to define London districts such as Islington, a working-class quarters that was taken over by middle-class community. Jane Jacobs, the American urbanist, on an interview with MSNBC for her book Dark Age Ahead states, "We have to wake up to the fact that gentrification is, like so many things, a double-edge sword. It can work well, but as its extreme, it works badly."

 

Lance Freeman, an Associate Professor at Columbia University, found that gentrification actually increases stability, including among the poor (Columbia Daily Spectator, December 04, 2003). There are many reasons why people move in or out the neighborhood, and there are many other reasons that make them stay despite higher rents.

 

The issue of gentrification in Over-the-Rhine started as early as 1930s. Yet, people have been coming and going in this neighborhood since then. The first flock was the German immigrants in 1850 - 1860 who then moved from Over-the-Rhine to other neighborhoods in the "suburbs" such as Mt. Auburn, Clifton, due to health reasons. In 1950s, the Appalachian came to Cincinnati and they were replaced by the African American, while the number of Caucasians is shrinking along with population decline in the neighborhood.

 

Gentrification is an unnecessary evil in Over the Rhine. Total housing units in OTR are 5,261, with 68% occupied and 31% vacant (Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission). There are 1,667 vacant houses in Over-the-Rhine and more than 1000 vacant lots; I would think that there are plenty of spaces to grow and to live peacefully with those who had settled here for years. Who would be gentrified when the room of development is plenty? Who would be forced from their homes when there are many other places are even empty?

 

But I have heard about people forced to move from their rental homes because of new development, especially on Main Street. People are moving for many reasons, but higher rent could be one of them. My question is: why not creating a group or join an established one to fight for our own rights. InkTank and the Playhouse in the Park are inviting you to come to Alteractive Speak's last event on November 7th, 2005 at 7:00pm at the Playhouse in Mt. Adams to discuss about "Room for All: Stimulating both Market Rate and Aaffordable Housing in Economically Diverse Neighborhoods". And be sure to check out of events and opportunities to get together as a community at www.irhine.com

 

 

Balancing Market-rate Housing with Affordable Housing

 

In Over-the-Rhine, most of new developments that come are targeted to high-end market with condos and apartments. These activities have been claimed to be the result of historic district designation in 1983 that leads to market rate credit that attract developers to invest in Over-the-Rhine. The next issue is balancing affordable housing to match with the big wave of development.

 

Another point of view is that affordable housing will lower the values of other properties. Affordable housing is not squatters. They are marketable and are a form of investment that give people a chance to develop wealth. The Center for Common Concerns, Habitat for Humanity International, 1996, mentioned that location of affordable housing has no significant impact of property values in the surrounding area. Property values are determined by condition of particular property, not properties around the area.

 

The irony is homeless issues and vacant buildings. There are plenty of spaces that none of them could use. Counting the number of homeless people in Over-the-Rhine is useless, so is doing another study. Homelessness is not a general issue but a personal issue. Everyone has their own reason and circumstances that led them on the streets. Some would like to get out; some are choosing to live that way. DCI approaches to hire a social worker to work in a one-on-one basis have had a good impact on some people's lives. Does employing the homeless to help rehab vacant houses make any sense?

 

 

Private Public Partnership

 

In Turning Around Downtown: Twelve Steps to Revitalization, a Brooking Institution report, Christopher B. Leinberger suggested private/public partnership in downtown revitalization. His idea to turn the place around is by locating dollars from private sector, while the public opinion follows the lead. This is not applicable for Over-the-Rhine. This neighborhood is a place because of its people, not just the historic buildings around it. In Cincinnati, perhaps Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) needs to know that Over-the-Rhine community voices matters and counted.

 

All voices and opinions deserve to be heard, just like those who have investment interest in the area. They are the people in the neighborhood they should listen: Over-the-Rhine Community Council, Contact Center, ReSTOC, NoMA (North Main Street Residents Association), the People's Movement, and other groups in this area represents ownerships of this neighborhood. They probably have their own interests, but perhaps some of the goals can be achieved by working together in more immediate result oriented projects.

 

Dyah Kartikawening is a community organizer with Working In Neighborhoods, a non-profit organization who work side-by-side with low and moderate-income residents in Greater Cincinnati, develop community leaders, help shape communities and increase home ownership. She volunteers with iRhine and lives in Over-the-Rhine. Contact: dyah@iRhine.com

 

http://view.amplifyi.com/?ffcb10-fe9716757166027d70-fdff15707c67007b77177374-fefa15757d6502

 

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I spoke with the new owners of 108 East McMicken.  They bought the property from Wesley Chapel a few months ago on the condition they put it to a "worthwhile" cause.  He told me they are renovating it into senior apartments, probable 5-6 units.

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City manager Rager has proposed an ordinance releasing $117,000 in HOME funds to FHD Holdings LLC/Mercy Properties to rehabilitate 4 buildings in OTR to create 23 new rental/market rate units.  The buildings are at 212 E. Thirteenth St., 216 E. Thirteenth St., 1312-1316 Main St. and 1307 Yukon St.

 

FHD/Mercy plans to spend $3.5 million on rehabilitation of properties in OTR over the next 12 months.

 

The total hard construction cost for this project is $1,363,560 including a ten percent construction contingency. The per-unit cost of construction is $59,285. The total project cost is approximately $1,894,060, of which the City of Cincinnati Rental Rehabilitation Program (RRP) will provide $117,000 of the cost of the renovation as a thirty-year amortized loan at 4.52 percent interest. In addition, a City of Cincinnati Lead Grant for approximately $81,000 will be provided. Pro forma analysis indicates adequate costs for project operation after completion. This project will provide eleven units of affordable rental housing and twelve units of market rate housing. The City of Cincinnati will hold a first mortgage on the property.

 

This proposed ordinance is now in Finance Committee with no timetable for return.

 

The entire 25-page contract (PDF) can be read here:

http://city-egov.rcc.org/BASISCGI/BASIS/council/public/child/DDD/16846.pdf

 

(216 E. Thirteenth shows up as 214 E. Thirteenth on the auditor website.  1307 Yukon does not exist but may be the smaller structure to the rear of the 214 E. Thirteenth lot.  There is newer development built in 2000 at Yukon and Woodward.)

 

 

 

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The work on the E. Thirteenth and Yukon properties is already underway. I believe they have been doing lead mitigation for several weeks, and the exteriors of the buildings have been repainted in the process. Grasscat, I agree that 1307 Yukon is probably the small building north of 214 E. Thirteenth, the 3-story building between the green and taller gray building in this photo:

 

large.jpg

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Apartments may help Over-the-Rhine

 

By Marla Matzer Rose

Enquirer staff writer

 

 

OVER-THE-RHINE - Twelve new units of affordable rental housing were unveiled Thursday morning on a largely blighted stretch of East Clifton Avenue.

 

Councilman David Crowley cut the ribbon at 122 E. Clifton. He praised the effort that went into the project, saying, "It may only be 12 units, but that's 12 more than you had. That's a step forward."

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051118/BIZ01/511180395/1076/BIZ

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"It may only be 12 units, but that's 12 more than you had. That's a step forward."

 

That's the spirit!!!

 

In other news, the ordinance I mentioned in this post about Dottie Lewis becoming the preferred developer of 1735 and 1737-1739 Vine St. passed in city council unanimously last Wednesday.  This will be the site of 3 new condo units.

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* On October 28, Model Management (under the name Magnolia Heights Limited Partnership) picked up the following OTR properties:

Logan: 1700, 1706

Magnolia: 210, 212

Pleasant: 1528

Republic: 1225, 1227

Vine: 1344, 1704, 1713

 

* 1828 Elm St., a former Scheer & Scheer property now owned by the city, will be torn down.  It appears it's been vacant since August 2004.  The city also owns 1824 and 1826, which are both in as bad of a shape--if not worse.  1828 Elm is the one in the middle:

1828elm6nk.jpg

 

* The city is shoring up a retaining wall on the property it owns at 1612 Pleasant St.  That's not really the news, though.  Upon looking this property up, I discovered that it has pretty much been vacant since 2000 (based on VBML applications).  The city has owned it since October 2001.  This building--estimated to have been built around 1825--is in one of the worst parts of OTR and has a bleak future.  1612 Pleasant is the second boarded-up building from the left:

1612pleasant2ap.jpg

 

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Not wrong.

Not tearning down buildings-Historic conservation, old Cincinnati kept for generations to see.  All buildings could be rehabbed and returned to their former glory as loft structures or through mixed use.

 

Tearing down all buildings-Lose historic architecture; lose the character of what makes Cincinnati special.  Interferes with clear new urbanist principles.  Massive displacement.

 

Good policy-Tear down those buildings beyond repair and replace them with like buildings.  Buildings that can be rehabbed, rehab them.  Create sense of space and unified neighborhood districts.

 

I am not advocating destroying the entire lot but it is easily recognized that there are varying levels of quality in OTR and many buildings have suffered decades of neglect.  The other night I went on a walk from Corryville through Mt. Auburn, the CBD, OTR, Clifton/Fairview Heights.  While on Elm, I noticed that the block wasn't as hot as it should be over the past few years tear downs have been significant which is a shame but there is a reason for that.  Many buildings although tied to the past are beyond the point at which the average urban pioneer would even attempt to give a try.  There are some potentials but there are alot of nots in the neighborhood.

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^ The real problem comes when buildings that no urban pioneer would attempt to save are torn down with no plan for what will replace them.  Most of the time it's "F___ this, I'm sick of taking care of this damn building and keeping it boarded up.  I'm just going to let it deteriorate and let it get condemned and torn down."

 

That doesn't help anyone.

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every building lost is negative for OTR and hurts the future of the neighborhood

Max,

 

I know what you mean but I do not "entirely" agree.

Some buildings are beyond repair.  This is the fault of the owner as each property owner has the responsibility to maintain their building so that it does not become a danger to any adjacent property.  Mulberry St. several years ago had a building colapse into the street.  We need to go after the property owners and save the ones worth saving however some are beyond this.

 

20031013AD104418JPG_med_000_C7268C87DB6141AEBE82730E28D0E104_V_0.JPG

 

This building for example will come down next year.  Owner, Larry Rhodes will go to jail on Dec. 19 due to imminent danger for this and several other buildings.  This building is beyond repair (you can see the back yard by looking straight through the building) and yet the  owner has an estimated net worth of 42 million.  If we do not find a way to unseat some of these deadbeat owners from their buildings we will lose many more.

 

Take a look at this thread for the names of the owners of the very buildings you are talking about and lets start doing something about it.

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=5865.0

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The only buildings that should be demolished in OTR are KFC,Shell gas station, Freestore foodbank, Health center@vine, New kroger parking garage, Short stop market AKA "crack pipe shop" on liberty at sycamore. Also the barn on vine st,the cinder block portion of Lighbourne and the old washington park school.  :-P

 

Jim Tarbell stepped up to the plate to save the corner building on race st at findlay market when the wall was damaged during rehabilitation. He has saved many buildings around OTR that had structural issues so that they would not be torn down. OTR needs more people like him to save the most vulnerable.

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I have the ability to sell any of these buildings to you, and I will wave my fee.  On Dec 19th as I mentioned above, Larry Rhodes is going to lose 4 of his buildings, 2 are asbestos, rotten framed buildings that are leaning, they are side by side on Mulberry St at 146 and 148, I am arranging for another of his buildings to be sold by mid month, are you willing to buy the other ones?  Or, I know Jim, perhaps you both are willing to put in an offer.  It will be torn down very soon so time is of the essence, email me and we will get the paper work under way.

 

Max, we must be realistic in order to move forward.  I want to save as many structures as possible also however sometimes it simply is not cost effective.  Mulberry alone has lost 55 homes in two decades and unfortunately it will have to lose a couple more- unless of course, you would like to take me up on my offer.

 

Grasscat, so we may have a bit of perspective, how many buildings right now are on the demo list? and how many vacant are there in OTR alone?  Then lets use low ball numbers, say 15,000 acquisition, 100,000 buildout (and that is low for many of these), holding cost ie taxes, ins., and all of this is assuming you can even get a clear title.  lets multiply these numbers out and you will not even be at half of what it would cost to truly save all of these buildings.  Then we have to find someone who is going to move into some of these buildings that are on, say Republic or Pleasant, now you find yourself shelling out more for debt service and continued holding cost.  Some buildings this is doable, but all of them?  So Maximillian (if that is indeed your real name :wink:), I am ready to start the paperwork if you are.

 

As a matter of a fact, I just thought of an example.  My wife and I were going to purchase the Christian Moerline Executive Office on Elm and convert it to our private residence.  138,000 for the building, and we had two separate buildout estimates that exceeded 750,000 because someone in the past decided to take out a load bearing wall (to make room for a church) and destroyed the building from 10' beyond the facade, now that is just 1 building.  So can you justify a million dollar home on Elm and McMicken?  If so, I will sell that one to you also.

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People decry the demolitions, because, we know from experience that one of the following will happen to the space:

1.  vacant lot (very likely)

2.  parking lot (gravel likely, asphalt if we are lucky)

3. ugly new building (in some rare instances)

 

The preservationist would have much less support if the economic climate were such that new buildings would be built, and that the new buildings would be better than those removed.

 

I love the old buildings, partially because of the history, but also because they have better scale and better connection to the street than most new buildings. 

 

 

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I agree, but in reality some of these buildings must come down unless someone is willing to invest a huge amount of there own personal money into a building that will see little return.  If you are willing to do this more power to you, but let some of this advocacy be supported in reality.  As I said before, there are no shortage of distressed structures in OTR and I would be happy to put you into one today.

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The bottom line is sitting back and just saying fix all buildings in OTR is a noble statement but action is a different thing all together.  We can cry about losing a building and I will cry right next to you, but lets discuss reasonable, plausible solutions that are based in reality.  1612 Pleasant, what is the solution?  Who is going to fix it, or is the answer just let it sit for another 20 years, hope the neighborhood turns around then, if it hasn't fallen on its own, save it?  I hear complaints, not actionable solutions. 

I have been a proponent for CitiRama going in atop Hughes St.,  you would not believe the number of people who complained about design when no drawing had even been made.  This new construction (in a vacant lot) could have been the catalyst to save 10 buildings on Hughes.  Now the preservationist have their wish, no CitiRama, and a decaying Hughes St.  If you look back at the last couple of rebuts it is simply a circular argument and this has been the problem down in OTR well before I even got here.  Give me answers, not complaints.

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How about this:  Using 3CDC to provide enough of a subsidy to make it worth an investment by a developer. 

 

Mr. Redmond, what is the possibility of trying again to bring CitiRama to the Over-the-Rhine and Mulberry Hill areas?

 

 

 

 

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That's what I like to hear.  Perhaps 3CDC and City West can serve as a catalyst to surrounding areas on the West of OTR, the north is under massive redevelopment and is pushing southward, projects like Gateway and the American Building to the South, and Main St, well we are working on that.  But notice that some of this is new construction.  The buildings around these developments stand the best chance to be saved.  Outside investors can be pointed to these projects, and if successful, can help spur even more rehab downtown.  I hate to keep coming back to Mulberry but the new construction of Vinyard Homes is what made Mulberry take off, it is what spurred people like me and the rest of the street to really begin significant investment in older homes (mine is 1865) all around the new ones.  Sometimes new construction only serves to highlight the old.  Now I am with Max in that I do not like the buildings on his list either, but in order to save more structures in OTR and elsewhere, you need investment and to get investment an investor must feel secure, new construction in the immediate vicinity can do this.

 

Unfortunately CitiRama in our location is dead.  I did not really tell the whole story above.  An email campaign (fight) was going around debating the location.  Arguments came up about it not being open to builders outside the HBA (CitiRama is HBA so that argument did not make much since) so in an effort to be fare, the city offered another developer the lots that were closest to Main.  These lots were the most desirable and HBA pulled out.  The question now is will this developer (Doug Spitz) build on these lots.  I hope so, Doug, from what I can tell, has a line of lots going from the north side of Mulberry down the East side of Main.  All of this was being done while everyone else was debating over what the facade of the homes would look like and what will happen to the basketball courts.  Even without this, Vernon Rader's project on Main and Liberty may be just what Hughes needs.  He is doing tremendous work on saving those buildings and it will serve as a great gateway to the Hill.  The proposed CitiRama site will most likely just stay greenspace.

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The bottom line is sitting back and just saying fix all buildings in OTR is a noble statement but action is a different thing all together.  We can cry about losing a building and I will cry right next to you, but lets discuss reasonable, plausible solutions that are based in reality.  1612 Pleasant, what is the solution?  Who is going to fix it, or is the answer just let it sit for another 20 years, hope the neighborhood turns around then, if it hasn't fallen on its own, save it?  I hear complaints, not actionable solutions. 

I have been a proponent for CitiRama going in atop Hughes St.,  you would not believe the number of people who complained about design when no drawing had even been made.  This new construction (in a vacant lot) could have been the catalyst to save 10 buildings on Hughes.  Now the preservationist have their wish, no CitiRama, and a decaying Hughes St.  If you look back at the last couple of rebuts it is simply a circular argument and this has been the problem down in OTR well before I even got here.  Give me answers, not complaints.

 

Here! Here! A mix of old and new is what OTR needs to move forward. Waiting for older buildings to be "save" creates a stagnate neighborhood that only a few could enjoy. When an older building is save and becomes useful, it's a beautiful sight, but that can't be expected for every building in OTR.

 

And for the folks who blew the chance for a CitiRama. Shame on them all. That was a big f*uck up.

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