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Cincinnati: Walnut Hills - The Overlook at Eden Park

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28 condos planned to look over Eden Park, Ohio River

Dan Monk

Courier Senior Staff Reporter

 

A development group that includes former Cincinnati Bengal Tim McGee is planning a 14-story condominium tower next to Eden Park.

 

The roughly $15 million project would replace a vacant office building at 2145 Luray Ave. with 28 upscale condo units overlooking Eden Park and the Ohio River. The units would sell for $400,000 to $900,000 each.

 

"We think there's going to be tremendous demand at that price point," said Dave Young, one of several investors in Complete Ventures LLC, which purchased the 0.84-acre property in November for $635,000.

 

...

 

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wonderful, as is any central city development news.

anyone foresee some serious nimby resistance to this? i sure as hell do.

 

"it'll ruin the park, it's way too close!"

 

tell that to central park, the failure that it is.

hopefully i'm just getting ahead of myself. i'd consider moving to the area if it wasn't so damned residential. not that i could afford one of these things though.

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In response to NIMBYs: the condos are replacing an abandoned office building, which would you prefer?

 

I just love reading story after story about planned projects in the city limits. This will be a nice addition to Walnut Hills/East Walnut Hills and I'm sure they will be able to pre-sell enough units to get financing on the project.

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This project may be stirring to life soon. During the heavy rains a few weeks back, there was a bright brown stream of water running down Luray and across the street near the Kemper intersection...I followed it up the street, up driveway at 2145 Luray, and around the back, where there were two or three smallish earth moving pieces of equipment (I don't know anything about construction gear), a big-ass pile of dirt, and a few pallets of bricks.

In addition, the horrifically overgrown front yard and sidewalk had been cut back - it was really going to seed there.

 

However, I just walked back there this morning to check it out, and the gear was gone. I know that property had some trouble with their retaining walls, so it may be they had just been repairing/rebuilding that, and not prepping for deconstruction.

 

I got a picture of the gear, which I'll post when I get home - maybe someone can tell from that what they were likely doing...

 

Oh, and as for "ruining the park", there's already a 14 story (or so) condo a block up the hill on Alpine, and then those two extremely tall buildings off Victory Parkway across the street. Eden Park is no stranger to tall buildings on its edges...

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Guest Cincinnatus

"Oh, and as for "ruining the park", there's already a 14 story (or so) condo a block up the hill on Alpine, and then those two extremely tall buildings off Victory Parkway across the street. Eden Park is no stranger to tall buildings on its edges..."

 

Quite true and I think they look fine, especially the one on Alpine which looks beautiful when viewed from the Twin Lakes overlook area of Eden Park. With the leaves off the trees, it can be seen from the front of the Art Museum too. At 28 units on 14 floors, its footprint probably won't be very large--assuming that it is built.

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Looking thru the older forums (fora), I saw this fantastic post by ColDayMan. It includes this picture, an overview of Walnut Hills, but I can't figure out exactly where it was taken from - Mt. Adams somewhere? Anyway, the new structure would fit in behind the water tower, between St. James at the Park (the green-roofed building on Alpine - I never knew that was its name until I just googled it) and the Edgecliff Apartments (where the Coach and Four serves an amazing blackened strip steak). St. James at the Park is 16 stories tall, and it sits probably 40 or 50 feet higher up the hill than the Luray building's site, so it will be probably end up significantly shorter than the other three. It is a block closer to the park, but it's also a bit down the hill from the Twin Lakes, which will also make it loom less. Of course, as you said, that's if it ever gets built. It was almost a year ago now that the land was purchased...

 

Note again - this is ColDayMan's picture, not mine - I don't even know where he took it from!

GoldCoast10.JPG

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That would make sense - there aren't any houses between Mt. Adams and the park (at least none with a SW view), so I don't know why I thought that...yeah, those houses are probably on Ida Street, with the Art Museum roof visible to the left and the Playhouse behind the houses...

 

I've still not been to the Carew Tower observation deck - and I've been in the city for eight years! I really do suck...

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Oh whoops! Sorry, yes, that is my pic. That is from the Carew Tower's observatory with a zoom :).


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Another shot from this morning. This the Lunkenheimer Mansion, which I'd always called the O'Leary-Kientz building, since that's what the big sign out front said. But O'Leary-Kientz (a corporate bonding company) was bought out by USI Holdings and moved downtown, and the building sold for $1,050,000 last February, and is now occupied by the Pension Corporation of America.

 

Anyway, here's a picture of it taken from Luray, with the St. James at the Park in the background. The new building will be just to the right of the Lunkenheimer Mansion:

 

Lunkenheimer.jpg

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That whole project is a joke. The financing group backed out of the deal LONG ago and the original "owner" does not have and never had financing. I got this from a pretty good source personally involved in the early stages who spent an enormous amount of time on this deal working with one of the contractors in the early bidding stages. It has done nothing but tie up City Planning's time and waste a lot of people's time and money on a #$%^&n pipe dream.  :roll:

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Given the story grasscat posted that was discussed here, it does seem like this is not the environment in which to build a 14 story building with 28 units smack in the price range that isn't moving downtown.  Though Eden Park living isn't downtown living, and the units at St. James at the Park do seem to move - a 2nd floor unit sold for $355K in June, a 9th floor unit sold in July for $525K, and a 15th floor penthouse sold for $2MM last September.  And there are three units for sale right now, asking $350K, $375K (which is under contract) and $775K.

 

I have to imagine something has to happen there - the lot is .841 acres with a crappy abandoned office building on it, and someone is on the line for a $635K purchase.  Though I guess it's a company that bought it, so that could get wrapped up in court for a good long time...what a shame...

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I just did a search on the city's Department of Buildings and Inspections site, and found the following two entries:

11/05/2003, permit for Commercial Demolition: "WRECK OFFICE BLDG".  The permit is expired.  And then, 11/01/2004, another permit for Commercial Demolition, status "Applied".

If the project were completely lifeless, would someone bother to re-apply for the demolition permit?  Or is this just SOP and some paralegal in some attorney's office had it show up on her calendar to re-up the permit?

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Sorry for all the multiple posts...two more things:

 

According to the auditor's site, the property sold to "The Overlook At Eden Park LP" on April 14th of this year for $900K.  The previous owner bought it on 11/17/2003 for $635K, so they certainly can't complain.

 

Here's a picture of the area I took from what looks like about the exact same spot as the one in the image above.  The Overlook is replacing the low brown building with the zig-zag roof:

 

41588518.jpg

 

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So why are the floor plans for this tower the exact same as the Harbor Greene towers in Bellevue?  Are they being developed by the same people or what? 

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^Could be, if that's the same project that they've renamed WatersEdge - here's a biz journal story from April 29th that talks about both WatersEdge and the Overlook...somehow it seems to have snuck under Grasscat's radar!

 

Joshua set to put up walls

Investment group will bring two condo projects to fruition

Dan Monk

Courier Senior Staff Reporter

 

An Indianapolis-based investment group has brought new life -- and lots of cash -- to a pair of stalled luxury condominium projects on both sides of the Ohio River.

 

Joshua One LLC recently spent about $1 million to buy out startup investors in a 14-story, 28-unit condo tower near Eden Park. And it used another $1.5 million to acquire a 2.5 acre site on the riverfront in Bellevue.

 

"The sites are great," said Paul Zeltwanger, a Mason-based managing principal for Joshua One. "We're going to work our tails off to deliver a high-quality product that customers can be proud of."

 

...

 

Note: best I can tell, he's wrong about the flood height - if the gage is at 428.88', that would mean a 73 foot flood - 1997 was just 65 feet, so 494' above sea level.  1937 was 80 feet (so 509'), but 2nd place is 1884 at 71 feet, 1913 at 70 feet, 1945 at 69 feet (when the Mill Creek barrier dam failed).  After that, it's 66 feet in 1964.  List of flood heights here.

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^ i agree that its better than what it will replace

 

i dont know.  i have always been an advocate for any progress is good progress but for the first time i dont think i feel that way.  on one side, if i have learned anything the first few days at my new job its that these renderings are thrown together in several hours and typically do not accurately represent the final product.  but the first thing i think about this building is a two story, turn of the century industrial building that has been stretched to 14 floors.  I know how difficult it is for these smaller developers to build something spectacular.  I just dont see a reason why a 14 story tower, built in 2005 needs to be clad in brick.  Ive said it many times, im a huge fan of brick in terms of cincinnati's historic architecture but we are beyond that now.  Im not requesting brutalist concrete either.  But all in all im glad that it might happen and i will reserve further judgement until (if) its completed.

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For a park setting, the building is appropriate.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I don't really have anything to contribute regarding what style would work best - I'm developing an appreciation for architecture, but not enough to figure out what might work here.

 

But I can say, it's a pretty diverse street right now - stucco arts & crafts houses going up the hill, then this space, then the Lunkenheimer Mansion, then a tan brick apartment building, a 5K square foot single family with a big wrap-around porch, then this Art Deco/Early Modern condo building, and then just around the corner on St. Paul is this Cuban Villa looking property.  The four A&C houses near the bottom of the hill are the only consistent style on the whole street.  Then rising over the area, there's the St. James at the Park, a 1989 high rise (in the pictures above), and then the ugly 1966 Edgecliff highrise.

 

My only point is, there isn't a neighborhood style we really need to be too concerned about preserving here (unless we wanted to build an A&C bungalow highrise!)  Like I said, I don't really feel strongly either way about the rendering - I'm just happy it's not staying an abandoned office building, or becoming another Edgecliff.

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Here's a picture of the area from the Cincinnati Memory website, from 1939...there's so much that rocks out about this picture, but for today, it shows where this will be built.  Here's the picture:

 

44825148.jpg

 

...then here's the same shot, with the area where this will be built circled in white.  I can't tell exactly where the plot is, but it should be inside the circle:

 

44825149.jpg

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