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Cincinnati: Over-the-Rhine: Mercer Commons

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Posted on: Today at 03:19:05 PM Posted by: Michael Redmond 

And they just seem to overlap.  Even parts of the Q are spread out into at least 4.

I wonder why??  JK!  :-D

 

my house on Mulberry an exception Max, that too is part of the Q and downtown.  I am special that way.  Hell, I may even fly a fricken Q and Downtown flag just so people know)

 

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They didn't even have that fence up this morning at about 10am.  Then I rolled back past around 3:15 and the back hoe was eating up the very last piece.  Unfortunately now that vacant 4-floor building on Mercer is a lot more conspicuous. 

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Is the breaking up of the Gateway Quarter of 4 or 5 threads supposed to make this easier somehow?

 

Yes. The Gateway Quarter thread is at 25 pages in length and includes dozens of projects. Projects that are individually identifiable with their own brands and timelines (i.e. City Home, Mercer Commons, Washington Park, SCPA) and should be separated out. Then when they are completed they can be moved to the completed section. It allows for more specific focuses of threads and more clairty when it comes to the status of particular construction projects.

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Yeah? I think you slightly misread that in that it is part of phase IV but not necessarily part of Mercer Commons (which itself happens to be part of phase IV) but like I said, who cares. I was just found myself jumping all over the place looking for 'Gateway' but you break it up as you see fit and I will gladly go along for the ride.

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Is the breaking up of the Gateway Quarter of 4 or 5 threads supposed to make this easier somehow?

 

Yes. The Gateway Quarter thread is at 25 pages in length and includes dozens of projects. Projects that are individually identifiable with their own brands and timelines (i.e. City Home, Mercer Commons, Washington Park, SCPA) and should be separated out. Then when they are completed they can be moved to the completed section. It allows for more specific focuses of threads and more clairty when it comes to the status of particular construction projects.

 

I respectfully disagree.  Mercer Commons is part of Gateway Quarter and should not be taking up 2 threads.

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What suprised me most, is that the "for sale" areas of Mercer commons are almost entirely new structures.  There will be three renovated buildings in the for sale area. 

 

The for rent area, however, gets about 13 renovated historic buildings.  I wonder where they will place the low-income apartments.  Immediately across from Mercer along Walnut are low income housing- It'll be interesting to see how they mix the neighborhood up.

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Are they tearing down 1314 Vine?  I see it in the same spot on the plan of Mercer Commons, but not in the rendering.  Also, any chance they're going make the facade of the Vine St building more vertically oriented?  It just seems so massive.

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It has a nice cast iron storefront and an incredible metal cornice, but it is only 2 stories tall and the original brick is covered with dryvit or stucco.  I think it is very doubtful that the HCB will allow demolition.

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I heard from not the most reliable sources that the purple paint was from a botched attempt to turn it into a nightclub.

 

Yeah its not the most significant building, but I'm tried of seeing old stuff in Cincy get demolished, maybe saving a less significant building will send a signal that preservationists are serious about preserving the more significant stuff.

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A lot of preservationists are going crazy about this building and it drives me nuts.  In the time it takes for them to sue 3CDC, get stuck in court, and potentially delay the project, it's likely that another 4 or 5 abandoned buildings (with absentee landlords) will burn down from neglect and homeless people living in them.  Yes-  It is always sad when a building comes down- but I'll never get why the preservationist community doesn't help OTR ADOPT more, or try to buy up buildings that are condemned and have absentee landlords where there is no multi-million dollar company to sue.

 

If 3CDC tears down one relatively not attractive, not highly useable building (it did used to be a dance club, big open space inside) in order to renovate 19 others (many of which are gorgeous), I'll still sleep at night.  I wish preservationists would stop suing CPS, Rock Ventures (it's being discussed) and 3CDC and start going after buildings on the cities 28 most vulnerable list- many of which have absentee landlords who would sign the building over for a couple thousand dollars at max.

 

In other news:  March is 3CDC's goal for ground breaking. 

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According to the site plan this building sits exactly where the planned entrance to the garage is going to go.  Review of the plan indicates up to 5 buildings will be demolished (3 along an alley at 14th and Boots alley, 1 at the corner of Walnut and Mercer and the one on Vine.)  It would make sense to try to at least save the facade.  Not sure if the building is too big to move either.


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

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A lot of preservationists are going crazy about this building and it drives me nuts. In the time it takes for them to sue 3CDC, get stuck in court, and potentially delay the project, it's likely that another 4 or 5 abandoned buildings (with absentee landlords) will burn down from neglect and homeless people living in them. Yes- It is always sad when a building comes down- but I'll never get why the preservationist community doesn't help OTR ADOPT more, or try to buy up buildings that are condemned and have absentee landlords where there is no multi-million dollar company to sue.

 

If 3CDC tears down one relatively not attractive, not highly useable building (it did used to be a dance club, big open space inside) in order to renovate 19 others (many of which are gorgeous), I'll still sleep at night. I wish preservationists would stop suing CPS, Rock Ventures (it's being discussed) and 3CDC and start going after buildings on the cities 28 most vulnerable list- many of which have absentee landlords who would sign the building over for a couple thousand dollars at max.

 

In other news: March is 3CDC's goal for ground breaking.

 

Why have the Historic District Guidelines at all?  Everyone thinks that their project should be a special exception.

 

Unfortunately the guidelines have an exception for non-profit corporations which 3CDC may try to use:

 

(Demolition is not allowed unless...) "The owner is a non-profit corporation or organization and can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Historic Conservation Board that the denial of the application to demolish would also deny the owner the use of the property in a manner compatible with its organizational purposes and would amount to a taking of the owner’s property without just compensation. See Section 741-13(h)(3)."

 

3CDC's success in OTR depends on the historic fabric of the neighborhood.  They more than anyone, should recognize the value in saving these buildings.

 

What CPS did was criminal.  Demolish history for a dumpster pad. This time it is for a driveway.

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^ I don't disagree with you.  But while 1500 other vacant buildings sit in OTR and collapse or burn down, many preservationists would rather get stuck in court with Rock Ventures, 3CDC or CPS instead of start buying these abandoned properties at $2000 or $3000 a piece and fixing them up. 

 

OTR Foundation put itself into a lot of debt to fight CPS.  I agree with the cause completely, but we have finite resources and can't afford the legal fees (as OTR foundation proved).

 

Additionally- 

Yes it is the purple buildings, three smaller buildings along the alley, two of which do not look like livable structures (they may have been garages/add ons) and it's unclear about the corner of 14 and mercer.  some images show it existing, others look like it will be replaced.  Very interesting.

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>is 1314 Vine the buidling that used to be a fastfood chicken restaurant?

 

That was the Red Barn, which was just taken down in 2009.  1314 was for a brief time around 2002-03 Club Venus.  What was hilarious about it was The Warehouse was still open directly across the street, so there was a mini entertainment district there for a few months. 

 

Hard to believe that the so-called riot is going to celebrate its 10th anniversary this April.  The younger people reading this have no idea what the neighborhood was like in the 1990's and until about 2005. 

 

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I wonder if anyone will develop the old warehouse.  Do you think it still has the floor with springs in it?  3CDC has had an "entertainment space available" sign there for about a year.  I'm sure once Mercer commons is opening the demand will be much higher in the area and those three buildings may get developed.

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I wonder if anyone will develop the old warehouse. Do you think it still has the floor with springs in it? 3CDC has had an "entertainment space available" sign there for about a year. I'm sure once Mercer commons is opening the demand will be much higher in the area and those three buildings may get developed.

  The dance floor is still there.  It's a great building, albeit HUGE, and will require a very deep pocketed investor to do something with it.  The second level sub-basement is pretty cool.  If House of Blues ever re-starts their expansion, this would be ideal for someone like them.  See attached article: http://www.soapboxmedia.com/features/55soapdishwhatliesbeneath.aspx

 

 

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According to the site plan this building sits exactly where the planned entrance to the garage is going to go. Review of the plan indicates up to 5 buildings will be demolished (3 along an alley at 14th and Boots alley, 1 at the corner of Walnut and Mercer and the one on Vine.) It would make sense to try to at least save the facade. Not sure if the building is too big to move either.

 

I've seen at least 2 different renderings of this project and I have no idea which, if either, are valid. Also, does anyone have any info/pics of the 3 structures to be demolished on the alley?

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Good overview of the situation w/ 1314 Vine and Mercer Commons project:

 

The Fate of 1314 Vine Street and Mercer Commons

 

Yesterday, OTR-resident and blogger CityKin write a post about 1314 Vine Street titled “Does this building stay or go“. The post and its comments are an informative read and a good introduction to the subject of this post.

The Current Mercer Commons Plan

 

The time is now to discuss the fate of 1314 Vine Street and the current design of the planned Mercer Commons development by the public-private Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) in the Gateway Quarter.

 

Mercer Commons is a planned development of new construction urban infill and historic restorations in the area surrounding Mercer Street in Over-the-Rhine. The development is bounded by Vine Street to the west, Walnut Street to the east, 14th Street to the north and the northern half of the 1300 blocks of Vine and Walnut Streets. It is an exciting opportunity to turn another corner (excuse the cliché) in OTR’s revitalization.


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

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http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/print-edition/2011/04/01/behind-the-plywood-covers-one-otr.html

 

...Chad Munitz, 3CDC’s executive vice president of development and operations, said Mercer Commons is still “in the schematic design phase” and said “the plans have not been finalized.”

 

“We are moving forward with our development partners and hope to have design completed in the next six months,” he said.

He said 3CDC is working with St. Louis-based McCormack Baron Salazar, whose past projects “have demonstrated innovative ways to incorporate new development within a historic district through a comprehensive approach.”

 

Members of the Over-the-Rhine Foundation board hope that means 3CDC and the developer will be open to saving 1314 Vine St. Over-the-Rhine already has lost roughly half its historic building stock over the years....

 

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This is a pretty disappointing timeline...... 6 more months for final design?  I would have thought the Parvis lease up might have been a sign that the rental market in OTR is hot and they need to get this moving ASAP!  At this rate we'll be waiting for 2012 for ground to be broken and along the way Kasich might take notice of the $4mil Ohio Historic Preservation Grant and reallocate it to save barns in his home district.

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Ya-  this project is slowed up for a few reasons. 

 

A primary one being that 3CDC wants to try something thats never been done before with regards to mixed-income housing. Rather than choose 30 apartments and designate them as low income, 3CDC wants to build everything equally and then simply make sure that at all times there are 30 low income units filled.  Of the total apartments, it could be any 30- those locations could change, etc. Someone new moves in and they get to choose from anything that's open- not just the "low-income" designated units.

 

They are expecting major delays by this process alone.

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