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McMillan project revamped

Market data leads to strategy shift

Dan Monk

Courier Senior Staff Reporter

Chicago style at Cincinnati prices.

 

 

 

So goes the marketing plan for McMillan Place, a 360-unit condominium development in Clifton Heights.

 

A neighborhood nonprofit, the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. (CHCURC) has been planning the project for nearly five years. It is viewed as a key step in revitalizing the uptown neighborhoods surrounding the University of Cincinnati. As such, CHCURC is bankrolled by $20 million in loans from the UC endowment.

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^^ Interesting to see some of the results of the survey I filled out.  Local preferences once again prove to be disappointing though.  IMO, if you want 2 parking spaces and plenty of green space (a term I'm beginning to loathe, how unplannerly of me...) then perhaps you should reconsider your interest in urban living.

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If you guys stop by the development corp. then you can take a look at the plan.  I was able to look at the entire huge binder of renderings and crappy studies that went into that redevelopment project while talking to a local business owner.  Basically the rendering above is contingent upon the monies they receive I believe but I may be wrong that the clear coloring is a million cheaper than the other tannish coloring.  The clear/white/blue coloring will only come about if the project goes overbudget.  It's one of the alternative scenarios.

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Board seeks resignation of Clifton Heights director

 

By Lori Kurtzman

Enquirer staff writer

 

 

Zoom 

The executive director of a corporation overseeing the $270 million redevelopment project in Clifton Heights has been asked to quit, and the board that requested his resignation isn't saying why.

 

Dan Deering, executive director of the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corp., has until Sept. 1 to offer his resignation, said Paul Gallagher, the community representative on the corporation's five-member board.

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Guest Cincinnatus

^I wonder what that's all about.  Hope it doesn't cause problems for the project.

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If you've been reading my posts then you know that his skills were seriously lacking and that this is a combination performance and political.  Believe me Dr. Zimpher may seem nice but she doesn't play and there are people at UC and development interests who were waiting to see what would happen and many of them are pissed off.

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An update on possible impacts from the 3/17/05 Enquirer:

 

 

UC development plan in peril?

$270M in campus-area projects threatened by resignation demand, councilman says

By Gregory Korte and Lori Kurtzman

Enquirer staff writers

 

Efforts to oust the man responsible for $270 million in development happening around the University of Cincinnati's campus could put the city's support of the projects in jeopardy, Councilman John Cranley said.

 

Cranley, chairman of City Council's Finance Committee, said Wednesday he didn't want to involve himself in the internal affairs of the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. But he said the effort to force executive director Daniel W. Deering to resign effective Sept. 1 could set the development plan back to the beginning.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050317/NEWS01/503170363/1056/news01

 

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Don't worry no way will this $270 MM development be stopped because of this, UC and the city both realize this project is necessary.  Those Cranley comments are just rhetoric.

 

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Clifton Heights land owners talk settlement

The holdouts are losing their grip in the Calhoun corridor.

 

 

That's where the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. is planning McMillan Park, a 360-unit condominium project just south of the University of Cincinnati. Organizers hope to break ground on the project's $90 million first phase this summer.

 

Land owners in the district have been fighting the city's attempt to take their property by eminent domain. In January, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Crush refused to halt the city's acquisition. Attorney Bob Manley, who represents the land owners, said he would proceed with a federal case against the acquisition. In March, he indicated the owners were seeking $9.4 million for four restaurant sites -- roughly three times what the city was offering.

 

But settlement talks have picked up in recent weeks. Several sources indicate an agreement could be reached by April 8 with the owners of Acropolis Chili. If approved, the deal would shut the restaurant down by June 20, said Kathy Kennedy, who owns the restaurant and is the daughter-in-law of the building's owner.

 

The owners of Clif Cor Co., a real estate partnership that owns two fast-food restaurant sites in the district, also are said to be nearing a deal. One sign of that movement: Clif Cor's Arby's restaurant site closed down this week.

 

 

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By the way, channel 5 reported that Acropolis, In the Wood and McDonalds have given up their legal battles.

 

McDonald's is closed and demolition could start Monday.  The other two businesses will stay open until late June.

 

The old Prime Time garage should start demolition May 23.

 

There's also talk of an IHOP for Short Vine.

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I thought McDonald's had given up a while ago, and were just staying open a couple months, which time period ended this month.  But Inn The Wood will be missed...I really wish UC would have worked with them...can't say I'll miss ICrapALot Chili much, though...

 

Here's the online story you referenced:

 

Campus-Area Development Picks Up Steam

Safer Environment Would Make UC More Attractive

 

POSTED: 6:50 pm EDT May 4, 2005

UPDATED: 7:18 pm EDT May 4, 2005

 

CINCINNATI -- After months of legal battles, plans to redevelop the area around the University of Cincinnati campus are picking up steam. News 5 learned Wednesday that both Acropolis Chili and In the Wood restaurant have given up their legal fight and settled with developers.

 

They'll both be closing their doors in late June and the McDonald's across from old St. George has just dropped off its keys. Demolition could begin as soon as Monday, but the next spot for big changes will be the corner of Vine Street and Jefferson.

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I thought McDonald's had given up a while ago, and were just staying open a couple months, which time period ended this month.

Yeah...not sure when exactly they closed down, but they were obviously closed as of yesterday (as the spray paint told me).

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ESPN Zone? House of Blues(not with Madison)?

 

McDonald's demolition marks next step in redevelopment

By Michael Rovito

 

The closing of McDonald's on Calhoun Street last week marked the final day of fast food restaurants on the stretch of road, making way for the next phase of an area wide redevelopment.

 

The block McDonald's sits on will begin a transformation into an entertainment district after demolition begins on the restaurant today, according to Dan Deering, executive director of the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corp.

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They definitely need to follow their original plan, which was to place the fast food restaurants in new digs, pedestrian/urban style, not the suburban model.  Like the one person said, college kids need cheap fast food.  As for ESPNZone and House of Blues, that stuff belongs downtown, with the ESPNZone on The Banks!

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For an interesting read, I dug up the Clifton Hts. Facade Improvement Program guide.  It gives guidelines for paint, windows, etc. and shows some examples:

http://www.chcurc.org/PDF/2003%20FIP%20Packet.pdf

 

Also, McMillan Park has a website that doesn't allow you to do anything except e-mail them.  Maybe they'll add some content in the future:

http://mcmillanpark.com/home.html

 

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eh....this is wack

 

so everything is gone from there now? taco bell, acropolis chilli, that small coffee shop, wendys, arby's (i assume thats what they meant by hardees)???? they tore down those houses too? that is weak. i suppose they are also gonna bulldoze mcmillan?? area is gonna be crap now. glad im not there anymore, it was a nice urban area with lots of good eatin, shops, entertainment. now they are going to ruin that whole neighborhood.

 

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I'm with ya! Seems like UC and OSU are losing the college experience.

They are both going to look like Newport on the Levee or Easton Town Center.

It's like going to college in a mall, not an urban neighborhood.

Time to go to online college.

There you can at least have a virtual urban campus.  :)

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Not everything is going to be bulldozed, but a lot is.  For example, the block at the meeting of Clifton and Calhoun/Clifton and McMillan will be saved.  Here's a map:

 

http://www.chcurc.org/dream/site4Map.htm

 

P.S> I kind of agree with both of you guys about the whole college experience thing.  I mean, my God, they're talking about $500,000 condos!  What about stuff for the average college kid?

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I agree that losing the college experience is bad for a school, but since when has a UC student had the experience? The college experience is cool bars, bands, and restaurant/hangout spots, at least in my opinion. Not saying a $500,000 condo puts us on the path to that, but tearing down Taco Bell doesn't exactly ruin it either. At the very least, making the area a hot spot will help reduce serious crime.

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^ Well, there are some regular students who live in rental housing nearby and are not rich.  There need to be restaurants, bars and stores that they can afford.  I would've never been able to afford a $900/mo apartment or dinner at an upscale bistro when I was in college.

 

Then there are the many commuter students.  It would be cool if there was a wide variety of shops/restaurants to keep these people around after classes instead of having them all get in their cars, go home, and spend their money in West Chester or Colerain or Anderson Twp.

 

Yeah, I know...maybe I'm not living in the real world and this type of large-scale planned built environment is the future.

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This article appeared in the week's CityBeat:

 

 

PHOTO: Inn the Wood has closed after accepting a settlement with the city. Owner Diana Wood (below, with her son Michael) says it could've been easier.  Photo By Matt Borgerding

 

PHOTO: Diana Wood with her son Michael  Photo By Matt Borgerding

 

PHOTO: Joe Kennedy of Acropolis Chili also closed after settling with the city.  Photo By Matt Borgerding

     

Designing Clifton Heights

Holdouts accept deal in overhaul of business district near UC

By Brian Ciesko

 

The University of Cincinnati and the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) increasingly dominate the changing landscapes of Calhoun and McMillan streets in the neighborhood immediately south of UC's main campus.

 

With the recent decision of Bill and Diana Wood, owners of Inn The Wood Restaurant and Tavern, to settle their eminent domain battle with the city of Cincinnati, one of the last pieces in the redevelopment plans for the area falls into place.

 

http://www.citybeat.com/current/news2.shtml

 

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"Those types of restaurants are only designed to last 30 years or so," he says.

 

Inn The Wood?  That building was probably 120 years old.  The fast food situation could have been avoided by zoning out drive-throughs. 

 

"Also, bad urban planning in the late 1960s and early 1970s destroyed any pedestrian friendly capacity this area might've once had. But without a roadmap you can't get somewhere else, and these (plans) provide that."

 

Total bullshit.  This whole plan, everything going on up there, is just outrageous.  The new long dorm on Calhoun looks ridiculous, and students are just going to trash those new apartments on Clifton like they trashed Riverpark at OU.  College students want cheap food, cheap beer, and cheap things to do.  Nerds and resume padders are going to love this new crap though.  But you'll still be able to pick up a quick gatorade or black & mild from the Shell station. 

 

 

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To call Inn The Wood a "blighted" property was an insult to the people who owned and ran it.  Acropolis Chili was famously shady but didn't pose any threat to society.  To witness Blight with a capital B look no further than Prime Time.   

 

Of UC's many problems a lot of them are tied to the disparate surrounding business strips as compared to Athens' iconic(?!) Court St.  There is no one dominant strip but instead McMillan/Calhoun, Ludlow Ave., and Short Vine, with lonely outposts like Fries Cafe, Murphy's, and The Mad Frog in its orbit.  They're all too far from one another to walk comfortably and not one of them really has everything.  UC could have let Bishop St. or any of the other streets that used to run through its campus remain, had departmental offices in old houses, let private businesses open restaurants and bars in some of them (ala The Oasis), and had itself a lot more interesting campus.  But it didn't.  And its simply undeniable that the blocks between Calhoun and McMillan would have been more aesthetically and functionally interesting had the strips of row buildings, Inn The Wood, etc. been left standing.   

 

<img src="http://www.facilities.ohiou.edu/food/images/small-oasis.jpg">

The Oasis

 

<img src="http://www.ohiou.edu/athens/bldgifs/arch-crt.jpg">

 

<img src="http://www.ohiou.edu/athens/bldgifs/athena.jpg">

 

<img src="http://www.ohiou.edu/athens/bldgifs/Parking_garage.jpg">

Our solitary parking garage.

 

<img src="http://www.ohiou.edu/athens/bldgifs/ehillmaint.jpg">

 

<img src="http://www.ohiou.edu/athens/bldgifs/wgosjms.jpg">

 

<img src="http://www.ohiou.edu/athens/bldgifs/bicentennial.jpg">

Uh. 

 

<img src="http://www.athensmusician.net/redir/2005-04-14_miscblackout/misc_blackout_01211.JPG">

A typical night at an OU bar. 

 

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More news....the city is releasing monies for infrastructure improvements:

 

 

June 8, 2005

 

To:           Mayor and Members of City Council

From:        Valerie A. Lemmie, City Manager

Subject:    Calhoun Street Marketplace Development Agreement

 

Transmitted here within is the following emergency ordinance captioned:

 

AUTHORIZING the City Manager to execute an Agreement for Phase I Calhoun Street Marketplace Development-Construction of Public Improvements (the “Agreement”) providing the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation, an Ohio nonprofit corporation, (the “CHCURC”), with a conditional grant in an amount of up to Three Million 00/100 Dollars ($3,000,000.00) to assist in financing the construction of public infrastructure improvements to support the development of the Calhoun Street Marketplace Development.

...

 

The Project will bring approximately $188 million in investment to the neighborhood. The University of Cincinnati is a major funding partner for this project. The City previously entered into an agreement (Ordinance No. 263-2002) with CHCURC to acquire the property for this development to be used in accordance with the Clifton Heights Urban Renewal Plan. In addition, City Council previously authorized a financing mechanism for this project in the amount of approximately $3.0 million (Ordinance No. 214-2003). See attached FYI memo for more details.

 

The Project is the first phase of a larger scale development in the Clifton Heights neighborhood.

 

PROPOSAL OVERVIEW

CHCURC has requested City funding for the public improvements associated with the Project. The City would fund the construction of public improvements in the right-of-way up to maximum of $3.0 million. The type of improvements to be funded include new sewers, water mains, sidewalks, curbs, street repaving and restoration, street lighting, street trees, street signs and parking meters and the creation of two newly constructed streets.

 

FINANCIAL ANALYSIS

The sources and uses for the Project are described below. These figures are estimates and will continue to be refined.

 

Uses of Funds

Land                                      $11,330,000

Infrastructure Improvements       $4,484,000

Construction Costs                  $101,113,000

Soft Costs                               $24,740,000

Contingency                              $6,287,000

Total Uses of Funds:               $147,954,000

 

Sources of Funds

CHCURC Bond Issuance             $54,000,000

UC Line of Credit                      $18,000,000

Home Sales/UC Revolving Loan   $58,800,000

Equity - CHCURC Land               $10,660,000

City Funding                              $3,000,000

New Market Tax Credits / Gap     $3,494,000

Total Sources of Funds:           $147,954,000

 

In addition to the $148 million project cost, UC has invested another $40 million in building the garage on their property. This brings the total investment to $188 million.

 

See the attached Project Summary for a more detailed analysis.

 

PROJECT BENEFITS

The project will revitalize the Clifton Heights area. It will increase the market rate housing supply in the area both for sale and for rent. It will create 120 new jobs and entails over $200 million in new investment, for the development of the following:

 

• 232 For Sale Condominiums

• 291 Student Apartments

• 1,337 of new Parking Spaces

• 78,000 square feet of Retail Space

 

This project represents a 63 to 1 private to City Funding ratio. It generates approximately $1.2 million annually in revenue for the TIF district and it approximately $440,000 in revenue annually for the Cincinnati Schools.

 

TRANSFER ORDINANCE

The funding for this project will be transferred from the Neighborhood Investment Repayment account. This account is restricted to public infrastructure improvements. The transfer of funds emergency ordinance is detailed in a separate transmittal.

 

PROJECT TIMING

The public infrastructure improvements funded by this agreement are anticipated to start in June 2005. CHCURC is in the process of constructing the buildings on the north side of Calhoun Street. The construction of buildings on the south side of Calhoun Street is anticipated to take approximately two years and occur within one year of the resolution of outstanding land title issues.

 

RECOMMENDATION

The City Administration recommends approval of the ordinance. The reason for emergency is to allow CHCURC to commence construction on the City funded public improvements so the project can remain on schedule.

 

http://city-egov.rcc.org/BASISCGI/BASIS/council/public/child/DDD/13223.pdf


Economic Development Impact (PDF, 3 pages)

 

Phase I Calhoun Street Marketplace Development: Construction of Infrastructure Public Improvements (PDF, 24 pages)

 

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And its simply undeniable that the blocks between Calhoun and McMillan would have been more aesthetically and functionally interesting had the strips of row buildings, Inn The Wood, etc. been left standing.

 

amen

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^ true, but a lot of money has been spent to preserve it.  if that church got torn down, i'd pack my bags tomorrow.  even if it's not viable in its current use (whether it is or not i don't know), it's not like they have to look far to see a shining example of adaptive reuse of a church.

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^ I can't imagine that destruction of Old St. George would ever actually come to pass. When I heard that there were some rumblings to that effect, I nearly lost it. I'm sure that the community would rally to save it.

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