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Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop

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From the 9/5/05 Cincinnati Business Courier:

 

 

Nonprofit hopes shake-up puts sizzle in condo plan

CHCURC replacing architect, brokerage firm, director

Dan Monk

Senior Staff Reporter

 

A Clifton Heights nonprofit is shaking up the management team for a 360-unit condominium development south of the University of Cincinnati, prompting critics of the project to conclude McMillan Park is in trouble.

 

"They're in chaos," said Bob Manley, an attorney who sued to prevent the city of Cincinnati from acquiring land by eminent domain. Manley, who lost the court case, calls the project "a grand folly" that will cost its major backer, UC's endowment fund, millions.

 

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2005/09/05/story2.html

 

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An article from the News Record

 

 

Clifton change for the worse

University should keep area's uniqueness intact

By Jeff Miller

Published: Monday, October 10, 2005

Article Tools: Page 1 of 1

 

This fall has marked my fourth year at the University of Cincinnati. Anywhere else I would be considered a senior, but at good old UC one's never really sure what year will be the last.

 

Starting here four years ago, our campus was so much different than it is now. We had an Arby's, a Boston Market, a UDF on Calhoun Street and a sorely missed Taco Bell. Now what we're left with are the shells of late-night food runs and the ghosts of gorditas floating around W. McMillan Street.

 

http://www.newsrecord.org/media/paper693/news/2005/10/10/Opinion/Clifton.Change.For.The.Worse-1014648.shtml

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Here's an article about the new DuBois Bookstore from the 10/12/05 Enquirer:

 

 

DuBois Bookstore no longer dog-eared

Student landmark undergoes renovation

By John Eckberg

Enquirer staff writer

 

CLIFTON HEIGHTS - Bucking a trend in the business of selling books is nothing new for the family owned DuBois Book Store, which unveiled in August a multimillion-dollar renovation of its flagship store near the University of Cincinnati campus.

 

When J. Harold DuBois created the company out of the back of a truck at Kent State University in the 1930s, most universities sold the books that students had to buy for classes.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051012/BIZ01/510120329/1076/rss01

 

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This editorial is from the 10/24/05 UC News Record.  Normally their editorials are sh!te, but I agree with this guy:

 

 

Local businesses matter more

UC should focus on non-corporate

By Bobby Bitzenhofer

Published: Monday, October 24, 2005 

 

The University of Cincinnati is misspending your money and the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation is helping them do it. With overpriced property values and bloated rent payments, the new developments on Calhoun and McMillan streets have chased away all traces of local business.

 

This is continuing the economic decline of Clifton Heights.

National retailers and restaurants take our money and send it off to their corporate headquarters where it is circulated throughout that city's economy.

 

http://www.newsrecord.org/media/paper693/news/2005/10/24/Opinion/Local.Businesses.Matter.More-1030774.shtml

 

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>We need more places like Bagel Brothers, Thai Express, Uncle Woody's, Lance's and Papa Dino's. These restaurants provide the best foundation for Clifton Heights.

 

Well they just tore down a half dozen of them while you guys were watching DVD's in your dorm rooms.  That your parents paid for (the room and the DVD's).

 

This is the fundamental problem -- as the number of wealthy people grow the number of people going to college who get everything paid for and big allowances from their parents grow.  Females especially get a lot of money from their parents because their parents want them to live in a safe apartment and have a car so that they can get around at night.  Many college students carry around a copy of their dad's credit card for "emergencies".  What the hell kind of emergencies really arise?  Having to buy a airline ticket to got to a funeral, maybe.  I know a lot of people with $200-300 monthly "allowances" -- if they spend more than that on their dad's card they have to call and say why.  It's all this money to throw away that is driving up real estate prices around all college campuses.   

 

 

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If you like new urbanism this project combined with McMillan Park project across the street is for you.  I know I sure like the idea of mixed-use, pedestrian only streets, outdoor cafes, and new/young vibrant residents.  Not to mention the density of the project Calhoun St. (6-7 stories)......McMillan Park (8-10 stories).  Something else to remember this project is also being teamed with a new entertainment district just down the street near Vine.  The plan call for a reworked Short Vine and new building east of the two current projects.  Possible tennants that have been thrown out there as interested include as House of Blues and an ESPN Zone.  These would be located near the Bearcat Hall of Fame Restaurant.

 

I say WOW!!

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>If you like new urbanism this project combined with McMillan Park project across the street is for you. 

 

I liked the dozen + 100 year old row buildings they tore down better than crap that they're going to build that's supposed to look historic.

 

> I know I sure like the idea of mixed-use, pedestrian only streets, outdoor cafes, and new/young vibrant residents. 

 

Utopic!  All we need now are some hair braiders and mimes and the vibrancy will possibly cause world peace. 

 

 

 

>The plan call for a reworked Short Vine and new building east of the two current projects.  Possible tennants that have been thrown out there as interested include as House of Blues and an ESPN Zone.  These would be located near the Bearcat Hall of Fame Restaurant.

 

Some themed restaurants left over from 1997.  Let the good times roll!     

 

 

>I say WOW!!

 

Yeah this is going to cause about as big of a sensation as Wow potato chips did a few years back.   

 

 

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I'm sorry but you must not know what you're talking about.  The buildings that previously filled the site were, for the most part, not 100 year old beatiful buildings.  The area had an Arby's, Taco Bell, Burger King, a former dorm building, McDonalds, Acropolis Chili, a gas station, and many more craptacular species.  Not to mention that many of these buildings were blighted, as ruled in court, and were havens for drugs and gang activity.  So please spare me with your historic masterpiece bullcrap.  The buildings that are significant are staying.....those that are not are going....as the should.  Review the plan some more and maybe some pics from what was really there 5-10 years ago....it sure was not worth preserving!!!!

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And for Zimpfer....she had nothing to do with any of new constuction on the universities campus...that would be Joseph Steger.  Not to mention that the Calhoun and McMillan developments are not controlled by the university, they are controlled by the Uptown Consortium (which is advised by the City of Cincinnati, the Health Alliance, Cincinnati Zoo, University of Cincinnati, and the Environmental Protection Agency).  It was also not Zimpfer who ran Huggins out of town, it was Huggins himself.  He did not fit in with the plans of the Board of Trustees and therefore had to go.  The Board is ultimately who is responsible for everything seeing as how they hired and can fire Zimpfer if they choose.  So once again you filled your response with incorrect and misguided information......GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!!!!

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I know the facts.  I've been arguing this exact argument with people on the internet for two years now.  I was on the UC campus weekly in the 1980's.  Then as now UC is a disaster zone.  They can talk all the talk they want but what it comes down to is people who will be rewarded financially for "improving" UC's image, physical and otherwise, and its academic ranking are doing so even though they are quite often being hypocritical, continue wasting state and private money on trophy projects, assault the surrounding neighborhoods with an arrogant modernist imperialism, and further alienate Cincinnati natives.

 

College in general is a joke.  A necessary evil, but nevertheless a joke.  It's a big racket, there's tons of talk, but when it comes down to it most students who weren't born skeptics and active don't become the critical thinkers and active citizens after four years of college and another few in grad school.  It's all about kissing ass and padding resumes.  Those that can't teach and failed businessmen end up college administrators.  I've sat in on several selection processes at my place for these people.  It's all about kissing ass and presenting an image.  It's about critiquing, not doing. 

 

 

 

 

 

You claim college is a joke like you are somehow above it or know the guise that is college yet you post pictures from OU's drunkfest's and proudly tell people that you're an OU student.  Does this mean you are part of the people who just use college to pad your resume?

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The buildings that previously filled the site were, for the most part, not 100 year old beatiful buildings.  The area had an Arby's, Taco Bell, Burger King, a former dorm building, McDonalds, Acropolis Chili, a gas station, and many more craptacular species.

 

Thanks for reminding me why I was happy this development happened and all that suburban shit is gone.  I am glad to see the Calhoun Street Project is moving forward, I just wish that rent was more affordable for some businesses but then again that happens everywhere.

 

Places like Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco have been around for decades, they didn't tear buildings down and redevelop the area and I bet rent is through the roof there and yet they have local eclectic shops for people. 

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UC puts up another $35M for Uptown development

 

Dan Monk

 

 

The University of Cincinnati has again raised the stakes in its quest to stimulate off-campus development in the Uptown neighborhoods surrounding the school.

 

UC trustees voted Oct. 28 to free up another $35 million in endowment funds to cover at least three new bridge loans for Uptown developments. That raises the debt ceiling for UC's off-campus initiatives to $110 million, which means more than 10 percent of the school's $1 billion endowment is now at risk.

 

The latest increase is viewed as a temporary fix that will let new construction projects stay on schedule while permanent financing is assembled, said UC spokesman Greg Hand.

 

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2005/11/07/tidbits1.html

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That raises the debt ceiling for UC's off-campus initiatives to $110 million, which means more than 10 percent of the school's $1 billion endowment is now at risk.

Wow!  They really believe in the importance of this.

 

Other projects receiving temporary or bridge financing include the renovation of Turner Hall on Short Vine Street into classroom space and design studios for UC students and construction of a new medical office building on Martin Luther King Drive.

I drove by and saw this under construction the other day.  My only concern here is "institution creep".  Short Vine was a vital business district with all kinds of nightlife.  If it starts filling up with University offices, it changes the dynamic totally.

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It does change the character of Short Vine...I did a study on the Short Vine area all last year.  This area does show signs of life, as well as, being able to climb out of the rut it is in.

 

Not to mention these studios being added are too far away from the DAAP building.  It is a 15-20 min. walk if you need to go back to the DAAP building to use one of the labs or library.  Why can't these studios be located closer to the home.

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One thing I had heard about Short Vine is that the rents there kept getting raised to unbearable levels, so the smaller hip niche places were starting to move to other places such as Northside.  I don't know how true this is, but it's a theory.

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No, I'm not jealous of those people in the least.  They're interested in lame things like sushi and shoes. 

 

What's wrong with shoes?  I like shoes!  They keep my feet warm on cold days like today.  And keep me from stinking up the office.  They can even be stylish!  Seems kinda uncalled for to pick on people who like to wear shoes... :-D

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Didn't this project just destroy some good things that we already had?

 

I am sorry but I fail to see how shitty suburban chains with nasty surface lots like Arby's, Taco Bell, etc... are worth saving.  While it was unfortunate that some local places were pushed out, sometimes that has to happen.  If anything it would have been nice if a deal could have been cut to have these places occupy the new store fronts.  The new development is 100% better than what previously filled the gritty street and if a sushi bar opened in the district, I would be happy.  Cincinnati can't have too many sushi places.

 

 

 

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A consignment shop for college students might be nice.  Kansas City has one in the Westport area.  It was a great place to trade in clothes for "new to you clothes".  They had a specific standard for the clothes they would accept which kept the quality high.  To me this would be a perfect addition to the area. 

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Hey, wait, I like imported beer! 

 

And shoes..

 

But I do agree with you in some respects.  It's the 'mallification' of 'Uptown' in many respects.  The fast food joints... I won't miss those.  The others -  that was a bad show.  I don't need another Panera Bread, Chipotle, etc.  I'd like local versions of those things, sure, but not chain equivilants that are trying to be 'hip' (bascially fast food v 2.0).     

 

I'm glad investment is occuring in the neighborhood, but I'd like to see it happen more organically, if that makes any sense.

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