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Cincinnati: Over-the-Rhine: Washington Park

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Budig: ​Music Hall renovation about $40M short, but 'We're going to get this done'

Dec 5, 2014, 3:02pm EST

Chris Wetterich Staff reporter- Cincinnati Business Courier

 

Otto Budig, the Cincinnati philanthropist helping lead efforts to renovate Music Hall, said Friday that raising the $40 million necessary to complete the job is difficult but he believes it will get done.

 

Budig, speaking to Government Strategies' monthly First Friday luncheon, said the Cultural Facilities Task Force has between $80 million and $85 million in commitments and tax credits but needs $123 million total.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2014/12/05/budig-music-hall-renovation-about-40m-short-but.html

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The announcement for the $25M Ohio Historic Tax Credit is happening this morning at 10am outside Music Hall...so that is a pretty good sign Music Hall secured the large tax credit.

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Ok so I'm definitely happy for this!

 

But I'm a little peeved at the save our icons campaign earlier this year promoting their plan at the only option to renovate their buildings(yes i know the message out of the task force was a bit different, but im talking about the campaign). This is a WAY better way to finance this instead of taxing the county. The fact that raising money is proving to be successful so far(yes still a lot of money left to raise), maybe they just wanted the sale tax because it was the easiest way to raise the funds? I think we should be a bit more suspicious of these campaigns.

 

I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts about this.

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^They've stated they've raised a lot more than they expected to be able to do through private funding. It sounds like they didn't realize as many people would be open to donating money to restore Music Hall. That's a good thing. Hopefully it continues.

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Ok so I'm definitely happy for this!

 

But I'm a little peeved at the save our icons campaign earlier this year promoting their plan at the only option to renovate their buildings(yes i know the message out of the task force was a bit different, but im talking about the campaign). This is a WAY better way to finance this instead of taxing the county. The fact that raising money is proving to be successful so far(yes still a lot of money left to raise), maybe they just wanted the sale tax because it was the easiest way to raise the funds? I think we should be a bit more suspicious of these campaigns.

 

I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts about this.

 

This was far from guaranteed, so Save Our Icons could not count on this.  And it only covers $25M of a $123.5M project.  This is great news.  The county commissioners really screwed the city (and the county) when they pulled that disgraceful last minute stunt.

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I'm pretty sure that the campaign included receiving this money. The renovation is expected to be about $123.5 million. So they still need to raise another $100 million dollars through donations, debt, or taxes. That is why Music Hall was involved in the push for a sales tax.

 

To say they didn't need it is incorrect. They may be able to find the money somehow, but they were counting on the sales tax to bring in about $60 million for Music Hall. That would leave about $40 million from private donations.

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This thing was a long shot.  The entire concept (which is brand new) was created by an Akron area legislator and the front runner was considered the akron building that applied.  One Akron building, two Cleveland buildings and one Cincy building applied.  It cost $10,000 to apply.  Steve Leeper stated the funding gap was now around "$20 million or less".  Goal is for the project to end and everyone to move back into Music Hall for the start of the Fall 2017 season. So the building would be empty summer of 2016 - fall of 2017.  Unfortunately, that's the first year of the streetcar operating!  However, the two venues all the organizations will use are the Aronoff and the Taft theater.  Aronoff is on the streetcar line, and taft is one block from Main St. So it's not really a big deal.

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Ok so I'm definitely happy for this!

 

But I'm a little peeved at the save our icons campaign earlier this year promoting their plan at the only option to renovate their buildings(yes i know the message out of the task force was a bit different, but im talking about the campaign). This is a WAY better way to finance this instead of taxing the county. The fact that raising money is proving to be successful so far(yes still a lot of money left to raise), maybe they just wanted the sale tax because it was the easiest way to raise the funds? I think we should be a bit more suspicious of these campaigns.

 

I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts about this.

 

I said a few times on here that I hoped the tax would fail so private money would come forward. The buildings were not in imminent doom of collapse, so it would be inevitable that the issue would be revisited if this didn't happen. But removing the incentive entirely via a tax would ensure tax payers would be milked for the entirety. Still, I think it was BS for the commissioners to throw out the plan produced by the people who studied the heck out of what would work and not allow residents to vote on saving both buildings.

 

This $25m doesn't replace the need for another stream of funding (be it private donations, taxes, or whatever).

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Memorial Hall asks taxpayers for millions to fund renovation

Feb 3, 2015, 7:21am EST

Staff Cincinnati Business Courier

 

Supporters of Memorial Hall in Over-the-Rhine are on a campaign to raise money for the historic building's renovation, the Enquirer reports.

 

Steve Leeper, CEO of the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC), and members of the Memorial Hall Society asked Hamilton County Commissioners on Monday to provide $1.5 million in taxpayer money to help cover the $7.8 million cost of the project.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/morning_call/2015/02/memorial-hall-asks-taxpayers-for-millions-to-fund.html

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What type of performances would take place in a renovated Memorial Hall as opposed to other venues in the city? Would it hold crowds similar to Taft?

 

Just curious as to what type of mix it brings once it is completed....

 

Once Music Hall / Memorial Hall / Emery Theatre all get up and running there will be a great lineup of venues all neighbors to each other.

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Yes, it is a great start to a theatre district.  I know I posted on this before, but this could be the beginning of a great new sub-economy in downtown / OTR.  Look at Minneapolis, while much larger, employs 20,000 people in the "creative sector" and it pumps more than $700 million into the local economy.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2014/06/12/stone-arch-bridge-festival-minneapolis-art-scene.html?page=all

 

This type of infrastructure (Repurposed theatres, halls, etc.) have the potential to create new jobs and a new culture into Cincinnati.  I am not sure if there is another local city that has a big arts scene (talking Columbus, Indianapolis, Louisville, Lexington.)  I am sure Cleveland has a big arts scene? 

 

Either way, in Minneapolis's Lowry Hill neighborhood where my brother lived for a few years, nearly everyone of his neighbors and most people we came across were in some way employed in the arts scene, and they moved from all over the upper Midwest to be in that scene, from Des Moines, IA, Omaha, NE, Milwaukee, WI, Iowa City, IA, Duluth, MN, even people from Chicago who couldn't afford the rents in Chicago and had a chance to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond in Minneapolis.  These people ranged anywhere from dancers, musicians, comedians, prop people and writers.  Of course many of them had side jobs as well, such as restaurant workers and even some were accountants, etc.  Main point, the theatrical scene could become a big draw in the next 5-10 years for new migrants into Cincinnati, if it is branded and done right.

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What type of performances would take place in a renovated Memorial Hall as opposed to other venues in the city? Would it hold crowds similar to Taft?

 

Just curious as to what type of mix it brings once it is completed....

 

Once Music Hall / Memorial Hall / Emery Theatre all get up and running there will be a great lineup of venues all neighbors to each other.

 

Isn't there also an active effort underway to rehab the old St. John's church on the corner of 12th & Elm into a concert venue?  I hope there's enough performers to go around.

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Isn't there also an active effort underway to rehab the old St. John's church on the corner of 12th & Elm into a concert venue?  I hope there's enough performers to go around.

 

The Transept (at 12th and Elm) will mostly be a venue for wedding receptions and will be open as a neighborhood bar throughout the week.

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This foundation kicked in $1 million to renovate Memorial Hall

Feb 11, 2015, 3:07pm EST

Chris Wetterich Staff reporter- Cincinnati Business Courier

 

 

The Annie W. & Elizabeth Anderson Foundation has donated $1 million to the renovation of Memorial Hall, helping close the funding gap for the project.

 

About $1.2 million in private funds must be raised to complete the nearly $8 million renovation plan, which calls for new seating, air conditioning, renovated bathrooms, better acoustics and a catering kitchen. County commissioners recently kicked in $1.5 million. If fundraising can be completed in a timely manner, construction will begin in June and be finished by spring 2016. Under the agreement, the county will maintain ownership, 3CDC will manage the day-to-day operations and the Memorial Hall Society will oversee 3CDC's management.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2015/02/11/this-foundation-kicked-in-1-million-to-renovate.html

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The previous image showed the sand volleyball courts on Elm for the volleyball tournament. They seem to always get the image when something major is happening at Washington Park.

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Update on LumenoCity for 2015: http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/morning_call/2015/04/lumenocity-returns-with-major-changes.html?page=all

 

This year, anyone interested in attending the event will be required to register to win a chance to purchase tickets, which will range in price from $15 to $20.

Individuals can sign up at lumeocity2015.com through 10 p.m. on May 16 to be randomly selected to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster.

Only one individual per household will be eligible to buy up to four tickets for a Wednesday dress rehearsal or performances on Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 5-9.

 

This seems like a reasonable - and still very affordable - way to manage the incredibly popular event. Last year's online ticket distribution was a mess and very frustrating for lots of people.

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Washington Park getting new deck with concession area, furniture

http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/cincinnati/over-the-rhine/washington-park-getting-new-deck

 

The Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) plans to construct a deck -- with a concession area and deck furniture -- at Washington Park.

The Washington Park Deck will be built in a lightly used greenspace on the park's northwest side, just south of the Elm Street garage ramp.

 

This sounds awesome.

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My brain immediately went to the deck and concession stand in Bryant Park and that's a good thing since that's one of my favorite parks I've ever been to. Being on a deck surrounded by big mature trees is always a pleasant experience.

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I hope (and assume) this new concession stand will have regular hours throughout the week. Does anybody know when 3CDC hopes to have it open by? The current concession stand only opens during events.

 

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More details, including some renderings, from the Business Courier: http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2015/04/24/this-will-be-washington-park-s-latest-attraction.html

 

  • The nonprofit developer, which oversaw the park’s extensive, $48 million overhaul and now manages it, plans to complete the $400,000 deck by Memorial Day, said Anastasia Mileham, 3CDC’s vice president for marketing and communications.
  • Concessions also will be served on a regular basis on the deck. 3CDC has a concession area now, but it is usually open only for special events.

 

Great news all around. I'm amazed they'll have it ready by Memorial Day... it'll be an awesome spot to hang out this summer!

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The only thing I think would be appropriate would be a plaza with benches and flowers. But do we need that next to Music Hall with the Park right across the street? I don't think a building will ever be constructed on that lot.

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At various points it was proposed that an addition to Music Hall would be built on that lot. It used to be typical OTR buildings so it wouldn't historically be wrong for a building to go there, but it's unlikely that would ever go over well if proposed unless it's something directly related to Music Hall or Memorial Hall.

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What about a single story restaurant with parking in the rear for that site- possibly connected to Music Hall? Something cool and contemporary would be great at that site, as long as it was small enough to not compete at all with Music or Memorial halls.  Something along the lines of the Patina restaurant in LA's Disney Concert Hall (not sure how to attach photos, but google it to get an idea). 

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At various points it was proposed that an addition to Music Hall would be built on that lot. It used to be typical OTR buildings so it wouldn't historically be wrong for a building to go there, but it's unlikely that would ever go over well if proposed unless it's something directly related to Music Hall or Memorial Hall.

 

I think it was GlaserWorks that did a rendering of a modern structure with lots of glass that sort of connected the two buildings without trying to become part of them. I really liked it, but I think I was in the minority.

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It was considered in the music hall renovation proposal but was cut. The lot is privately owned. The owner could be convinced of something for the right price of course. But while Disney Hall needed a restaurant because it's fairly isolated from others, Music Hall is surrounded by them. They felt it was an unnecessary expense & unneeded.

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This thread is now reserved for Washington Park only. There is a separate thread for Music Hall and Memorial Hall each. I will work to untangle this thread as best I can in the coming weeks.

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^ Yeah it seems to get like that each year. They seed it in the fall and spring, and it looks good to start the season. Not sure fake turf would really be an improvement.

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I think fake turf would overall be an improvement. It's less nice than lush grass, but with all the foot traffic that area gets, it's nearly impossible to maintain lush grass. It's more important that the space be programmed with frequent events than trying to "reserve" it only for special events. The southern side of the park has lovely grass if you want a place to enjoy a picnic in the grass.

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I think the addition of Ziegler park will help with the issues at the oval. Most of the kick ball and recreation will move to that site.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I think the addition of Ziegler park will help with the issues at the oval. Most of the kick ball and recreation will move to that site.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Why do you say that?

I believe I read somewhere that's the purpose of the park. Large green space, it'll be more appropriate for recreational events and concerts. I'd imagine they just rotate or distribute the events between the two parks.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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The reason I ask is that the PNC worked pretty hard to assure that that would not happen and that the green space above the garage would be "passive" green. Of course, anything 3CDC is involved in can be changed on a whim, so who knows. But, it would be a betrayal of the PNC approval.

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