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Cincinnati: Over-the-Rhine: Washington Park

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My question is why is there no mention of SCPA as a possibility, even the Cincinnati Presevation Assoc says SCPA is a possibility.  The groups are questioning the whole project, from the moving of the social services, the schools, market rate housing, you name it, they oppose it.

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Old Withrow (the current SCPA) is a beautiful school and, in my opinion, should stay a school.  However, the School Board believes it is too big and too expensive to be used as a neighborhood school, and SCPA is commited to moving near music hall.  Also, developers are salivating at purchasing old Withrow. The plan last year was to rebuild Washington Park School, and also rehab Rothenburg.  However with enrollment declining, it is thought that the Washington Park Elementary, relocated to Vine could be the one and only neighborhood school in OTR. The preservationists are just saying that they don't like the Vine Street site, and they would prefer that Rothenberg be the designated neighborhood school.  The answer to your question is that it is the School Board that has decided not to reuse the current SCPA, not the residents.

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The school board has not said Rothenburg be the only neighborhood school.  (perhaps in the past) but the latest plan that I have heard is that Rothenberg is off the table (this from some people in the know).  SCPA, the residents want condos, I do not blame them.  Rothenberg, I to would prefer condos, but my question is why are the residents of Pendleton not even mentioning their site and only mentioning Rothenberg.

 

Jimmy,

 

Developers are also salivating over Rothenberg, Vernon Rader had even mentioned his desire to turn them into condos.  Neither site is lacking in developer intrest.  The question is, which becomes high end residential to help the community, and which becomes a school (which also helps the community).   Had it been anyone other than Ty who gave that tour of Rothenberg I probably wouldn't have thought anything about it.  It probably would have raised some eyebrow's if I were to give a televised tour of SPCA and promoted it to become the next school and not mentioned Rothenberg.

 

And Don,

You can call me by name, I am not ashamed that I would prefer condos

Renovating SCPA achieves the same thing (preserving building)

Renovating SCPA as a school instead of selling it a two parcels can save that greenspace.  Pendelton is upset with the CPS board for not committing to keep this greenspace but I am saying let CPS keep it, reopen SCPA as a neighborhood school (with the developments already taking place in the area enrollment will go up)  CPS will get their money by selling Rothenberg to a developer. 

 

"Rothenberg is right for our community, and I hope you reconsider the decision based on demographics, based on safety, based on money," Ken Jones told school board members Monday night. "We feel it's the right decision."

 

Jones and Ty Provosty are architects as well as residents of Over-The-Rhine.

 

why are they not even mentioning SCPA, this is my question?  Both of these guys live right down the street from it.  Why do they not want to see the school back there?  And Jimmy, these are residents, not school board.  "Rothenberg is right for our community, and I hope you reconsider the decision"  This tells me that they are trying to convince the school board otherwise as they do not want Rothenberg. 

 

At the end of public comments, Superintendent Rosa Blackwell said she'd try to arrange a meeting between
CPS and Pendleton residents
-- sometime soon.

Do you think they are going to mention SCPA then?  Pendleton is trying to strong arm the CPS and I just want for us to explore the reasons why.  In my opinion it comes down to their desire to make SCPA condos, and keep their park, which is fine but we want the same for Mulberry Hill.  My point is, is Ty and Jones doing what is best for OTR or Pendelton?

 

P.S.

In the effort to be thorough, crime stats

SPCA location

SEX RACE Offense Title SECNO SECCODE CHRGCODE ADDRESS NEIGHBORHOOD

M W ASSLT LAW OFFICER 2903013000 ORCN 845 1310 SYCAMORE ST PENDLETON

F B ASSLT KNOW VIC HARM 2903013000 ORCN 812 1310 SYCAMORE ST PENDLETON

M W CRIMINAL TRESPASS 2911021110 ORCN 2610 1310 SYCAMORE ST PENDLETON

 

Rothenberg location

1 5 2005 M B AGG BURG INFLCT HARM 2911011110 ORCN 550 E

1 5 2005 M B 2ND ADULT CURFEW VIOL 9110270000 CMCN 2738 E MCMICKEN AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 5 2005 M B 2ND ADULT CURFEW VIOL 9110270000 CMCN 2738 E MCMICKEN AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 5 2005 M B DRUG ABUSE SCH 1 2 2925011100 ORCN 1882 E MCMICKEN AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 5 2005 M B TRAFFICKING-SHIP,TRNSPORT,DIST 2925003120 ORCN 1860 E MCMICKEN AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 5 2005 M B NO CRIMINAL RECORD 2925011440 ORCN 1870 E Clifton AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 8 2005 M B JUV VIOLATION OF COURT ORDER 0 2617 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 8 2005 M B ASSLT KNOW VIC HARM 2903013000 ORCN 812 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 12 2005 M B DRUG ABUSE SCH 1 2 2925011100 ORCN 1882 144 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 12 2005 M B TRAFFICKING-SALE LSS THN BULK 2925003110 ORCN 1859 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 13 2005 M B AGG BURG INFLCT HARM 2911011000 ORCN 550 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 13 2005 M B OBSTR OFFICIAL BUSIN 2921031000 ORCN 2413 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 13 2005 M B NO CRIMINAL RECORD 2925011440 ORCN 1870 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 13 2005 M B DOMESTIC VIOLENCE-KNOWINGLY 2919025000 ORCN 862 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 15 2005 M B NO CRIMINAL RECORD 2925011000 ORCN 1870 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 16 2005 M B OTHER OFFENSES NOC 0 2601 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

 

1 26 2005 M B POSS DRUG PRAPHNALIA 2925014000 ORCN 1887 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 26 2005 M B DRUG ABUSE SCH 1 2 2925011100 ORCN 1882 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

1 26 2005 M B POSS DRUG PRAPHNALIA 2925014000 ORCN 1887 E CLIFTON AV OVER-THE-RHINE

 

Well I will stop here.  Now somebody remind me what was the name of the report on Channel 9.  CPS didn't do there homework, come on, 3vs 44.  For those of you who live around here, Rothenberg is a haven for drug sales, it is getting better, hence the arrest but don't argue crime stats.

 

 

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So if CPS abandoned the Washington School plan and used Rothenburg or the old SCPA, wouldn't that make everyone happy. Whats the difference between using Rothenburg and SCPA. If CPS thinks SCPA is too big to operate, maybe you should try your luck on Rothenburg.

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Mike, The main goal here is to save the 22 buildings at mercer commons in OTR and I am for either location even though I live closer to scpa. Let's not sling too much poo or we will all lose.

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Max,

 

I am responding to an I-team report offering Rothenberg as an alternative.  This is not my story, I am responding to a story started by people who are pushing an agenda different than that which is being portrayed in the media.  You did not see my face on WCPO, you do not see me yelling at Steve Leeper at OTRCC meetings, you do not see me showing up at CPS meetings and demanding they listen, you do not hear me accusing Western Southern of impropriety.  Is this how you save buildings?  Is this how you turn around OTR?  This is my point, is Pendleton and the Foundation doing what is best for OTR or what is best for Pendleton.

 

(Ty Provosty, OTR Resident)"What they're thinking of doing with the children is unbelievable."

 

(Steve Leeper, 3CDC CEO) "What do you mean the safety of that location?

 

(Laure Quinlivan, I-Team Reporter) "It's the worst crime area in all the city."

 

WE WANT TO KNOW WHY CPS PAID 3.9 MILLION FOR THE MERCER COMMONS BUILDINGS, WHEN PUBLISHED REPORTS SAY THE SAME BUILDINGS SOLD A COUPLE YEARS AGO FOR 2.2 MILLION.

 

(Laure Quinlivan, I-Team Reporter) "You recommend this site. This was your number one recommendation, right? (Steve Leeper, 3CDC CEO) Yes. (Laure Quinlivan) Then it just so happens to be owned by a 3cdc board members, doesn't that put you in a sort of conflict of interest kind of perception, anyway?

 

(Laure Quinlivan, I-Team Reporter) "We've heard from a CPS Board member that it's a done deal. Is it too late to change?" (Ty Provosty, OTR Resident) "It's absolutely not too late."

 

Change to what is where I would like to debate Ty.  I am not slinging "poo" nor am I about to sit back and let Pendleton decide what happens on our hillside without some input from us.

 

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^I think you took that too literally Mike. Max was just saying if you were to pressure CPS or whoever, go along with either plan that is presented (Rothenburg or SCPA). I don't know why you keep bringing the Pendelton thing up if they are accomplishing your objective. I don't care if someone in a neighboring community helps me by helping themselves, that just seems like win-win, even if they make the decision.

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Michael,

 

I have a couple of thoughts I would like share.

 

1) If you haven't already, I recommend reading through the OTR comprehensive plan.  This will provide some framework as to how this all this started and why people are upset and making the recommendations they are.  Alot of work by a whole bunch of people went into that plan.  Folks are upset that it has been shelved and a handful of folks are dramatically altering the plan without telling anyone or opening it to discussion.  In addition, many of those folks weren't involved in putting the plan together in the first place

 

2) Actually, most folks I know would be content in keeping the SCPA a school, but it was never planned to be kept after the new SCPA is built.  Folks have tried to keep the SCPA at its current location.  The powers that be were not interested.  The reason to push Rothenburg is simple.  It was already (and technically still is) in the plan for rehab.  The student population loss has thrown the total school capacity need into question however.  Original plan was to build both a new WPE and rehab Rothenburg.  Now the school board is saying that they want to build a new WPE first and then rehab Rothenburg if they need the space.  Coalition argument is that instead of tearing down 22 historic buildings, spend less money and rehab Rothernburg first and then see if more capacity is needed.  It is easier to encourage adopting a plan already on the table (rehab Rothernburg) vesus coming out of left field with a new one (abandon new WPE and Rothenburg and rehab SCPA instead).  If you cant get the school board to do something they already said they were going to do, how are you going to get them to do something they had no intention of in the first place?

 

3) As I understand it, the current plan it to build a new WPE fairly soon.  The new SCPA is still something like $10 million short of its funding requirements.  Can't build a new SCPA until the money is there and don't know how long that will be. Once they green light the project, Im guessing it will be 18-24 months before it would be ready for use.  If they broke ground lets say summer 2006, your looking at 2008-2009 school year before the current SCPA is vacated.  And  then if you do a light rehab to repurpose it for an elementary school, your looking at least another 12 months which means it would be a new WPE until 2009-2010 at the earliest and I think that is aggressive.  I think the school board wants a new WPE before then.  If they wait 5 years there won't be any students left to educate...:-)

 

4) Also, it might be helpful to know that the proposal to push the Rothernburg rehab first came from the OTR community council and was later pick up by OTR Foundation, Pendleton community council, et al.

 

5) While one may not agree with everything some of the folks are proposing in trying to save OTR as they see it.  I will say this.  Some of these guys have lived here a long time (15-20+ years) and in no small part, some of the reason we are able to enjoy what we can of OTR is because of them.  Blocks of buildings, St. Pauls church, etc. were saved because of some of thier efforts.  Not saying it always makes them right, but they have done far more to save buildings in OTR probably anyone on this thread.  You might be well served in talking to them.  For them, it is not about what's best for their backyard.  They just absolutely love OTR and don't want to its fabric destroyed.    

 

6) By all means get involved.  I know for fact many of the group's initial meetings we widely publicized to drum up interest in getting involved to figure out what to do.  Im sure they would be more than happy to hear your input.

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Also, it might be helpful to know that the proposal to push the Rothernburg rehab first came from the OTR community council and was later pick up by OTR Foundation, Pendleton community council, et al.

 

Also part of my point. Everyone please keep in mind that my inquiry into this is limited to this thread.  That was my point when saying I am not on the news, in the news paper, or at public meetings acusing people of impropriety.  The first argument was that 3CDC did not approach the various community groups for input.  Well why has Pendleton or the Foundation not approached the Mulberry/McMicken Sector to discuss a proposed school realignment that would happen in our own backyard?  I had to hear about it on Channel 9.

 

I have read the OTR Comprehensive plan (I had to for another project currently in the works).  I understand why people are doing what they are doing by offering other solutions to the 3CDC proposal, I am simply offering yet another possibility however I am doing it just on this board instead of broadcasting around the City like the Foundation is doing.

 

I don't know why you keep bringing the Pendelton thing up if they are accomplishing your objective

My objective is to get both schools under consideration, they are not, Rothenburg is all you hear mentioned.  Once again, let me reiterate that this is confined to only this thread.  If I am wrong or misguided, well maybe a handful of people know.  This is different from the tact that others have taken in this matter.

 

As to the 10 million

"A number of corporate and private funders that are putting…there is over $30 million dollars of private money going into the school for performing arts."

I went to Walnut Hills High School, I know all about private dollars funding most, if not all improvements. " Most of the $12 million for the new facility has been raised by private donations from the Walnut Hills Alumni Foundation".  Sounds like SCPA has the wherewithal to do 10 million, Hell, my high school art museum cost more than that. 

 

I to have lived in various parts of "downtown" for 12 going on 13 years.  I to believe in saving OTR however the Foundation does not get carte blanche authority in all things OTR.  It is my OTR also and I have had to fight the Foundation on other matters where they have "saved" buildings and it turn out as a negative for the community. (somehow, I think you know what I am talking about)  I am only asking a question, expanding the conversation to include more possibilities than what are currently being discussed and I am doing it in a quiet manner.  If the Foundation or Pendleton wants me to show up at their meetings, I can, along with the rest of the residents of the hillside that have some reservations about reopening Rothenberg as a school.

 

One last question in closing.  What is the ultimate plan for Old Woodward.  I just haven't actually heard it yet.  Surely you don't want to see the building sit empty.

Ok, make it 2 last questions, 4:20 in the morning?  SomewhereOTR, We need to get you out more.

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Let's not sling too much poo or we will all lose.

 

I could not agree more.........

 

Over-the-Rhine neighbors vote to sue schools

 

By Stephanie Dunlap

 

 

 

Photo By Matt Borgerding

One of the problems with plans to sell certain buildings owned by Cincinnati Public Schools is the effect on the already limited green space in the inner city, according to Ty Provosty (right).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The only thing they seemed to know for sure was that money gets attention. An alarmed group of about 25 Over-the-Rhine and Pendleton residents, entrepreneurs and property owners raised their hands Sept. 7 in a pledge to scrape up the $23,000 it could cost them to sue Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS).

 

Chris Rose, who owns property, raises two kids and plans to open a business in Over-the-Rhine, offered to help put together a fund-raiser.

 

"The lawsuit's the only way these people are going to understand," he said.

 

The first thing the Greater Over-the-Rhine and Pendleton Schools Coalition wants the school board to know is that they've had it with decisions made behind closed doors.

 

They've been riled ever since CPS chucked painstaking plans the community drew up for the neighborhood and its schools in favor of recommendations from Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC), a two-year-old private, nonprofit development corporation headed up by many of the city's business elite.

 

'Go look it up'

Washington Park Elementary School had been slated to move to a Central Parkway location, but 3CDC decided the site would better suit a new School for Creative and Performing Arts (see "Taking Over the Park," issue of July 14-20, 2004). Instead, 3CDC chose a site for Washington Park called Mercer Commons, a cluster of 22 historic, mostly vacant buildings sandwiched between Vine, Walnut, 13th and 14th streets.

 

Then the school board recently moved to begin immediately considering the sale of 16 school buildings that don't fit into CPS' 10-year, district-wide plan. Two of those buildings, the current Washington Park and SCPA , either include or abut green spaces that might lose out to commercial redevelopment (see Porkopolis, issue of Aug. 24-30).

 

"People who don't live in the city don't get that green space is fundamentally important in an urban environment," said Ty Provosty, the Pendleton Neighborhood Council president and architect who ran the Sept. 7 meeting.

 

The board's rush to consider the sales was prompted by a rider attached to the new state budget allowing CPS to bypass a law requiring that surplus buildings first be offered to charter schools. The waiver, which expires Dec. 31, allows the schools to be sold to commercial interests.

 

But the waiver includes three ridiculously specific criteria because it was meant to apply to just one school near Columbus, according to coalition lawyer Tim Mara. CPS' interpretation of the rider is too broad, he says.

 

Coalition members think CPS is moving so quickly to sell to commercial developers because it wants to thwart potential competition from charter schools, something school board member John Gilligan previously told CityBeat.

 

But CPS spokeswoman Janet Walsh says it's the best way to get the most money for the cash-strapped school district.

 

"We'd be very disappointed if legal action materialized, because we really feel that it's in the best interest of our district and our taxpayers to at least explore this window of opportunity that we have to potentially sell property that is no longer needed for schools," Walsh says.

 

The board hasn't officially declared those 16 schools surplus properties and is still only investigating their possible sales, she says.

 

The board's loose interpretation of the waiver's specific language is one of two components of the proposed lawsuit. But even more frustrating is the board' reluctance to turn over relevant documents, which violates the Ohio Public Records Act, Mara says.

 

Walsh also rejects charges of deliberate obfuscation.

 

"We are a public institution and we do our business in public, and anyone is very welcome to come to our board meetings," she says.

 

But Mara says the board refused his requests for documents showing how those 16 schools comply with the waiver's specific requirements.

 

"The response we got from the school board is, 'Go look it up at the county courthouse,' '' he says.

 

He estimates a title search would cost at least $1,000 per school, while the cost of obtaining copies of documents from CPS would be much less.

 

Coalition members also believe Mercer Commons is too dangerous for a new Washington Park School. Pendleton resident and architect Ken Jones gathered police statistics comparing crime around Mercer Commons to the area surrounding Rothenberg Preparatory Academy, where they'd prefer CPS focus its plans for an Over-the-Rhine elementary school.

 

Depending on the category of crime, in the first seven months of this year the Mercer Commons reporting area logged between two and six times the calls for service as the area around Rothenberg.

 

But Walsh says crime around Mercer Commons is drawn by vacant buildings that would no longer be vacant once the school moved in.

 

"Unfortunately the current Washington Park site also has issues," she says. "We certainly would not move forward on a proposal to create a school if we thought the environment would be unsafe for students or our staff."

 

'I'll chip in'

Many coalition members want CPS to renovate Rothenberg first, then reassess Over-the-Rhine's demographics, believing declining enrollment might make Washington Park School unnecessary. That could save the historic buildings on the Mercer Commons site from demolition, they say.

 

Not everyone at the meeting agreed. Pat Clifford, who runs the Drop Inn Center homeless shelter, thinks plans for a second elementary school in Over-the-Rhine shouldn't be tabled.

 

"The common myth is that, in the indeterminate future when everything is so gentrified -- which we've been of course waiting for for the last 20 years -- there will be no kids, it'll all be empty nesters, et cetera, et cetera, so we won't need as many schools," he said. "That's a nice theory, but in actuality we now have more kids than Rothenberg can handle. What if your theory of development doesn't happen?"

 

Either way, coalition members were doubly upset to have just recently learned of the board's June 27 decision to put Rothenberg's renovation on hold. The delay is for financial reasons but won't be as long as coalition members think because the board restructured the phases of its facilities plan, Walsh says.

 

Members of the coalition are also upset by the disparity between the prices CPS paid to acquire land for the new SCPA and Mercer Commons and the price it's asking for the old SCPA. Drawing from numbers reported in the Cincinnati Business Courier, Jones estimates that CPS paid $35-$36 per square foot for the Mercer Commons land and $41-$42 for the new SCPA's parcels.

 

But CPS might be offering the old SCPA property for a little as $9 per square foot, Provosty says.

 

"Let's start saving our $9," he said at the meeting. "I'll chip in mine, I tell you."

 

Walsh doesn't know where he got that number.

 

"My understanding is there's not an asking price out there," she says.

 

Provosty later explained that he found a minimum bid price of $3 million for SCPA on a leaked document generated by CPS and a real estate agent it hired.

 

"We didn't invent those numbers," Provosty says. "Those are the numbers from them."

 

The document lists the minimum bid prices for Washington Park and Vine Elementary schools as $1 million and $450,000, respectively.

 

The minimum bid price for Winton Place Academy, whose potential sale also has the Winton Place community up in arms, is $650,000. The Over-the-Rhine coalition hopes to hook up with the disgruntled residents in that neighborhood.

 

The tension of gentrification runs through the conflict. Some aren't impressed by the coalition's green space concerns. Sarah Poole of Pendleton wrote in an e-mail that she's infuriated by "most of them caring more about trees and places for their dogs to poop, than caring about what's best for CPS and the neighbor people and kids."

 

Provosty bristles at similar characterizations.

 

"I think really, fundamentally, they're trying to paint our coalition into 'save-our-green space, we-like-our-front-lawn,' " he says. "First and foremost it's about the safety of the kids, and second it's the lack of fiscal responsibility."

 

Mara suggested that the coalition give the school board until Monday to respond, while he prepares the lawsuit. ©

 

 

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What a mess.

 

Two of those buildings, the current Washington Park and SCPA , either include or abut green spaces that might lose out to commercial redevelopment (see Porkopolis, issue of Aug. 24-30).

 

I thought the deal was to extend Washington Park, that would give you more green space.

 

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"That's a nice theory, but in actuality we now have more kids than Rothenberg can handle."

Hey, guess what, SCPA can handle 350 more students than Rothenberg.

 

That real estate agent they hired I believe is Christine Schoonover.  Now what is the condo queen doing working on an old school project at SCPA?  I got work that Christine was meeting with the Foundation a month or two ago.  (I to work for HUFF)  Why not be open. 

Bringing legal action against CPS

working to find fair market value on the SCPA

PR campaign to push Rothenberg as the neighborhood school

I Team investigative report to put public pressure on CPS

Hiring in a HUFF residential agent

"I think really, fundamentally, they're trying to paint our coalition into 'save-our-green space, we-like-our-front-lawn,' " he says. "First and foremost it's about the safety of the kids, and second it's the lack of fiscal responsibility."

 

Well, you are half right.  I just got off the phone with another Broadway resident who is a community insider and Foundation outsider, we agree, why did this information about green space not come out in the "save our buildings campaign"?  And what is the plan for Old Woodward?  Why will no one just say it?

 

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inkaelin,

Not for Pendleton residents but yes for Washington Park.  It seems that now things are heating up a little bit some things will become a little more apparent.  Just keep in mind what my argument has been all along, this is not about Washington Park or Mercer Commons or 22 or 6 buildings, not about crime rate, it is about Pendleton. 

 

"is pendleton doing what is best for OTR or what is best for Pendleton?"

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Also part of my point. Everyone please keep in mind that my inquiry into this is limited to this thread.  That was my point when saying I am not on the news, in the news paper, or at public meetings acusing people of impropriety.  The first argument was that 3CDC did not approach the various community groups for input.  Well why has Pendleton or the Foundation not approached the Mulberry/McMicken Sector to discuss a proposed school realignment that would happen in our own backyard?  I had to hear about it on Channel 9.

 

 

I cant speak to how thorough the attempt to make everyone aware of the coalition was since I wasn't part of that process.  But I do know that a request for involvement was made via the OTR and Pendleton Community Councils as well as the Prospect Hill group.  My guess is that the hope was that by reaching the major neighborhood organizations it would filter through the community.  With limited volunteers, one does what one can.  Sometimes those on the outside have to make a point to get plugged in. Granted I know community councils particularly in OTR area tend to be dysfunctional, but maybe the Mulberry/McMicken sector can send a representative to the other groups to stay in the loop

 

I have read the OTR Comprehensive plan (I had to for another project currently in the works).  I understand why people are doing what they are doing by offering other solutions to the 3CDC proposal, I am simply offering yet another possibility however I am doing it just on this board instead of broadcasting around the City like the Foundation is doing.

 

New ideas are cool and should be heard.  I think the broadcasting is an attempt to make dicussion public more than anything.  The ultimate goal of the coalition is to get a seat at the table with the school board and 3CDC on these decisions.  If that goal is achieved, they as well as you and others can weigh in on any decisions.  Right now that is not the case.  Going public appears to be the only way to get attention of public officials soemtimes.  And keep in mind, the near term goal was to stop the demolition of the 22 properties and then have a discussion.  In order to do that, that had to go in with an alternative proposal.  I heard that the school board pulled thier initial demolition permit for the time being because of this fuss. So maybe its not all bad.

 

As to the 10 million "A number of corporate and private funders that are puttingthere is over $30 million dollars of private money going into the school for performing arts."  Sounds like SCPA has the wherewithal to do 10 million, Hell, my high school art museum cost more than that. 

 

I don't think the SCPA will have any trouble cobbling together the money needed either. My point is that they dont have it yet and a new WPE is planned in the near term.  They have been raising money for a few years now. It may take a couple of more meaning the SCPA may not be available as an alternative for another 3-4 years at least - which is outside the current timeline for WPE.  Personally, I think that turning Rothenburg into condos and the SCPA into the new WPE is a great idea.  Unfortuntely, Cincinnati politics suffers from the myopia virus.  As a result, it seems drastic actions are always necesssary to get people to sit down, talk and think about what they are doing.

 

I to have lived in various parts of "downtown" for 12 going on 13 years.  I to believe in saving OTR however the Foundation does not get carte blanche authority in all things OTR.  It is my OTR also and I have had to fight the Foundation on other matters where they have "saved" buildings and it turn out as a negative for the community. (somehow, I think you know what I am talking about)  I am only asking a question, expanding the conversation to include more possibilities than what are currently being discussed and I am doing it in a quiet manner. 

 

Certainly, as a resident you have as much say as anyone else in the community.  My only thought is that it appears to me that the divide between your thinking and those that are opposing the school board is not that great.  The fact that some of these folks have been through this "fight the power" stuff before suggests that there is a method the madness and self interest to the extreme of "I only care about my street" is not a factor.

 

If the Foundation or Pendleton wants me to show up at their meetings, I can, along with the rest of the residents of the hillside that have some reservations about reopening Rothenberg as a school.

 

If there are reservations I think you (and others) should voice them.  Maybe you (and others) could connect with the folks in the coalition to influence the direction of that group.  Or I guess you could start another group.  If there is one thing OTR could use its more groups.:wink:

 

 

 

One last question in closing.  What is the ultimate plan for Old Woodward.  I just haven't actually heard it yet.  Surely you don't want to see the building sit empty.

 

I don't know.  I think the school board just wants to sell it and let whoever buys it determine what they want.  My understanding is that the provision that allows a sale to developers without first opening it to charter schools says that it has to be used (or at least some of it) for a commerical purpose.  One specuation is that the greespace is of significant interest in that is a huge block of undeveloped land.  Perhaps of bigger interest than the school.  One hypothesis is that a developer buys the school and land for $3 million. Develop the land and sell the school.  An even more pessimistic hypothesis is that the developer will tear down the school for more new construction as it will be hard to convert into condos.  Hopefully that wont happen,will all of broadway commons its not like we don have space to build downtown.  Rumor has it, the school board may have a couple of offers on the SCPA and any deals have to be closed by December, so if this is true, I imagine we will hear news soon.

 

Ok, make it 2 last questions, 4:20 in the morning?  SomewhereOTR, We need to get you out more.

:wink:

 

:lol:  Believe it or not I had gone out for a little while. Maybe I didn't party hard enough :lol:

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The "coalition" can fight this out as much as they want, bring some much needed negative press to the area, sue a school, ok. 

 

I cant speak to how thorough the attempt to make everyone aware of the coalition was since I wasn't part of that process.  But I do know that a request for involvement was made via the OTR and Pendleton Community Councils as well as the Prospect Hill group.  My guess is that the hope was that by reaching the major neighborhood organizations it would filter through the community.  With limited volunteers, one does what one can.  Sometimes those on the outside have to make a point to get plugged in. Granted I know community councils particularly in OTR area tend to be dysfunctional, but maybe the Mulberry/McMicken sector can send a representative to the other groups to stay in the loop

 

I am part of the OTRCC, and hope to have a board seat soon

I sit on the MT. Auburn Leadership Counsil with Larry Oliver-Prospect Hill

I am Captain of the Mulberry/McMicken Sector (where Rothenberg sits)

I am part of the OTR Chamber

I am on the Foundations email list and know most of the members (I know, I fight with them daily about some of their holdings)

I sit in on Brewery District meetings (and if it isn't on John Donaldsons email updates for OTR I am convinced it doesn't exist)

You would think I would be in the loop  It constitutes at least half of my job.

 

But never the less, thank you for being thorough in your response, I am not questioning your motives personally but the collective intentions of the "Coalition" 

 

I think it is truly unfortunate that it is coming to a law suit, and I mean for the entire area.  I will post the upcoming articles that are inevetibly going to be printed to show how unfortunate it really is.

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Mr. Redmon - I share your sense of urgency, and although I am no where near your level of involvement I hope I am not naive in my optimism on OTR's near term future. In just my 3 years of working downtown I have seem many major projects.  If we can think of OTR as an island, then I think we are establishing a strong beach head.  I cite the American Building, which joins it's neighbors the Halle-Justis and Emery. also new on the OTR beach is the old Eagle-Picher building and the large apt. bldg on the NEC of Reading & Broadway. Further "inland" the exciting use of the old Kenner (I believe that's right) bldg, by the Art Academy, and new rehabs now on Jackson St. and on the SWC of 12th & Vine.  All up & down Main St., Orchard, and near by.  Prospect Hill is looking good.  I do worry about the Brewery district and this CityLink thing is interesting.  I think there can just be a bit of luck a few blocks up Vine then the Mercer projects will ignite.  With SCPA underway I think progress has been remarkable, especially since the 2001 riots.

 

I am not for 100% gentrification, but think that mixed market use is ideal.  I wonder what your thoughts are on that, and on CityLink. I was initially opposed to CityLink but am now thinking (after listening to lots of talk on radio and reading) that it might be the best way to go.  I do worry about the transients though, I see them leaving their current shelter and kinda fanning out throughout Washington Park, OTR and downtown.  I wonder where they will fan out too if moved over to Bank St. area? 

 

Finally - if I had my youth and the lottery on my side I would buy the Emery Theatre and turn it into a viable winner.  What a waste it is currently.

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I agree 100% things are moving fast in CBD and OTR as well as the hillside.  The brewery district is actually looking very promising as we are hoping to work on a major project over there (and don't forget about Dunlap).  My point above however was about new construction and peoples aversion to it.  Grasscat has been very good about listing properties that are being torn down all the time, not for new construction, but for decay.  As part of a solution to this problem, new construction can help slow this down.

 

A mixed market is what will be in OTR.  Urban areas like OTR are unique in that each street acts as its own neighborhood.  Main St can flourish (in a year or so) as a market rate community and one street over, Walnut, can exist as lower income with very little effect on Main.

 

I have to be carefull on what I say about Citylink because I have several friends who are working very hard to fight it.  I am opposed to any further social services in or around OTR, but will Citylink act as a consolidating force for various places that exist currently in OTR?  If so, I have a hard time opposing them.  I feel terrible for the West End and certainly wish that they would choose another location far outside either community, but if several individual places gets consolidated into one outside of OTR then good for OTR.  Now I do not know if this is indeed the case or not, however I do know that strong rhetoric is being tossed around by both sides and it is difficult to distinguish which is fact and which is fiction.  The West End is my neighbor, but OTR and Mt. Auburn are my neighborhoods, and I have to look out for what is best for my own community first.

 

WHERE CITYLINK ISN'T

CityLink officials said they looked at about a dozen sites for their proposed CityLink center. Where it won't be:

 

A 20-acres site, three miles west of I-75. Owner not interested, Too far from town.

 

8001 Reading Rd. Carousel Inn, too far from town.

 

Dalton Street, near Bank Street, mostly leased, not available for sale.

 

Colerain Avenue at Bank Street, not enough land.

 

1621 Moore Street, Over-the-Rhine, not enough land.

 

West End off Findlay Street, less than one acre of land.

 

1910 Elm Street, former KD Lamp Building, already under contract to residential developer.

 

1910 Race St. former Cantanzaro Foods, Over-the-Rhine, not enough land.

 

Liberty & Vine street, Over-the-Rhine, not enough land.

 

2101 Ross Ave., Norwood, too far from downtown, too expensive.

 

Madison Road near Red Bank, former South Western Publishing, too far from downtown , too expensive.

 

Marbury Avenue, former Milacron, too expensive, current developer/owner not interested in residential development

 

Evans Street, Price Hill, former Queen City Barrel site, potential serious land environmental contamination.

 

If you really wanted to hear the Brewery District up and arms, what if it went into KD Lamp?  Crossroads looked at OTR before and I do not want them to turn away from the location at Club Chef and look back here again. 

Welcome to UrbanOhio OTRfan

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thx for sharing your thoughts. Was the KD Lamp building originally a brewery (Christian Morlein?)  Anyway I had an interesting experience today. While taking pictures of the Ohio steps, the lower ones down near Race & McMicken, I ran across an older fellow who was on the steps and stacking rocks. I stopped and he said he was pulling rocks from the surrounding hillside so that the city mowers could cut the grass closer in the summer. I asked if he worked for the nearby church or for the city, he said no, he was a private citizen, 20 year OTR resident. We talked for a while, his name is Berta Lambert, and was the self-proclaimed "mayor of OTR".  Anyway, quite a character, just returned from anti-nuclear march, etc.  arrested along with Rev. McCracken, etc.  He seems firmly against gentrification, and pretty much anything but housing for poor singles and families. He said there were 500 abandoned bldgs. in OTR, talked about ReSTOC and some other similar programs.  I told him I was concerned about the near term health of some of these, that we can't wait much longer. He said the city needed to do a better job in forcing the owners to stablize these by boarding up windows, putting on waterproof roofs, etc.   

 

But doesn't the city know these owners, even if absentee, don't they have any power over them in terms of condition?  fines?  Lambert said the city gives tax incentives for developers rehabing bldgs for upscale, but not for those being cleaned up for section 8 or lower end market.  Is this true.  This guy was sincere, commited to OTR and at least he was out there on his own initiative cleaning up what he could, I'll give him that.

 

I will say that I am amazed at the dangerous and completely ignored condition of the OTR alleys.  Why can't the city run those mini-sweeper trucks through these?  Even once a year would be a start.

 

and thanks for the welcome Mr. Redmon, this should be fun.

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I'm going to post the whole story over in the CPS thread, but here are a couple of excerpts from the Enquirer today.  I'm glad CPS is going to take a step back and reevaluate things:

 

 

CPS to examine real estate prospects

District may re-evaluate Over-the-Rhine plans

By Marla Matzer Rose

Enquirer staff writer

 

...

 

The district has faced declining enrollment for more than three decades. The Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, where CPS initially put the Washington Park School up for sale, has seen particularly steep declines in recent years.

 

District spokeswoman Janet Walsh said these declines were a major factor in CPS choosing to take these properties, along with about 10 others, off the market for now and re-evaluate plans for Over-the-Rhine.

 

The district's original plan called for a new school to be built on a site bounded by Vine, Mercer, Walnut and East 14th streets in Over-the-Rhine. That property, bought from a unit of Western-Southern Financial in late 2004, contains 22 historic buildings that had been planned for renovation into market-rate housing.

 

Preservationists and neighborhood advocates strongly opposed the district's plan, and CPS has now put any demolition plans on hold. Walsh said that although no decision has been made, CPS would be free to resell the site on the open market.

 

Bergman said his firm "would be happy" to consult with CPS on the property should it decide to sell.

 

Catherine Huggins, a spokeswoman for Western-Southern, said the company would be open to considering a repurchase of the property should that happen.

 

...

 

E-mail mrose@enquirer.com

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051231/BIZ01/512310335/1076/rss01

 

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Wow, I'm so so glad to hear that! With the Quinliven report and now this, my faith in the power of normal everyday citizens to impact big decisions has been increased.

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his name is Berta Lambert, and was the self-proclaimed "mayor of OTR".  Anyway, quite a character, just returned from anti-nuclear march, etc.  arrested along with Rev. McCracken, etc.  He seems firmly against gentrification, and pretty much anything but housing for poor singles and families.   

 

Stick around, if you do anything in OTR, Berta will eventually protest against you too! 

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Plaza plans to be unveiled

THE ENQUIRER

 

Plans for Music Hall Square, a public plaza to be built between Memorial Hall and Music Hall, will be unveiled Thursday night at a public meeting at Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St.

 

The Cincinnati Center City Development Corp., a non-profit agency guiding redevelopment of Over-the-Rhine, has hired local architects Glaserworks to design the space. A new garage also is being planned for the site.

 

The meeting, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., is free.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061101/NEWS01/611010376/1056/COL02

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I saw the plans, not bad, but the 3cdc guy said "we can't match the quality of Music hall or memorial hall" which really is sad that we can't build as well as we used to 100+ years ago.  I know he means it would just be too expensive but it really feels like we are taking a step back.  The parking garage looked really modern, a glass and steel job which I guess is okay because you can't build a 19th century parking garage, they never existed, it would look really strange.  they also mentioned building space for a resturaunt in the design, but not finding a tennant until a little later.

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Meeting explores Music Hall garage

Designs presented, public input sought for Over-the-Rhine plaza

BY JANELLE GELFAND | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

 

 

Proposed Development Map: http://news.enquirer.com/assets/AB48418112.PDF

 

After years of speculation about developing the Music Hall area, planners are finally unveiling the design for a new garage and public plaza next door to Cincinnati's historic venue.

 

Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) will present the designs by architects Michael Moose and Steve Haber of Glaserworks in a public discussion tonight at Memorial Hall, Over-the-Rhine.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061102/NEWS01/611020384/1056/COL02

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Say no to this project!! What a shame it would be to put this kind of glass structure in b/w two beautiful Cincy landmarks.  Why is it such a big deal to have folks not go outside to get to music hall?  It seems inconsistent with the purpose of reinvigorating the area.  If they are adamanert about a garagel, do it underground or nearby. This project would be a real shame.

 

Just as an example, I went to a University in the NE w/ gorgeous gotic archetechture and the school decided to build a glass elevator in between two adjacent buildings...it looks hideuous!!

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For the first time, concertgoers will be able to drive into a parking garage and walk directly into Music Hall or Memorial Hall without ever stepping outside.  :roll:

 

The whole idea is to revitalize the area, but all of these measures such as parking garages and changing the seating configuration in Music Hall are missing the target.  Groups of junkies pour out of the Drop Inn Center like a bunch of zombies.  They spend all day drinking and using drugs in Washington Park, yelling at people and committing crimes.  In fact, during the crime initiative by the Cincinnati Police, hundreds of crimes were traced to residents of the Drop Inn Center. 

 

If the Drop Inn Center was relocated to Queensgate, Washington Park would change overnight.  It would become livable again.

 

Don't take my word for it...go down to Washington Park and walk around for an hour or two.

 

 

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^the Drop Inn Center is not going to relocate.  3CDC and the city will have to figure a way to work with them.

 

The drawings of the parking garage next to music hall leaves a lot to the imagination.  If they had a big budget they could build a very cool building, however with no budget, it looks like they are going to try to hide the garage behind mirrors and greenery.  My understanding is that this garage is also required for the new SCPA building, so it will be serving several functions, not just Music Hall.

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^ i agree that these sketches leave quite a bit to the imagination...but what im imagining is something quite beautiful.  anyone that says contemporary and traditional dont mix just isnt willing to accept that times have changed.  we arent living in 1880...its 2006.  Just imagine a seemless glass wall glowing with light securing the gab between these two historic structures.  it would create the same quality as is done every day (and approved by most members on this discussion) with conversion of historic buildings into contemporary living spaces.  the gleam of contemporary butted right next to treasure of historic.  i can imagine numerous instances where this has been successfull in places like new york, any european city...but only if done properly.  so stop saying glass and steal do not belong in over the rhine.

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Division over new OTR garage

 

BY JON NEWBERRY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

 

OVER-THE-RHINE – A proposed Music Hall garage stirred strong reactions from preservationist groups tonight after details were unveiled for the first time at an Over-the-Rhine community meeting organized by Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC).

 

The eight-level, 632-space Music Hall Square, as 3CDC is calling it, would be sandwiched into an irregular-shaped lot south of Music Hall between Memorial Hall on Elm Street and the Pipefitters Local 392 building on Central Parkway. All three of the buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061102/NEWS01/311020029/1056/COL02

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Uh, people have been able to park in the garage across Central Parkway and walk on that covered skywalk without setting foot on the ground since around 1977 or whenever that was built.  If they need more parking in the area, as I mentioned previously, there is more land adjacent to the existing garage or a new underground garage could be built under part of Washington Park, especially the part that will be vacated after the elementary school leaves.

 

 

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I wouldn't outright condemn the plan from the drawings but the projection screen sounds kinda tacky.

http://frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs/classical/

I don't think it is too much to think that people don't want to walk around in bad weather in their evening clothes.

I am assuming the garage would be handicap friendly. That would be a plus for aging patrons.

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I was at the meeting last night, and I think the design is great.  The fact is that Memorial and Music Halls are both big, iconic buildings that stylistically are very different.  Any building you try to design between them to "fit in" will end up looking fake and out of place.  One of the important standards of designing historic infill is that you don't always try to replicate what might have been there, but that you treat additions to be respectful of the historic fabric but also as of their own time.  The architects talked about using very clear glass, and that can really disappear in the right conditions.  I do like the projection screen, but it might be a bit much for the location.

 

I agree about the concerns that people won't step foot outside, but let's face it, they don't now unless they absolutely have to.  But a large portion of the garage would  be for the new SCPA and it's performances, and that would drive some foot traffic around the park.

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3cdc has a pdf of the Music Hall Square Garage Presentation. I pulled a few pics from it. The design doesn't overwhelmed these landmarks. If it helps keep these two institutions viable, I'm all for it. Based on the pdf it looks the garage can be built around the Pipefitters building if necessary. I have no sympathy for the preservationist, they have over 500 eye sores in OTR to deal with and haven't done shit and yet they need to complain about any new construction. Tough.

 

288070743_5218256906_o.png

 

288070684_2e2210226e_o.png

 

http://www.3cdc.org/otrrapsessions

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