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Cincinnati: Clifton: Development and News

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To clarify, here's a map the disc golf course... I think @jmecklenborg might have been talking about a different hill (closer to intersection of MLK with Burnet Woods Dr). The disc golf course is entirely to the north/west of Brookline... and the 1st hole goes down a hill which I could also imagine people sledding down. 

Burnet_Woods_OH_Map.jpg

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Clifton Market shareholders vote to sell the co-op to Gurmukh Singh:

https://www.wcpo.com/money/local-business-news/clifton-market-shareholders-vote-for-sale-of-neighborhood-co-op

 

Looks like Mr. Singh smells a deal here...my napkin math sez he's getting a fully modern neighborhood grocery store for at least $2 million less than what Clifton Market paid to buy and renovate the building. 

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Clifton Market basically started with a shell. That was one of the things that messed up their finances from the beginning. Missing out on subsidies routinely given to their competition was another factor in that.

 

As long as the neighborhood retains a grocery store, I would imagine the co-op owners will be happy. That's why they voted in such large numbers to make a deal with Singh.

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So this naively unvetted pair of loans will be a windfall for Mr. Singh + the neighborhood gets the neighborhood grocery back that it wanted from the beginning. 

 

As dumb as some of the people I've encountered in home lending are, I bet there are some even dumber people out there in the world of lending to non-profits. 

 

 

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I'm wondering how the owner of a small Indian restaurant has $1.8 million to buy a grocery store. Rather than having one large grocery fill the space, it could be cool if Jagdeeps Indian grocer moved in and took some of the space. That type of arrangement could potentially help with the financials of the store, too, as you'd have a revenue stream separate from just the grocery sales.

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Couple things:

-There isn't a nearby Kroger or other grocer in the area, right? That certainly gives them a leg up

-Less population and less avg income, but they are actually using a low-cost supplier (probably lower-quality produce too), which makes all the difference.  It is so hard to bring in enough bodies to your store when you charge premium prices for premium food. 

 

Not sure if anyone ventures to my neck of the woods in Wyoming, but there is a grocery in Hartwell that does well for all types of incomes and demographics.  Country Fresh Farm Market on Vine St is one of my favorite groceries in Cincinnati. If I were to open a co-op, I'd be asking questions about how they do so well.

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There's the Kroger on Kenard, which is only about a mile and a half from the heart of Northside. Clifton Market is about equidistant from the Kenard Kroger and the Corryville Kroger. Any independent grocer is going to have a hard time competing with either of the Uptown Krogers, from a price, variety and (of course, this being Cincinnati) a free parking standpoint. 

Edited by BigDipper 80

“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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I've been on Spring Grove and Mitchell so many times, and never even knew that there was a Kroger back over there.  Interesting spot for a grocery store.

 

This is slightly off topic, but I think the problem with these co-op stores isn't so much their lack of economies of scale.  It is just that Americans in general make large, less frequent runs to the grocery, and Kroger is perfectly tailored to that.  These co-ops are meant to be neighborhood stores where you walk/bike and pick up a few things for the next meal or two, but not much further in advance than that.  The gaslight district seems like a decent place to try out that experiment, but it's not easy to change habits.  Especially if you are expecting a Kroger  experience, one that none of these stores will ever be able to replicate.

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Exactly. Small grocery stores can work (see Aldi), but convincing people to shop 2-3 times a week instead of biweekly or monthly is a big cultural shift that has to happen in tandem with these co-ops. That, and convincing people that it's totally possible to walk a mile with 3-4 bags of groceries. 


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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That's the problem, outside of downtown with the new Kroger combined with the streetcar, I don't know if I see it happening.  I try hard to not use a car for groceries to help kick car-dependent habits (Kroger is 2 miles along a bike path away from me, and the Country Fresh store is 1 mile along neighborhood roads), but it certainly is not easy.  I don't really know how regular people can be convinced to actually do this.

Edited by 10albersa

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On 12/2/2018 at 8:14 AM, BigDipper 80 said:

Exactly. Small grocery stores can work (see Aldi), but convincing people to shop 2-3 times a week instead of biweekly or monthly is a big cultural shift that has to happen in tandem with these co-ops. That, and convincing people that it's totally possible to walk a mile with 3-4 bags of groceries. 

People in larger cities already shop this way.   I agree that the cultural shift is difficult.

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That's where transit is important, and why Northside might actually have a better go at it.  It's much easier to stop in at the store multiple times a week when you're already walking by on the way home from the bus/train.  Once you need to get in the car, then it becomes a weekly stock-up and it's just as easy to drive to Kroger. 

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The average person buys way more crap than they need.  A huge percentage of groceries are never eaten.  The profitable grocery store chains target buyers who waste what they buy.  So it's an uphill battle for those benevolent souls who want people to buy stuff they're actually going to eat. 

 

Plus, Kroger, etc., intentionally waste a lot of food as loss leaders.  They put lots of fruit and cakes and bread near the entrance that they know will never sell.  Gets the average fat American all chubbed-up. A co-op can't compete with that. 

Edited by jmecklenborg
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44 minutes ago, GCrites80s said:

Do loaves of bread really need to be 18 inches long still? People don't have 6 kids anymore.

 

That drives me crazy, too. I can never go through a whole loaf of bread before it turns moldy. In general, I would love to see more groceries sold in smaller quantities. As a single person who lives alone, it's very hard to use up all the groceries I get, so I've had to get smart about making things in advance and then freezing them to use later.

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28 minutes ago, Chas Wiederhold said:

*comes to UrbanOhio to read about new project developments in the city. Conversation about half loaves of bread dominating the SW Ohio board.*

 

And we haven't even gotten to the white bread vs wheat bread debate...

 

Let's get this thread back on topic folks!

 

 

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

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20 minutes ago, JYP said:

And we haven't even gotten to the white bread vs wheat bread debate...

 

Let's get this thread back on topic folks!

 

Wheat, obviously. Great idea though. So if Clifton Market goes away, does this leave the neighborhood choosing between Kroger and a couple small, ethnic grocers? Any other alternatives?

 

But I do agree that it is a transit-oriented and cultural shift that Americans are just unwilling to make now, especially in Cincinnati. Going to the grocery store once a week to stock up is just the norm, unfortunately...

 

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I went into Clifton Market when it opened. They had a juicer and a sign that said "juice bar coming soon" 

 

Went back months later and still not open. The juicer was sitting within direct line of sign of the produce section and they never seemed to make the connection. 

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Some positive news from Clifton:

 

#1 - Clifton Market is FULLY Stocked back to the levels when it was opened. The parking lot was full last night when I stopped in to shop. Hopefully the new owners can keep the shelves stocked and keep this market open!!!

 

#2 - Gaslight Bar & Grill just opened last night in the old library space at the corner of Ludlow and Ormond. They did a great job with the renovation and the photos from the rooftop dining area look great! I am heading there for dinner tonight. 

 

#3 - CCAC decision will be made at the Parks Board Meeting next week, so we will know if they are going to be able to move forward or not, the design looks great, the location is non-invasive into the "woods" areas of the park. I think CCAC has taken community input seriously and tried to make a great plan that is enviromentally friendly and will enhance the park. If the renderings are what get built, it would be a nationally prominent building as it would be the first designated "Living Building" INFO HERE to be built in Cincinnati (at least to my knowledge). 

 

#4 - The Clifton Neighborhood School is currently being renovated by CPS ready for students next year (grades Pre-K, K, 1st and 2nd, adding grades as kids move up). Should give  a great option to parents in the neighborhood now that Fairview is only magnet school and not a neighborhood option anymore, which should attract families. 

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I am pretty disappointed in this decision. I thought that it was a well thought out idea that fit well into the park. While I also think the development on Howell could be a good fit as well. By some accounts, that project is on hold due to funding issues with the underground garage portion of the development (which is not confirmed but makes sense). I just hope this does not mean the end of this wonderful community organization, without a home. 

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Did the Board members who voted "no" articulate why? The CityBeat article doesn't quote anybody from the Board who voted against it. I'm extra puzzled since at the same meeting they gave approval to "continue exploring plans for an update of the existing, WPA-built Trailside Nature Center by The Camping and Education Foundation."   

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