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Cincinnati: Clifton: Development and News

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I really think a great business venture would be to operate a seasonal hookah company in this plaza.  In the warmer months have a little stand with maybe 10 hookahs or so, and I think it would do great business.  The two hookah places up on Calhoun are always such a scene, and usually full of little 15-16 yr olds, and that area is so much less chill and relaxing than Ludlow. You could get some take out from Sitwells, go across the street and hookah and listen to some street performers, and just enjoy the Ludlow street scene, something you can't really do with Calhoun.

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While we're at it, let's get a submarine shop on Ludlow.

 

I'm not really into the hookah idea on Ludlow.  I wouldn't agree that it'd fit in my neighborhood at all.

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It helps that Ludlow has a much lower traffic flow.  Once the uptown access is improved to I-71 (new interchanges at McMillan/Taft and MLK) there are proposals to return Calhoun and McMillan to 2-way streets, which will make that whole side of campus much more student/pedestrian friendly.  That area has way too much thru traffic on what should be neighborhood streets. 

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Once the uptown access is improved to I-71 (new interchanges at McMillan/Taft and MLK) there are proposals to return Calhoun and McMillan to 2-way streets,...

 

Where did you read that, and how far down on McMillan?

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^ This was word of mouth from members of the Walnut Hills and CUF community councils.  They're both fighting for 2 way streets along the entirety of McMillan and Taft, and the city has been receptive so far.

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Does that mean that they are going to build on/off ramps to 71 at MLK? That would be a great idea. Uptown is strangely difficult to access from 71.

 

This thread has some info on the plan: http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=3009.10%3Bwap2

 

I'll see if I can get the up to date proposal schemes and post them.  They call for collector ramps for a dual interchange at MLK and Taft/McMillan

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I don't know if the Ludlow plaza is complete or not, but from what I saw today, color me VERY unimpressed. It looks very cheap and half-assed. At this point I think the space would have been better used for much needed housing or a business that could generate revenue and tax dollars instead of a couple of picnic tables.

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If you go back to page 2 of this thread, you will see that in 2006, I was against removing productive business space to produce a vacant "square" for skateboarders.  A wrongheaded project if there ever was one.  The widened sidewalks around Graeters however, are fantastic.

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Yeah, I'm also unimpressed.  If done right, Ludlow Plaza could have been really cool.  I pictured a performance space, maybe a food cart there to serve the crowds of people who tend to linger on Ludlow.  I thought the trees would be towards the back, blocking out the parking lot, and there would be moveable tables and chairs, with some nice lighting.  What is currently there just looks tacky, imo.

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I've seen some huge crowds there for live music, upwards of 100 people.  I live nearby and it seems to be getting used a lot. 

 

I live a block away- and while the design isn't the most awe-inspring public space, it's heavily used and was also part of this weekends chalk-art mini festival that spanned telford and across to the plaza.  I agree that there should have been trees in the back part of the plaza as well, but I think it serves the neighborhood decently. Other than a few benches at Ludlow & Telford it's the largest public place to gather on Ludlow between Clifton (excluding Burnet Woods) and Whitfield. 

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Community members are looking to have some influence on the Tax Commissioner, to allow Keller's to reopen ASAP. There is a large risk of tens of thousands of dollars in perishables going to waste otherwise.

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Keller's IGA searching for way to reopen

 

By Alexander Coolidge • acoolidge@enquirer.com • January 17, 2011

 

 

CLIFTON - The owners of the shuttered Keller's IGA say their efforts to raise cash or negotiate a compromise with state officials over delinquent taxes have fallen short.

 

The grocery store was closed Jan. 6 by state officials after the store failed to pay nearly $190,000 worth of sales taxes and penalties. Co-owner John Veirlins, the-60-year-old grandson of the founder, said he's still trying to reopen, but is now exploring selling the store to other operators.

 

 

 

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110117/BIZ01/101180319/1001/BIZ/Owner-may-sell-Keller-s-IGA

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No, I don't think that it will reopen.  All of these people mourning its closing I can guarantee actually shop at the Mitchell Ave. Kroger.  That's the whole issue here -- that store stole tons of IGA's business years ago as people drove down there when they could have walked to Keller's.  Also, the Corryville Kroger is planned to be rebuilt, and that will take a bit of business away from Keller's also. 

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The best thing to do would to turn the building into a Trader Joe's.  That way it stands a better chance at capturing the market for organic goods.


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

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I went to Keller's all the time, but only to buy beer or wine.  They had a great selection... now the closest place I can get my usual poison is Party Source.

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I shopped at that store weekly-  It was always packed, and its prices were higher than the Kroger at Mitchell.  I figured that since I was walking and supporting my neighborhood in the end the cost effectiveness was about even. 

 

The floors were cracked and beat up, worse than even the crappiest Krogers, the ceiling tiles looked pretty wretched, and the IGA name isn't particularly well known anymore.  If Kroger buys it, that might be the perfect location for their "Kroger Marketplace" concept since a full store wouldn't make sense in that location.  I would LOVE a Trader Joes to move in, but I doubt it.  The best chance for a Trader Joes is probably going to be at the U Square development.

 

It would be tragic to totally lose a grocery store on Ludlow. I'm also pretty certain that the checkers and packers at that location were pretty well paid union folks.  UFCW did a rally/meet & greet there for Jennifer Brunner when she was running for the Dem Senate nomination.

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People are really stupid when it comes to grocery shopping.  They go to one store over another because one item is cheaper -- some item that for whatever resonates with them.  Then, they never understand that LIGHTING has a profound effect over how they perceive the quality of the food.  It's an extremely fickle business, one that a small player cannot hope to compete in unless they have some sort of exclusive location. 

 

i do think the multi-floor parking lot situation hurt Keller's, since our nations' hordes of terribly out-of-shape people struggled to control carts on that grade.

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I went to Keller's all the time, but only to buy beer or wine. They had a great selection... now the closest place I can get my usual poison is Party Source.

 

I guarantee you Ludlow Wine and Gifts will carry whatever Kellers had that you liked at the exact same price if you ask them.  Mike is a really nice guy and real responsive to customer requests.

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I guarantee you that Keller's didn't have enough business.  Kroger only makes about $100 million in profits on $20 billion in revenue -- this means they only have a few stores making over $1 million annually and many breaking even just to keep market presence and enable their economy of scale.  By comparison, my dad's company makes over $100 million every year shipping coal on maybe $3 billion in revenue. 

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I've seen smaller markets than the IGA survive. Plus, a $2 frozen dinner at Kroger was $4 at IGA. They were also proud UFCW workers. That's expensive. And management hadn't given that place an overhaul in years. I went there once a week and there were always lots of people.

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"Always lots of people" means absolutely nothing in the restaurant or grocery business.  Also, your condoning of union labor in an innocuous workplace (no real health hazards, unreasonable hours, etc.) indicates that you think "management" is hoarding all the money.  In the grocery store business, there's hardly any money to be made.  If Kroger is only making $100 million per year despite having the economy of scale that comes from thousands of stores and a logistics network that small groceries could never have, that means there's *maybe* $3 billion in profits nationwide to be had, for all grocery stores in the United States. Moral of the story: don't go into the grocery store business. 

 

I worked at Kroger when I was 18 for a few months, before you were forced to either join the union or be scorned by your fellow 61 IQ Kroger associates.  The management *wasn't* union, meaning the whole staff was deeply suspicious of the store managers.  This is one of the core problems with union environments -- it creates a needless us-versus-them environment that benefits no one except the unseen union bosses, who are the true oppressors. 

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I think something was lost in translation.  I was in no way defending the union aspect of IGA or the UFCW in general. I was as politely as possible mentioning that as a strong union shop, healthcare costs, etc. could possibly be higher than those of Kroger.  I don't think management was hoarding money-- they clearly had none. I'm sure for a large variety of reasons they couldn't afford to function- some being market conditions, overall lack of strong leadership, union costs, etc.

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The only way this location can become a profitable one is if there is a large influx of new residents to Clifton who don't need to drive to this grocery.  So basically what that means is where the Marathon gas station, UDF, and Bruegers Bagels are needs to become a series of huge apartment towers placing 500-1,000 new customers within shopping cart distance of this grocery.  I don't think the rest of Clifton is going to approve that or stop driving to Mitchell Avenue. 

 

And the big problem now is that with the loss of this store, those who live without a car in Clifton are totally screwed because there is no bus line that connects the Ludlow business district with the Mitchell Kroger OR Corryville without a transfer. 

 

 

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Without a grocery store, Clifton is instantly surpassed by Northside in livability.

 

I think you're wrong, though. I think a grocery will come back to the location (and be profitable, if run properly).

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I wonder if a smaller footprint store would actually do better - more of a large convenient store rather than a full on grocery store, plus you might be able to add gas in the back if you eliminated the overhang. I wouldn't be surprised if this drags on that one of the big pharmacies makes a play for that spot. They could have a small food section and the profit center of the pharmacy itself. That might force the CVS to get its act together and remodel that gross store. 

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Without a grocery store, Clifton is instantly surpassed by Northside in livability.

 

I think you're wrong, though. I think a grocery will come back to the location (and be profitable, if run properly).

The IGA in Northside turned into a Sav a Lot or something. Could be the future of Keller's.

Seems like the state would benefit by urging Keller's to apply for bankruptcy.

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