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'Uptown Cincinnati' booming

But neighborhoods around UC still need help, city told

By Gregory Korte Enquirer staff writer

 

Cincinnati's "Uptown" district functions almost as a second downtown. Consider:  There are 40,000 people who work in and around Uptown, making it the second biggest economic engine in the region, after downtown.  More than 300,000 vehicles travel in, out or through Uptown on any given day - more than twice the number crossing the Brent Spence Bridge.

 

The six business districts in the Uptown area contain 533,000 square feet of retail space - 64 percent more than Rookwood Commons in Norwood. Three more developments - the Calhoun Street Marketplace, Uptown Crossings and University Village - will push that number to 698,000.  There's more than $3.5 billion in development started in the seven neighborhoods surrounding the University of Cincinnati - a place its champions like to call Uptown Cincinnati.

 

New student housing complexes such as Stratford Village and retail projects such as Calhoun Street Marketplace are reinventing entire blocks at a time.  Still, leaders in that development told Cincinnati City Council Monday that many of those Uptown neighborhoods - Avondale, Clifton, Clifton Heights, Corryville, Fairview, Mount Auburn and University Heights - are struggling.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051012/BIZ01/510120334/1076/rss01

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There are 40,000 people who work in and around Uptown, making it the second biggest economic engine in the region, after downtown.

I always thought it was Blue Ash. Blue Ash has more workers and ALOT more corporations.

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Uptown area gets big boost

By Michael Collins Post Washington Bureau

 

The push to revitalize Cincinnati's Uptown area is getting a significant boost from the federal government, which will announce today that it has approved $52 million in tax credits for the effort.  The credits will open the door for the Cincinnati Development Fund and its partner, the Uptown Consortium, to pursue a number of long-range projects for the low-income area.

 

The credits will be used to leverage up to $200 million in private investment and create more than 2,000 jobs in the Uptown area, including the communities of Avondale, Clifton Heights-Fairview, Mount Auburn and Corryville.  "This is a tremendous shot in the arm," said Tony Brown, president and CEO of the Uptown Consortium.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050511/NEWS01/505110364

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Uptown group hires two to improve area

Development consortium responds to residents

By Marla Matzer Rose Enquirer staff writer

 

The nonprofit Uptown Consortium has made two new hires as it steps up its programs in a cluster of neighborhoods north of downtown Cincinnati. Dwendolyn Chester has been appointed director of neighborhood services for the community development corporation, while Alan E. Jones has become director of public safety.

 

Tony T. Brown, president and CEO of the year-old organization, said adding the two positions was an idea that came out of several meetings with neighborhood representatives.  "It's part of our overall strategic plan," Brown said. "Our residents told us that the renaissance of Uptown had to be about more than buildings, just bricks and sticks. It had to address the needs of the neighborhoods, in particular in having a plan for education and safety."

 

Read full article here:

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051012/BIZ01/510120334/1076/rss01

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For those of you who commented on Blue Ash as having more workers there.  This may be true, but the article said second largest economic engine.  This goes far beyond the amount of workers that are there.  The types of institutions and the clout they hold is what is important.  Uptown consists of the University of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Zoo, the Health Alliance (amoung many other nationaly acclaimed hospitals), Xavier University, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.  These are major institutions that Blue Ash cannot compare to.  There may be more workers in general, but the trickle down affect that the institutions Uptown have is far greater than that of any in Blue Ash.

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The Uptown Consortium covers Avondale, Clifton, CUF, Corryville and Mt. Auburn.  However, the Uptown Transportation Study includes Avondale, Clifton, Corryville, East Walnut Hills, Evanston, Mt. Auburn, North Avondale, Walnut Hills and CUF.

 

So it depends what you're talking about.

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The Uptown Consortium put out a Request for Proposals in mid-September to prepare a feasibility study of the potential for developing a research and related commercial ventures park in Uptown.  This could be part of their future land use plan, and they're selling the idea of the University. the hospitals, and related businesses to take part.

 

Here is the schedule on this:

• RFP Issued: September 16

• Deadline for receipt of letter of intent: October 7

• Deadline for receipt of completed proposal: November 9

• Notification to finalists of selection for interview: November 18

• Announcement of selected firm: December 21

• Contract negotiated, commencement of study: January 27.

 

The Uptown Consortium anticipates that this project will be completed on or before June 1, 2006.

 

You can read this RFP if you're really interested:

http://www.uptownconsortium.org./documents/RFP_ResearchVentures.pdf

 

There is also a Burnet Woods redesign in the works.  That RFP is here:

http://www.uptownconsortium.org./documents/Burnet_Woods_RFP_Final.pdf

 

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Parks spur areas in Uptown

BY MARLA MATZER ROSE | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

 

Some of the most desirable urban residential areas around the country line city parks. In Uptown - including the neighborhoods of Mount Auburn, Avondale and Corryville - dozens of boarded-up buildings surround parks that have spectacular views but need some upgrades and tender, loving care.

 

The Uptown Consortium, along with the Cincinnati Parks Board, is starting work on a master plan to enhance Uptown parks, including the 89-acre Burnet Woods on Clifton Avenue, along with smaller neighborhood parks such as the 8-acre Jackson Hill Park in Mount Auburn. The mission: Improve the parks and create programming from concerts to farmers markets to draw people from around the area.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060226/BIZ01/602260344/1076/BIZ

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Uptown plots its course

As clock ticks, development group examines its spending, strategy

By Dan Monk & Lucy May | Cincinnati Business Courier, May 18, 2007

 

The Uptown Consortium has 16 months to spend $16 million, or it could lose portions of the $52 million in federal tax credits it won in 2005 from the U.S. Treasury Department.  At the same time, the agency has hired a consultant to examine its mission and strategy and offer recommendations to help it operate more effectively.  Under rules of the federal New Markets Tax Credits program, the consortium must spend at least 60 percent of its allotment - $31 million - by September 2008 or it can be forced to return the federal credits.

 

The Uptown Consortium, a nonprofit economic development agency, so far has invested $16 million, with most of the money geared toward the revitalization of the Burnet Avenue corridor near Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. But the consortium has reserved another $22 million for McMillan Park, a $100 million condo project planned by a nonprofit development group affiliated with the University of Cincinnati. McMillan Park has stalled. UC has invited developers to make new proposals for the vacant land that now dominates the Calhoun Avenue corridor.

 

Read full article here:

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2007/05/21/story2.html

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Developers see potential in Uptown hotels

By Dan Monk | Cincinnati Business Courier, May 25, 2007

 

Hotel deals are percolating in the Uptown neighborhoods surrounding the University of Cincinnati, with at least three different developers eyeing potential projects.  A deal involving the Ackermann Group appears the farthest along. The Norwood-based developer has been talking with city officials and the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. (CHCURC) about a mixed-use project that would include a hotel of up to 150 rooms, a 400-car garage, a Gold's Gym and an undetermined mix of office or retail space at the corner of Calhoun and Vine streets.

 

"It seems to make sense for the area," said Gerald Siegert, an associate vice president for community development at UC, who adds city officials are exploring the use of tax increment financing and other tools. UC is involved in the project because it loaned $5 million to CHCURC for land acquisition.

 

A second project is being explored in Corryville by JFP Group, the real estate development company owned by Cincinnati entrepreneur Terry Jacobs. Siegert said JFP is contemplating a hotel/entertainment project on Martin Luther King Boulevard east of Vine Street. The idea is to link the new Village at Stetson Square housing development to the Short Vine entertainment district, Siegert said.

 

Read full article here:

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2007/05/28/tidbits1.html

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I have lived in Clifton for 10 years the only thing i see is a constant decline of good retail stores SAFE shopping areas and a flow of violence and crime that the city and the university along with the media due a extravagant job of hiding from the general public. I don't understand Cincinnati's leaders nor will i ever. Why instead of cleaning up garbage they build nice new condos over it and hope no one will notice. Why are the jails full but no one will vote for a new tax that will save them money in the long run. People are educated and people know better , so that excuse is all used up. I am not an evil person nor will I ever be but this city is pushing it's good residents away .

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^That was definitely a weird and rushed post.  Some commas would be nice.  Anyways, I don't know the numbers off the top of my head, but I'd be interested in seeing the crime reports for Clifton. 

 

 

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^^I don't know if I have EVER heard of anyone accusing the media of hiding crime from the general public.  I'm not entirely sure what the point of that post was...but it seems to me that you have a particular bent that is being clouded by your emotions.  Look at the changes in the Uptown area with a level head, and tell me that you honestly think they are making the area worse off.

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^That was definitely a weird and rushed post.  Some commas would be nice.  Anyways, I don't know the numbers off the top of my head, but I'd be interested in seeing the crime reports for Clifton. 

 

 

 

I see them every month.  the only real problem areas are the motels on central parkway and car break ins around burnet woods.

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I don't know where else to put this, so here goes...

 

There is a new clothing store open on Short Vine at the corner of Corry and Vine (across from Kroger).  The name of the place is Merch Underground...this is a collaborative effort by a group of 'young professionals' from the University of Cincinnati community.

 

"Merch Underground is a unification of designers, musicians, artists, and extreme athletes aiming to illustrate passions."

www.cincymerch.com

 

These are the types of these we need to embrace/continue embracing in our communities.  These grassroot efforts are unmeasurably valuable when it comes to the rehabbing of our inner-city neighborhoods.  I say at least go give it a look...and tell 'em UncleRando sent ya (just kidding), but seriously GO CHECK IT OUT!

 

n21406259_33171454_1059.jpg

2601 1/2 Vine Street

www.cincymerch.com

www.myspace.com/cincymerch

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I'm not sure how many other 21-23 year olds are out there actually acting on their intentions, but I thing this is a fantastic effort.  Many people talk about what they're going to do...they went out and did it.

 

The graphics/images may be cheesy, but who gives a crap...that will work itself out over time.

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Im kinda concerned about the location...it would be visible to more college students if it was on McMillan. I wish them the best of luck though. Seeing young motivated people do stuff like this; its inspiring.

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Perhaps it's harsh, but consider it constructive criticism.  It seems to me that the market they're aiming for is one that values authenticity.  The website doesn't do a good job of conveying authenticity.  That said, I like the idea and wish them luck.

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>Look good, do good, give good, feel good.

 

Go team!

 

 

>And lose the Celtic D&D font.

 

If these guys were old enough to remember the first Weezer record, they would have been playing "In My Garage" in the background.

 

 

>Many people talk  about what they're going to do...they went out and did  it.

 

Their myspace page reminded me of a recent observation of mine, that aside from higher gas prices, the biggest difference in the gas station aesthetic from 10 years ago is the proliferation of energy drink advertisements.  This coming from someone who has binders full of b&w negatives of gas stations from the 1990's.   

 

 

 

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Private developers ready to snap up UC-owned sites

At least seven firms consider making play for parcels

By Dan Monk | Cincinnati Business Courier, September 21, 2007

 

Slowly but surely, the University of Cincinnati is wringing the risk out of its real estate investment portfolio - a process that could spark a wave of new development in the blocks surrounding the school.  At least seven different developers are now talking with UC-financed nonprofit development corporations about the sale of land purchased for development projects that later stalled. School officials won't discuss the deals in detail, but sources involved in the process indicate discussions are under way with local developers Towne Properties LLC, Vandercar Holdings Inc., North American Properties and the Ackerman Group.

 

Dallas-based Trammel Crow Co. is said to be pursuing two sites, while JFP Group and MG Securities Inc. of Cincinnati are close to acquiring two parcels at the end of the Short Vine business district.  "What we're trying to do is get things moving. These things have been sitting there for too long," said Gerald Siegert, UC's associate vice president for community development.

 

Read full article here:

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2007/09/24/story6.html

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Very interesting article Randy.  This will go a long way in reducing UC's additional debt!  Maybe they can put this money towards the new basketball arena! (joke!!!!!!!)

 

The only question I have, correct me if I'm wrong (& I know you will)  :wink:, weren't some of the property owners on Calhoun forced close their businesses and sell to UC?  If so, I feel badly for them that UC would now turn around and sell back to private developers.

 

 

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The only question I have, correct me if I'm wrong (& I know you will)  :wink:, weren't some of the property owners on Calhoun forced close their businesses and sell to UC?  If so, I feel badly for them that UC would now turn around and sell back to private developers.

 

That is the very debate going on right now with the eminent domain lawsuit.  The holdings group that owns the Arby's and Hardees properties is in the midst of a legal battle with the City of Cincinnati over this action that was taken.  The others took the money offered and sold the properties and/or left peacefully.

 

This particular article is somewhat vague on the properties under discussion.  There is another group of properties that is owned by CHCRUC (aka UC) just further east of where you are talking about.  It is where the McDonalds and run-down parking garage thing existed.  It is part of the overall redevelopment plan, but a later phase (as outlined by CHCRUC and the Uptown Consortium).  I wonder if that too is up for grabs here.  I think it is a good move on UC's part...they have demonstrated that these projects can be and are successful.  Now the private developers are less wary to come in and invest millions of dollars...let them take it from here (mission accomplished).

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I think that Short Vine has gone downhill over the past year. Top Cat's and Sudsy Malone's both closed, two local restaurants have gone out of business and a cell phone store also closed (no big loss there). It seems every time something worthwhile closes, something like a Rob 'N Go or a cheap jewelry store takes its place (that is, if anything goes in at all). The clothing store highlighted above is a nice addition though.

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