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Cincinnati: Over-the-Rhine: 3CDC Development and News

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2 hours ago, troeros said:

I wish Main Street managed to find a better footing with it's commercial business offerings.

 

Obviously, Main Street is pretty successful as a bar hopping area but I would still love to see more resturaunts/cafes/speciality stores similar to Vine.

 

As it stands it's basically a bunch of bars a few restaurants sprinkled in and alot of speciality stores that don't really have an identity and feel alot like flea market shops. 

 

I would love to see more day activity on Main similar to Vine, but I'm not sure what a realistic approach would be aside from adding more residents. 

 


it will get there eventually, it’s got its own vibe. But like everywhere, things change and OTR overall is only getting stronger. I bet if you walked Main 5 years ago turned around and walked present it would be a big difference, just a lot of perception. 
 

I do think that area of Main/Central Parkway/12th could really change

the look and feel of the area big time but obviously the market isn’t ready for that yet. Looks like the hotness is around Findlay Market right now

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4 hours ago, troeros said:

alot of speciality stores that don't really have an identity and feel alot like flea market shops. 


??? What? These are precisely the kind of places that have identity and soul compared to something corporate and generic.

 

Main Street has been doing really well since Ziegler Park reopened and sidewalk/crosswalk improvements were made. I really don’t see your point about anything in your comment.

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8 minutes ago, thebillshark said:


??? What? These are precisely the kind of places that have identity and soul compared to something corporate and generic.

 

Main Street has been doing really well since Ziegler Park reopened and sidewalk/crosswalk improvements were made. I really don’t see your point about anything in your comment.

 

There is that Goods on Main store...that literally reminds me of a junk shop. Also, if you look on commercial spaces available on Main Street it's quite a bit more vacant compared to other stretches of otr. 

 

Regardless, people who visit otr still primarily frequently Vine and occasionally Race because of the anchor known as Taft Ale House. 

 

Main Street is very quiet during the day, especially on the week days, which isn't necessarily a bad thing per say (though probably hurts a lot of smaller day time businesses and shops) but for whatever reason I feel Main Street doesn't attract nearly the same level of foot traffic that the resturaunt corridor on Vine Street does. 

 

Obviously Main Street has some great Businesses like Iris Book Cafe, Buzzed Bull Creamery, MOTR, The Woodward Theater, Platform Brewery, Pins, etc..

 

Maybe main Street needs a larger lineup of resturaunts and cafes?

 

Point is, the level of foot traffic (unless it's a weekend night) is not nearly the same level compared to other stretches of otr..Adding more residents will surely help, but I think adding more resturaunts and cafes will perhaps generate more foot traffic in the long run. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, taestell said:

Here's the November 2019 progress report for 3CDC's ongoing projects. It sounds like the Meiners and Behlen buildings are very close to completion.

Of the 7 current projects they have listed 6 of them are going to be finished in the next couple of months.  Hopefully we hear of some new projects from them starting in early 2020.  

 

 

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9 hours ago, troeros said:

 

There is that Goods on Main store...that literally reminds me of a junk shop

 

You act like junk shops are bad? 

 

Seriously though, Main probably has a better business mix to be a self-contained neighborhood than any other street in the city. New York Groceries is great for residents to have there. There's a bakery, a bank, several lunch spots, multiple coffee shops. And multiple new restaurants have opened there this year. Aladdin's, Locoba, Louvino, Wodka Bar, Boom Box Buns.

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On Main Street there's also an interior designer, a frame shop, vintage shops (RAD and Left Coast Modern among others), a tattoo parlor, and a couple of boutique/specialty clothing stores. The diversity of businesses is pretty impressive. 

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A few things you need to do for Main Street to reach the same level of vibrancy as other parts of OTR:

 

  • Eliminate the dead zones, especially on the west side of the street. Central Parkway to 12th feels dead due to the parking lots and abandoned Davis Furniture building. The 1200 block suffers from the abandoned Mercy Housing buildings (soon to be renovated by 3CDC) and St. Mary's parking lot. 13th to 14th is pretty healthy on both sides of the street--a few vacant storefronts need to be filled but overall it's doing pretty good. So if I were playing SimCity, I'd demolish Davis and the Salvation Army and put a big new apartment tower there, and convince St. Mary's to turn their parking lot into a public plaza with giant outdoor games and picnic tables where people can bring food from nearby restaurants.
  • Do a better job of activating Ziegler Park. Obviously the pool is very popular in the summer, but the park feels dead most of the time. I think CityFlea should be moved to Ziegler Park. Get thousands of people to check out a part of the neighborhood they may have never stepped foot in before (in the daytime, at least).
  • Shed the reputation of "Main Street 1994" as CityBeat put it. As long as Main Street is full of college dance party bars, people are going to associate Main Street with that, the same way they associate Vine Street with high quality restaurants. LouVino proves that if you put a really good and unique-to-Cincinnati high end restaurant on Main, it can be very successful. The Pony and Liberty's show that you can have neighborhood-oriented bars that don't turn into dance parties on the weekends and they can still be very successful. Do more of that.
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37 minutes ago, taestell said:
  • eliminate the dead zones, especially on the west side of the street. Central Parkway to 12th feels dead due to the parking lots and abandoned Davis Furniture building.

 

Yes, those parking lots and Davis Furniture are a major barrier, as is Central Parkway itself, which only makes it worse.  What's happening with Davis anyway?  It's just been sitting there doing nothing. 

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20 minutes ago, jjakucyk said:

Yes, those parking lots and Davis Furniture are a major barrier, as is Central Parkway itself, which only makes it worse.  What's happening with Davis anyway?  It's just been sitting there doing nothing. 

 

From what I've heard, 3CDC wants to buy it but Stough Group (owner of Hanke Exchange) doesn't want to sell it.

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There's a dead pigeon in the window of Davis Furniture that's been there for about 4 years now. It's an experiment in decomposition when no outside forces or vermin are involved.

 

I don't see anything moving in next to Salvation Army anytime soon, but the surface lot behind Davis at the corner of 12th and Main is a great location. I would like to see that lot developed as well as Davis, but the city should make sure to keep Wilkymacky Alley intact. Isn't part of that alley still wood blocks? 

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2 minutes ago, ucgrady said:

Isn't part of that alley still wood blocks? 

 

I could be wrong, but I think the wood blocks were removed for the streetcar platform.

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21 minutes ago, jjakucyk said:

Yes, those parking lots and Davis Furniture are a major barrier, as is Central Parkway itself, which only makes it worse.  What's happening with Davis anyway?  It's just been sitting there doing nothing. 

 

The intersection of Liberty and Main is atrocious and really needs to be addressed. I would go as far as to say that due to its width and pedestrian unfriendliness, Central Parkway is an even bigger barrier than Liberty Street; hopefully 3CDC will realize as they get further into their efforts to lure OTR-style development south to Court Street.

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9 minutes ago, ucgrady said:

the city should make sure to keep Wilkymacky Alley intact

 

Normally I would agree, but given the fact that Wilkymacky has already been severed on one side by the streetcar stop, I don't see what purpose it really serves.

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41 minutes ago, taestell said:

 

Normally I would agree, but given the fact that Wilkymacky has already been severed on one side by the streetcar stop, I don't see what purpose it really serves.

I'm going to be honest, I never noticed that the platform blocked access to the alley until just now looking on streetview. I guess I'm always looking at the dead pigeon in the window...

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3 hours ago, taestell said:

A few things you need to do for Main Street to reach the same level of vibrancy as other parts of OTR:

 

  • Eliminate the dead zones, especially on the west side of the street. Central Parkway to 12th feels dead due to the parking lots and abandoned Davis Furniture building. The 1200 block suffers from the abandoned Mercy Housing buildings (soon to be renovated by 3CDC) and St. Mary's parking lot. 13th to 14th is pretty healthy on both sides of the street--a few vacant storefronts need to be filled but overall it's doing pretty good. So if I were playing SimCity, I'd demolish Davis and the Salvation Army and put a big new apartment tower there, and convince St. Mary's to turn their parking lot into a public plaza with giant outdoor games and picnic tables where people can bring food from nearby restaurants.
  • Do a better job of activating Ziegler Park. Obviously the pool is very popular in the summer, but the park feels dead most of the time. I think CityFlea should be moved to Ziegler Park. Get thousands of people to check out a part of the neighborhood they may have never stepped foot in before (in the daytime, at least).
  • Shed the reputation of "Main Street 1994" as CityBeat put it. As long as Main Street is full of college dance party bars, people are going to associate Main Street with that, the same way they associate Vine Street with high quality restaurants. LouVino proves that if you put a really good and unique-to-Cincinnati high end restaurant on Main, it can be very successful. The Pony and Liberty's show that you can have neighborhood-oriented bars that don't turn into dance parties on the weekends and they can still be very successful. Do more of that.

 

You see, this is kind of my point on how the average visitor views otr as a whole.

 

If you ask a person who visits otr and is from anywhere in greater cincinnati they will say that Vine Street from Taste of Belgium to the Eagle is otr, and main Street is , "downtown". 

 

Or Music Hall to Greaters is all of OTR. 

 

Or hell, some people still just park at the closest Findlay Market parking lot and say Rhinegeist to Findlay Market is all of otr.

 

I almost get the impression that the 24 year old, bar hopping from Queen City Radio to the Lackman to Mecca on Walnut and Mr. Pitifuls on main have a better impression of what otr is simply due to the nature of exploring the neighborhood by foot through bar hopping. 

 

I think older people from greater cincinnati are still primarily people who visit on a Saturday during the day time or afternoon and primarily focus on resturaunts and maybe the occasional bar that's near by to the restaurant they just visited. 

 

I think we need more resturaunts to create "resturaunt hopping" for older day time visitors, which I think in theory could break the mental Barrier. 

 

The small artsy shops and places like take away on main are great. But like you said, they don't really attract the average greater cincinnati visitor, except for maybe an art academy student/near by otr resident. 

 

I think LouVino,  Aladdin's, and Wodka Bar are excellent additions to Main. But the street as a whole definitely could handle at least 6-8 more high quality Resturaunts, which I think would help spillover some of the Vine Street crowds on to main during the day. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, taestell said:

 

From what I've heard, 3CDC wants to buy it but Stough Group (owner of Hanke Exchange) doesn't want to sell it.

It always baffles me that they can just let a building sit there and deteriorate. I feel like the city should give them an ultimatum to either rehabilitate the building or sell it and if they don’t then give them fines until they do. 

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6 minutes ago, Ucgrad2015 said:

It always baffles me that they can just let a building sit there and deteriorate. I feel like the city should give them an ultimatum to either rehabilitate the building or sell it and if they don’t then give them fines until they do. 

 

That's why we need a land tax instead of traditional property taxes.  It doesn't force anyone to rehab or build new per se, but it makes speculation and land banking in built up areas a financial loser.  Same for parking lots in prime downtown locations. 

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6 minutes ago, Ucgrad2015 said:

It always baffles me that they can just let a building sit there and deteriorate. I feel like the city should give them an ultimatum to either rehabilitate the building or sell it and if they don’t then give them fines until they do. 

 

I believe this case is still alive and has had various appeals and Court hearings. They had a recent appeal hearing just a month ago I believe. 

 

This whole case has had so much back and forth that I've lost track with what's going on tbh. 

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59 minutes ago, troeros said:

 

You see, this is kind of my point on how the average visitor views otr as a whole.

 

If you ask a person who visits otr and is from anywhere in greater cincinnati they will say that Vine Street from Taste of Belgium to the Eagle is otr, and main Street is , "downtown". 

 

I've never heard anyone say that. 

 

1 hour ago, troeros said:

I think we need more resturaunts to create "resturaunt hopping" for older day time visitors, which I think in theory could break the mental Barrier.

 

Is "restaurant hopping" even a thing? I've never in my life considered going to another restaurant to eat after I just ate a meal. Maybe bar hopping and get an app at each one or something, but you're not going to eat multiple dinners.

1 hour ago, troeros said:

The small artsy shops and places like take away on main are great. But like you said, they don't really attract the average greater cincinnati visitor, except for maybe an art academy student/near by otr resident. 

 

The vast majority of places in any neighborhood are going to be geared toward residents, not visitors. Residents are there around the clock and spend more money there on the whole. OTR is not a tourist attraction. It's a neighborhood where people live that happens to be very beautiful for visitors and has multiple tourist attractions. The best thing for it would be to build more housing so more people can live there. 

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^I think building more office would help too. I actually think that could be the best future is put in as much office as possible and add all the residents in the downtown core in high rises. That way it's day and night visitors. I always thought during the business day Vine Street is very dead. It could use a lot more office space in the core of the neighborhood for daytime activity, and downtown could use more nighttime activity with residents.

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3 minutes ago, IAGuy39 said:

^I think building more office would help too. I actually think that could be the best future is put in as much office as possible and add all the residents in the downtown core in high rises. That way it's day and night visitors. I always thought during the business day Vine Street is very dead. It could use a lot more office space in the core of the neighborhood for daytime activity, and downtown could use more nighttime activity with residents.

 

Alot of 3cdc recent work in otr has been very heavily geared towards new office space. 

 

The Meiners, Behlen Building all contain ground floor commercial space with office on the upper floors. 

 

I think otr has enough historic stock + infill lots to where it can supply a sufficient balance of office/residential/commercial. 

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2 hours ago, troeros said:

 

You see, this is kind of my point on how the average visitor views otr as a whole.

 

If you ask a person who visits otr and is from anywhere in greater cincinnati they will say that Vine Street from Taste of Belgium to the Eagle is otr, and main Street is , "downtown". 

 

Or Music Hall to Greaters is all of OTR. 

 

Or hell, some people still just park at the closest Findlay Market parking lot and say Rhinegeist to Findlay Market is all of otr.

 

I almost get the impression that the 24 year old, bar hopping from Queen City Radio to the Lackman to Mecca on Walnut and Mr. Pitifuls on main have a better impression of what otr is simply due to the nature of exploring the neighborhood by foot through bar hopping. 

 

I think older people from greater cincinnati are still primarily people who visit on a Saturday during the day time or afternoon and primarily focus on resturaunts and maybe the occasional bar that's near by to the restaurant they just visited. 

 

I think we need more resturaunts to create "resturaunt hopping" for older day time visitors, which I think in theory could break the mental Barrier. 

 

The small artsy shops and places like take away on main are great. But like you said, they don't really attract the average greater cincinnati visitor, except for maybe an art academy student/near by otr resident. 

 

I think LouVino,  Aladdin's, and Wodka Bar are excellent additions to Main. But the street as a whole definitely could handle at least 6-8 more high quality Resturaunts, which I think would help spillover some of the Vine Street crowds on to main during the day. 

 

 

If you wan't an actually self-sustaining downtown core, you can't cater everything to the "average visitor/tourist". If suburban/exurban visitors think OTR is just Findlay Market, Rhinegeist, and Vine Street, cool. They were probably never going to explore anything outside of those areas *anyway*  and there's no good reason to try and steer them elsewhere. Continue aiming for a sustainable mix of commercial/residential/office that is interesting to people who want to spend more time in the other parts of OTR. I much prefer Main because it has a really organic, eclectic mix of ground-level storefronts and is frankly good people-watching material. There's nothing interesting to me about standing on the patio in Bakersfield and watching the same groups of suburbanites bar hop. However, sitting on the patio outside MOTR is fascinating because of the mix of people doing different things--going to the park, biking, bar-hopping, carrying furniture, etc. Good urban development isn't categorized and micromanaged block by block. It happens organically when the barrier to entry is low (ie, no parking minimums) for development so you get a variety of uses that respond to residents and occasional visitors.

 

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3 hours ago, troeros said:

The small artsy shops and places like take away on main are great. But like you said, they don't really attract the average greater cincinnati visitor, except for maybe an art academy student/near by otr resident. 

 

Whether visitors from other Cincinnati neighborhoods "discover" Main Street is not important to me at all. I think you believe that every street in OTR needs to be full of visitors every day in order to be successful. But if you look at any successful city, there are pockets that are more tourist oriented and pockets are are slower, quieter, and more focused on the needs of the residents, and that's perfectly fine! What attracted me to buy a condo on Main Street in 2012 was the fact that it wasn't Vine Street. I liked the fact that Main has independent businesses, you don't have to wait 3 hours to get into MOTR for brunch, you can go to the outdoor patio at Iris and be in a quiet, peaceful place in the middle of the city. I am totally in favor of rehabbing all of the vacant buildings in the neighborhood and filling them with new residents and businesses, and putting new developments on the remaining surface lots. But I would hate it if Main started losing some of the quirkier businesses that make it an interesting place to live in order to add more Thunderdome Group restaurants in an attempt to attract more suburban couples coming into the city for their one big date night of the month.

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35 minutes ago, taestell said:

 

Whether visitors from other Cincinnati neighborhoods "discover" Main Street is not important to me at all. I think you believe that every street in OTR needs to be full of visitors every day in order to be successful. But if you look at any successful city, there are pockets that are more tourist oriented and pockets are are slower, quieter, and more focused on the needs of the residents, and that's perfectly fine! What attracted me to buy a condo on Main Street in 2012 was the fact that it wasn't Vine Street. I liked the fact that Main has independent businesses, you don't have to wait 3 hours to get into MOTR for brunch, you can go to the outdoor patio at Iris and be in a quiet, peaceful place in the middle of the city. I am totally in favor of rehabbing all of the vacant buildings in the neighborhood and filling them with new residents and businesses, and putting new developments on the remaining surface lots. But I would hate it if Main started losing some of the quirkier businesses that make it an interesting place to live in order to add more Thunderdome Group restaurants in an attempt to attract more suburban couples coming into the city for their one big date night of the month.

 

Foot traffic is vital for any urban business to succeed. 

 

Main Street has a higher turnover of small businesses and I believe that has alot to do with small amout of foot traffic during the day. If you can help these small businesses by adding resturaunts wedged in between these small businesses wouldn't this help generate more foot traffic and in turn help more Small Businesses on main thrive?

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16 minutes ago, troeros said:

 

Foot traffic is vital for any urban business to succeed. 

 

Main Street has a higher turnover of small businesses and I believe that has alot to do with small amout of foot traffic during the day. If you can help these small businesses by adding resturaunts wedged in between these small businesses wouldn't this help generate more foot traffic and in turn help more Small Businesses on main thrive?

There are a fair amount of restaurants on main that get plenty of foot traffic. They're just all concentrated south of E 13th. The northern part of Main happens to be more retail and a few bars sprinkled in. What would be better for foot traffic further north on that block would be making a more comfortable/seamless pedestrian crossing experience on Liberty. The road diet could have done that but...

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It works both ways. Adding restaurants might generate some more foot traffic but then you also need to add more residents and businesses to support those restaurants. Two restaurants have failed in eastern OTR/Pendleton in the last 2 years (The Royal and CHX) because there wasn’t enough business. I feel like Main Street has just about the appropriate number of restaurants currently—Lucy Blue, Aladdin’s, Goodfella’s, LouVino, Iris, The Takeaway/Boombox Buns, MOTR, The Pony. Plus a few other bars that offer light snacks, a coffee shop, and Buzzed Bull for dessert. That covers a wide variety of price points and styles of food. Of course there are plenty of styles of food that don’t exist yet in OTR that I would love to see added, but you can’t go crazy with adding nothing but new restaurants if there isn’t the market there to support it yet.

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Exactly, it is much more sustainable for businesses if they have residents. 

 

For example: I live in Wyoming, I go to the 3 restaurants and coffee shop within walking distance on a more than weekly basis.  I go downtown once every month or so, and rarely patronize the same restaurant twice.  With visitors, it can be very tough to get a consistent customer base and you are subject to the trends and reviews of internet strangers.  Things can vary wildly.

 

I imagine that office workers also behave similarly to residents in that they find places nearby that they will regularly hit up for lunch.

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That's absolutely true. When I go out to eat with my wife in OTR I'm always trying a new place or looking for something different along Vine or up by Findlay. Monday through Friday I go Goodfellas and Coffee Emporium over and over and over again.

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13 hours ago, 10albersa said:

Exactly, it is much more sustainable for businesses if they have residents. 

 

For example: I live in Wyoming, I go to the 3 restaurants and coffee shop within walking distance on a more than weekly basis.  I go downtown once every month or so, and rarely patronize the same restaurant twice.  With visitors, it can be very tough to get a consistent customer base and you are subject to the trends and reviews of internet strangers.  Things can vary wildly.

 

I imagine that office workers also behave similarly to residents in that they find places nearby that they will regularly hit up for lunch.

 

Is their any data on how much of main street is occupied by residents versus unoccupied. 

 

Most of Main Street seemed rehabbed, and there really isn't much infill opportunity to increase density on main either.

 

I'm curious how vine compares to main in terms of residential occupancy if there are disparities? 

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Main Street is likely more densely populated than Vine Street purely due to the fact that there were very few demolitions along Main Street and almost all the buildings are residential above. Whereas on Vine there are still several large gaps and a lot of the new infill and rehabs are office space. Which is good since variety is what a mixed use neighborhood needs.

 

The downside though is that BECAUSE Main saw fewer demolitions there are more storefronts to fill. The reality is that Main likely won't be "full" until Sycamore gets developed with primarily residential buildings and Pendleton fills out more since both those areas will be much lighter proportionally in terms of ground floor retail space.

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Main Street also did not fall as far as other parts of the neighborhood. So while 3CDC and other developers have been able to buy vacant buildings on other streets, gut them, and do full rehabs into high end condos or office space, that was not possible on Main Street. 3CDC has only done 2 relatively small projects on Main Street so far, Falling Wall and Belmain. There are several condo buildings that were last renovated in the 1990s so they are way more affordable than the more recent 3CDC renovations on other streets. Many of the condo units are also being rented out. So the point I'm getting at is that the residential population on Main is overall not as wealthy as, say, Vine/Elm/Race, and it makes sense that the businesses on Main are largely neighborhood pubs, dive bars, and delis, and not high end restaurants like Vine.

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3 minutes ago, troeros said:

Can't wait till work begins on the Weilerts building. The crown jewel of otr imo. 

 

They were doing mechanical/roof work on it yesterday.

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8 minutes ago, jwulsin said:

 

They were doing mechanical/roof work on it yesterday.

 

Is 3cdc just doing structural stabilization or did they announce plans already for this building? The coming soon banner has been up on weilerts for a while, so I hope that a full rehab is now in progress to bring a new tenant...also I wont accept anything less than a late night beer hall/beer garden...anything else would be a missed opportunity. 

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23 minutes ago, troeros said:

 

Is 3cdc just doing structural stabilization or did they announce plans already for this building? The coming soon banner has been up on weilerts for a while, so I hope that a full rehab is now in progress to bring a new tenant...also I wont accept anything less than a late night beer hall/beer garden...anything else would be a missed opportunity. 

 

No new tenant yet from what I have heard. The land on the back that used to be the beer garden is supposed to be included in the parking lot/future garage development on the old Kroger site. There may be some patio on the back of the building but it won't be the large outdoor space Weilert's had in its heyday. It's a cool building, some of the crown molding is still in-tact. The building is about 2,500 square feet on the first floor from what I remember, not sure what you do with the upstairs besides office space.

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3 hours ago, troeros said:

Can't wait till work begins on the Weilerts building. The crown jewel of otr imo. 

 

They were working on the roof of that building today. Looks like that building and next to it are getting rehabbed. 

 

Also there is interior demo going on at the building on the northeast corner of Race and Liberty, the old Race Inn and the pair of buildings with the Rosemary Clooney mural on Pleasant. 


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

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I thought it would be cool if Behlen was a brighter color or a dark red. I wonder what goes into the selection process in regards to color? I know next to nothing about this so please don't make fun of me for suggesting!

 

That said, it seems kind of "understating" the building, a dark red would have been really cool.

 

Also what's going on with the paint on Meiner, are they keeping the "facade" that Indiana type limestone or whatever it is (of course) but then painting the brick sides that dark purple?

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