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Cincinnati: Downtown: Renaissance Hotel (Bartlett Building Redevlopment)

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I didn't realize how big this building is.  It also houses CVS, Jimmy John's, and a frame shop.  It appears to take up half a block on 4th Street.    It will look really bad if this all goes dark. 

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The situation could be much worse: the Bartlett will be mostly empty after this month since its owners told tenants earlier this year that they needed to move so the property could be converted to a hotel.

 

But those plans have since been shelved, either by a tight economy, as the attorney for the Bartlett’s owners has claimed, or by the owners’ own financial challenges, as a spate of unpaid utility bills and lawsuits would suggest.

 

They've already been shelved?  They just announced that last month!

 

 

The owner of Phil Bortz Jewelers says his downtown location will be out of business as of Thursday.

 

He will focus all his efforts on his Montgomery location - and has no plans to try to reopen somewhere else in downtown Cincinnati.

 

Wow, that sucks.

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actually, this afternoon I saw that that store "Fresh" was shut down.  I never liked that place much but it is a shame this this situation will leave behind so many empty spaces.

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With the way things are going, prime real estate in the CBD won't last long at all. I'm not worried about it. I hate that these folks had to go through this, but this was outside their control, not because of a lack of opportunities.

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Yeah, it took me a while to find it, and even today, I still forget where it is at. What a clusterfuck of a situation for the tenants.

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http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2009/08/31/story5.html?b=1251691200^2003751

 

Friday, August 28, 2009  |  Modified: Monday, August 31, 2009, 8:46am EDT

 

Bartlett buyer wants plenty of Cincinnati concessions

Business Courier of Cincinnati - by Dan Monk Senior Staff Reporter

Kevin Cox | Courier

 

The 19-story Bartlett Building was built in 1901.

A Chicago investor has agreed to pay $7.5 million to buy the Bartlett Building out of bankruptcy, but the deal is subject to the city providing at least $15 million in “government assistance” to renovate the historic structure.

 

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Bartlett Building sale off again

Business Courier of Cincinnati - by Dan Monk Senior Staff Reporter

 

 

For the second time since last summer, the sale of downtown’s Bartlett building has fallen through. That left the building’s few remaining tenants scrambling to stay in business.

 

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2010/05/31/daily32.html

 

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Buyer emerges for Bartlett Building

 

By David Holthaus • dholthaus@enquirer.com • November 19, 2010

 

A buyer has emerged for the vacant Bartlett Building on Fourth Street downtown.

 

Perth Associates II Inc., a real estate firm incorporated in Delaware, has agreed to pay $1.59 million for the 14-story building.

 

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20101119/BIZ01/311190082/1055/news/Buyer-emerges-for-Bartlett-Building

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well the last buyer wanted to pay 7M with 15M in federal/local "help" so hopefully its just 1.6M no incentives or breaks... at that price they should have plenty of money free to turn this building around in a BIG way.

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^Not sure, but you just reminded me that I saw a simple little ad in last week's Business Courier.  No price was listed.  Text below:

 

FOR SALE

DOWNTOWN CINCINNATI HIGH RISE

 

Bartlett Building - 18 Story historic building @ corner of 4th & Walnut

350,000sf, floor size 15,000sf, 9 elevators, sprinkler

 

For info, contact:  James Collier, Reciever  513-xxx-xxxx

 

jamie [at] 4thstreetmgmt [dot] com

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I talked to the Bartlett CEO (they are no longer in the building, and haven't been for some time).

 

She said the big problems with the building is the strange basement, holding a massive old Vault, and of course, no parking.

 

Personally, I think the old Enquirer building on vine is more beautiful, but getting either project moving forward would be great.

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I talked to the Bartlett CEO (they are no longer in the building, and haven't been for some time).

 

She said the big problems with the building is the strange basement, holding a massive old Vault, and of course, no parking.

 

Personally, I think the old Enquirer building on vine is more beautiful, but getting either project moving forward would be great.

 

I've seen the basement.  It is amazing.  The fault is huge, and while you really couldn't ever do much with it - I don't see why it's a problem, nobody really uses basements anyway.  The building actually has a few sub basements too, it's pretty impressive.  The strange thing about that basement though, was a basement mezzanine level that had some white tilework with the street names tiled in like someone had planned to tie in to the subway station at Fountain Square.  It was built in 1901, but renovated in the 1920's so they could have gone out on a limb.

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Pack as many residential units as possible into this gem and be done with it already.

 

With no parking?  I'm not sure if Cincinnati's downtown is ready for a large no-parking residential product yet.  Downtown needs to continue to add more businesses (retail, food, etc...) that would serve all an individual's needs without the need for a car.  Car programs like Zipcar and car sharing could serve the occasional car needs, but those services are far from being entrenched here.  As time goes on and services/businesses increase, I do believe the local culture will become more comfortable with the idea of having a no car residential product.


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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"Retail follows rooftops."

 

That's typically what the industry says about retail services and when they open up in a given area. Downtown needs a lot more people living there before all services can be provided within a short walk.

 

It's easier to do this is a suburban area where the catch basin for a grocery store is enormous since everyone is driving there. So the same amount of people that live within 25 miles of a Kroger in Green Township need to live within the central business district before we can reasonably expect a major chain to set up shop, for example.

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"Retail follows rooftops."

 

I agree, but it seems to me that there needs to be more residential with parking first, then more retail services, then some no-parking residential.  Also, for what it's worth, I think there are quite a bit grocery options downtown and OTR that will be well connected once we can get the streetcar project started.


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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^I love Cincinnati's street car project and wish it the best of luck (and wish we had some similar projects going forward in Cleveland).  I really think it will be a boon for city.

 

That said...do you really think that the type of demographic that can afford downtown living rents is going to stand and wait in the bitter cold in January for a street car to do grocery shopping (both ways) and then lug multiple bags on the street car and then carry them from the stop to their apartment?  I see this demographic hoping in their heated car and driving to the store in half the time and pulling in to their garage closer to the apartment.  Many people have to out of necessity, but I don't see this as a choice from this demographic.

 

I can actually speak from personal experience in this regard.  I am a big advocate of public transportation and when I lived in the Height for years I would take the rapid downtown almost every day I did not need my car for a business meeting out of downtown.  I did this even though it usually meant walking more than several blocks to my office.

 

I then moved downtown to a building in the warehouse district with a heated garage 15 feet from the front door of my apartment.  I worked on Playhouse Square, about a 10 minute bus ride (with traffic, red lights and stops for passengers) from the warehouse district.  My firm offered free parking  in a garage attached to the building.  When I moved in I had every intention of walking to work in the summer (maybe a 15 minute walk) and take the bus in the winter.  Well...I ended up driving (about 5 minutes) every day.  Waiting 10 minutes or so for the bus in the cold (with another 10 minutes for the ride) got old when I could get to the office in 5 minutes by car.  In the summer, even on a nice 70 degree day with a breeze, by the time I walked to the office in a suit carry a briefcase (and I was in very good shape), I was sweating like a...well you know what.  Again, this is the experience of a embarrassed transit rider.

 

Anyway, just saying..

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The Bartlett Bldg is RIGHT on the Streetcar line on Walnut & 4th. It has the potential to be the first no-parking apartment/condo bldg downtown once the streetcar is completed. Findlay market is also right on the streetcar line.

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We will be living on the streetcar line when/if it is ever built.  As it is, we currently drive to Findlay market even though it is only nine blocks away.  I would never drive through traffic and park in that mess unless it were absolutely necessary (can't walk that far carrying groceries).  We will certainly take the streetcar to get groceries at Findlay Market and for that matter down to the Riverfront with our children as taking transit would be much more convenient.

 

I am hopful that the streetcar coupled with some car sharing/renting programs will make rehabbing the Bartlett Building as rentals much more feasible.


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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And it's not like there aren't about 5+ parking garages/lots within a 2 block radius of the building. If your complaint is for cheap parking, it ain't ever gonna happen downtown.

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And it's not like there aren't about 5+ parking garages/lots within a 2 block radius of the building. If your complaint is for cheap parking, it ain't ever gonna happen downtown.

This.

 

There is parking. Plenty of it!!!!

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$100 for monthly parking permits at the Riverfront Garage. 

 

All residents in Mercer Commons or Gateway V will need to pay $75 to park in either the Mercer Garage or the Washington Park Garage.

 

 

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"Retail follows rooftops."

 

I agree, but it seems to me that there needs to be more residential with parking first, then more retail services, then some no-parking residential.  Also, for what it's worth, I think there are quite a bit grocery options downtown and OTR that will be well connected once we can get the streetcar project started.

 

We're going to have to agree to disagree then, because the bottom line is THERE IS NO SUPERMARKET downtown. Several small grocery outlets scattered is not the same as a supermarket. Findlay Market serves a purpose but sometimes you just need a Kroger or Whole Foods. I also think that shopping at FM takes longer than just popping into Kroger for what you need. There's just no replacing a traditional supermarket.

 

\That said...do you really think that the type of demographic that can afford downtown living rents is going to stand and wait in the bitter cold in January for a street car to do grocery shopping (both ways) and then lug multiple bags on the street car and then carry them from the stop to their apartment?  I see this demographic hoping in their heated car and driving to the store in half the time and pulling in to their garage closer to the apartment.  Many people have to out of necessity, but I don't see this as a choice from this demographic.

 

Bingo! I am as excited for the streetcar as the next person, but I think that some people need to be more realistic about it can and cannot accomplish. I think that people with busy schedules, like myself, will probably not think twice before using their car for errands like this. I also think that cold weather will force other people to use their cars just out of convenience.

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The fact that there still is no supermarket downtown (OTR Krogers aside) still has not deterred people from moving in downtown. Eventually when retailers see a population base in an urban core they move in. Retail goes to where the people are.

 

Second, since when did buses and streetcars not have heat!? I ride the bus extensively in the winter and have never had a problem and the bus has always been heated. Sometimes I can walk to the bus stop and catch a bus faster than it takes for me to walk to where I parked and warm my car up. I even walk from my house to Findlay Market in the cold with grocery bags...both ways! As for the streetcar, it will run about every 15 minutes so riders won't have a long wait. Plus if you live at a place like the Bartlett building you could probably hang out in a doorway while waiting for the streetcar.

 

If you want to argue speed and convenience, sure a car will get you there faster and take you anywhere you want to. Transit challenges this perception because it forces you to plan your travel around a entirely different schedule and routing. I've found it gives me time to get work done while in transit. I meet new people and I get to see the city instead of staring straight ahead at the road all the time. Maybe that's something "this demographic" may want to enjoy?


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

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I think the point is if the Bartlett is done as "Luxury" apartments or condos- Say, in the vein of Park Place, the type of resident they will be attracting is likely 50-60 year old empty nesters moving back into the city after living primarily in the suburbs. 

 

They are the type who would want cars. 

 

If they do a mid-price range units-  nice, nothing too fancy- but similar to the banks quality, targeting mainly YP's, then you could get away with requiring people to pay for parking at a nearby lot.

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There are plenty of apartments scattered around downtown and OTR that do not have on site parking, and those living there do not expect it.  Condo's probably come with the expectation of an on site garage, and rightfully so, but rentable apartments don't need to have that expectation.  A building this size packed with 1 bedroom apartments for $800 or so would do fine.  The highest expectation I'd have at that price is, perhaps, a negotatied monthly discount at a garage within a few blocks.

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