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Cincinnati: Lower Price Hill: Queensgate Terminals

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Condos vs. containers fight in Price Hill

Business Courier of Cincinnati - by Dan Monk

 

Cincinnati could be missing the boat by turning a cold shoulder to David Martin.  The Jeffersonville, Ohio, entrepreneur wants to build a $20 million shipping terminal on the Ohio River in Lower Price Hill that would load containers onto barges and trains. He claims the 50-employee facility would give the city a foothold in the transportation industry’s fastest-growing segment and generate millions a year in new tax revenue.

 

But Martin faces an uphill battle at City Hall, where last year council voted unanimously to forbid the city manager from negotiating a lease agreement with Martin’s company, Queensgate Terminals. Developers and homeowners on the hills above the now-dormant riverfront site have a different vision for that stretch of river. They want what the eastern riverfront has – pricey new condos, parks and bike trails.

 

Read full article here:

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2008/08/11/story3.html

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I think we should be careful about shutting out industry.  If we can't have heavy industry in Queensgate near the rail yards and sewer treatement plant, where can we have it?

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^Agree!

 

"Martin is convinced he can build a facility that’s compatible with neighborhood development goals, with trees that hide much of his shipping facility – and perhaps a bike path running through the site."

 

He should be held to this comment though.

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The challenge is that views from the west side will always have to compete with the best use of the Mill Creek Valley, which is industrial. This was fine when these were stable working class neighborhoods, but it is now more complicated. I think the jobs are probably more important than the views/neighborhood at this point (since good jobs there will more likely be filled by residents of the area than other economic development in the region.

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I see no reason for this terminal not to go through. Queensgate is an industrial area, and what promotes industry more than a multimodal yard? I feel for those who want the western riverfront to look like the eastern riverfront, but it's not meant to be. From Addyston to Queensgate, yards and industry like this one line the riverfront. What makes this site special?

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More details – not more peace – on Ohio River terminal

Business Courier of Cincinnati - by Dan Monk

 

A container-shipping terminal on the Ohio River at Lower Price Hill would produce a $105 million economic impact in its first five years.

 

That’s the conclusion of a new study by the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center for Education and Research. It was commissioned by Jeffersonville entrepreneur David Martin, who wants to build the $20 million facility on River Road near State Street. The report estimated Queens­gate Terminals would generate $25 million in new household earnings in its first five years and $7 million in new tariff revenues for the city of Cincinnati.

 

Read full article here:

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2009/03/09/tidbits1.html

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The barge industry has been seeking to get into container shipping for a long time.  Prospects will increase with the expansion of the Panama Canal. 

 

There has also been talk of building purpose-built towboats to ship containers.  This is because any timely shipping of containers up from Baton Rouge won't be able to sit around in barge fleets like bulk freight.  Also, standard containers don't fit efficiently into standard barges.  This is why the industry has for a long time planned on building purpose-built container barges and tows.  Such towboat/barge combos would allow for much faster turnaround times while loading and unloading.  They could operate with a crew of just 4-5 instead of 10+ like typical line tows.  They could also pay to get priority at locks.  And because they run 24 hours a day, the shipping time from Baton Rouge to Cincinnati would not be all that long, about 3-4 days. 

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are those blue things supposed to be solar panels?

 

I was wondering the same thing.  It also looks like they've incorporated room for the Ohio River Trail (bike trail along the entire Ohio River from western Cincinnati boundary to the east).  If this indeed what they plan, then it seems to be pretty nice and innovative for what it is.

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I also agree...lets also be honest with ourselves.  That stretch of the riverfront is never going to be like the eastern riverfront.  The demographics just aren't there to support something of that nature.  This would be a major coup for the city and help clean up the site into something economically productive and something that appears to help with several neighborhood initiatives (i.e. Ohio River Trail).

 

This would be great for neighborhoods like Lower Price Hill, Sedamsville, etc who are in desperate need of working class jobs for their residents.  This isn't a heavy polluter, won't create much in terms of crime or health hazards, and will offer relatively high-paying jobs within close proximity to the neighborhoods looking for these types of jobs.

 

This is the site as it sits today:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=cincinnati,+oh&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=50.644639,89.648437&ie=UTF8&ll=39.100859,-84.549429&spn=0.005911,0.01502&t=h&z=17

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Professor calls newest Queensgate Terminals report 'flawed'

http://www.building-cincinnati.com/2009/03/professor-calls-newest-queensgate.html

 

Rumors have been circulating that Queensgate Terminals is engaging in renewed conversations about operating a multi-modal transportation facility at the former Hilltop Basic Resources property at 1911 River Road in Lower Price Hill.

 

Court-ordered lease negotiations between the City and Queensgate Terminals for the 30-acre property ended nearly two years ago, and an August 2007 City Council motion reinforced the City's desire to look into the feasibility of developing it into a public park or housing.

 

Residents and stakeholders in Lower Price Hill, East Price Hill, West Price Hill, Sedamsville and Riverside have long opposed the facility, rejecting the idea that the western riverfront historically has been Cincinnati "working riverfront" and preferring to see the land kept as green space.

 

New report 'flawed'

Just last month, the Economics Center for Education and Research at the University of Cincinnati College of Business released a report entitled Market Demand for and Impacts of Queensgate Terminals, which it prepared for the company.

 

But Dr. Howard Stafford, professor of geography at UC, says in an analysis provided to council that the report is seriously flawed.

 

"Most of the report is very general and not directly related to the Queensgate Terminals project," he says.

 

He also says that the projected benefits are based solely on unsupported information provided by Queensgate Terminals.

 

"There is no attempt by the UC authors to assess if these are reasonable projections of volume of containers moved or jobs created," Stafford says. "The economic benefit numbers given are not realistic. The costs to the community are glossed over."

 

In assessing the environmental impacts, the report relies on the principle that containers carry more than trucks.

 

However, Stafford points out that these containers would be transferred to trucks, increasing local truck traffic.

 

"There are no data in the report that support positive environmental impacts for the area," he says.

 

Finally, Stafford says that the report presents the lack of barge-to-container ports along the Ohio River as a missed opportunity.

 

"The obvious counter question is not addressed in the report: Why have exisiting barge-rail-highway companies in the area not seized the opportunity if such exists?" he says. "At a totally independent January 8, 2009 meeting of the River Advisory Council...Ed Ide of CGB, Todd Vollet of RBT/RBB, Steve Davis of CSX, and Martha Kelly of City Transportation seemed to be in agreement that there is no good prospect for any significant volume of local container on barge traffic."

 

Besides, the Queensgate Terminal facility would not really be Cincinnati's port anyway, Stafford says.

 

"Rather, it would be captive of the Queensgate Terminals-Jeffersonville-Rail America combine," he says. "Queensgate Terminals is to link exclusively with the company's proposed logistics center in Jeffersonville, Ohio. Cincinnati is only a small cog in their problematic upstate dream."

 

What else?

In December 2007, city manager Milton Dohoney Jr. issued a report recommending that the City change the zoning of the site to RF-C Riverfront Commercial, which could lead to the negotiation of a lease.

 

In the report, Dohoney cited uncertainty about the true developable acreage of the site due to the upcoming Waldvogel Viaduct replacement, possible high-speed passenger rail to Chicago via Indianapolis, and the Ohio River waterline.

 

The entire property also is located in a 100-year flood plain and is surrounded by light and heavy industrial uses, he said.

 

However, failure to negotiate a lease with Queensgate Terminals could lead to damages and legal fees of $1 million or more, and questions remain about how the City will pay to maintain the property.

 

A report from Dohoney is due before council by April 8.

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So if this mainly benefiting Jeffersonville, I wonder what the true overall impact on Cincinnati would be and if it would outweigh the negatives.  Really seems like a big decision to be made

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In assessing the environmental impacts, the report relies on the principle that containers carry more than trucks.

 

However, Stafford points out that these containers would be transferred to trucks, [glow=yellow,2,300]increasing local truck traffic[/glow].

 

"There are no data in the report that support positive environmental impacts for the area," he says.

 

Isn't this primarily going to be a barge/rail facility?  Not a barge/truck facility?

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People in lower Price Hill should've known what they were getting themselves into when moving there in the first place. Shipping in Queensgate goes back generations so they can't say "oh when I was a kid it was very pretty down there like a neighborhood"  I say build it because honestly, it would be pretty kickass.

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Council reverses on river project

 

Cincinnati City Council reversed itself on part of a controversial riverfront project Wednesday, now allowing their top lawyer to talk to a developer who wants to put in a $26 million port facility where residents say they'd prefer recreation and unobstructed views.

 

Council voted in September 2007 to end all talks with Queensgate Terminals, which wants to put in a river-to-rail operation in Lower Price Hill. The company had been part of a lawsuit against the city, and wants compensation for being unable to operate on the 30-acre site.

 

Some council members fear that a settlement might include not just a cash settlement - which could cost the city millions - but allowing the development to go ahead. Groups in Lower Price Hill, East Price Hill, Sedamsville and Riverside have voted to opposed it.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090422/NEWS0108/904230339/1055/NEWS

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are those blue things supposed to be solar panels?

 

I was wondering the same thing.  It also looks like they've incorporated room for the Ohio River Trail (bike trail along the entire Ohio River from western Cincinnati boundary to the east).  If this indeed what they plan, then it seems to be pretty nice and innovative for what it is.

 

I am almost positive they are.  I know the guy who did these renderings and he told me about the solar panel incorporation.  Sorry so late on this response.  ha. 

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The developer has told me that wind and solar power are part of the plan...the extent of each I do not yet know, but will in the coming days (stay tuned).  I have also been informed that the plan has been designed to accommodate the Ohio River Trail.

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Queensgate Terminals project secures state financing

 

Bluegrass Farms of Ohio Inc. received a $7.5 million forgivable state loan to finance an intermodal facility near Jeffersonville. The facility is intended to send grain shipments by cargo container to Queensgate Terminals, a rail-to-barge project planned on River Road near Lower Price Hill.

 

The loan was among seven approved Monday by the Development Finance Advisory Council, an arm of the Ohio Department of Development. The funds came were earmarked for logistics and distribution investments in the Ohio Bipartisan Job Stimulus Plan, approved by state lawmakers last year.

 

Read full article here:

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2009/04/27/daily12.html

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^ Yeah, that was a sweet vid!

 

Yea, this guy is really talented.  He was my partner last quarter for a studio I took part in and he created a video for our plan as well.  3Ds Max is the program.  I am learning it right now.  Hopefully I can create something like that some day. 

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I think those tower cranes would look pretty cool on the riverfront.  All those solar panels and windmills would add a 21st century look to it too!  If they were to Actually incorporate that into the final design.

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Cool video. I am still going to maintain that an intermodal yard is probably one of the better, if not the best, uses for this property.

 

Solar panels, trees or not (that seems to be a lot of overkill), an intermodal yard in an industrialized area of Cincinnati is the best use of the land. It is adjacent to a very active river, rail lines and highways. Not every square inch of land can or should be gentrified; let's stop shipping our jobs to the suburbs!

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Cool video. I am still going to maintain that an intermodal yard is probably one of the better, if not the best, uses for this property.

 

Solar panels, trees or not (that seems to be a lot of overkill), an intermodal yard in an industrialized area of Cincinnati is the best use of the land. It is adjacent to a very active river, rail lines and highways. Not every square inch of land can or should be gentrified; let's stop shipping our jobs to the suburbs!

 

I think a lot of resistance for this development came from the fact that in recent history the City has been perceived as letting the West Side die for the betterment of other neighborhoods. I think many west siders are bitter about how what has been a very tight knit community has degraded into what you see today. A development like this, to them, is just another slap on the face.

 

There could be a lot of talk and speculation as to why the West Side is what it is today, but such discussion does not preclude us from the fact that an intermodal yard is a great use for this property. Not everything can be a park, and not everything can be developed into something wonderful. The flood plain makes this site practically undevelopable for a use outside of what is proposed. Sometimes it's just the best use isn't the prettiest, but that's just the way it is.

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Barge depot plan afloat again

$26M project mired in controversy

 

Dave Martin sees the future of 31 acres of ragged Cincinnati riverfront: A $26 million barge depot that's key to a next-generation transportation system moving Midwestern goods to ports around the world.

 

Electric cranes would work round-the-clock transferring 20- and 40-foot containers between rail cars and barges - as many as one every three minutes. Solar panels, wind turbines, park land and bike trails would be added next to five bustling rail lines - creating the first eco-friendly container-on-barge facility of its kind anywhere.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090502/BIZ01/905030329/1055/NEWS

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"To think you'd build a barge terminal at the gateway to the westside is stunning," says Tom Croft, a resident of East Price Hill and co-chair of the River West Working Group, which guides westside development. "It's not pretty. It's an industrial operation."

 

Not every neighborhood needs or deserves an Adam's Crossing development. The western locales have historically been industrial, and the best use of the land is not as residential, but as industrial. It has ideal access to major rail lines, both north-south and east-west, the Ohio River and major Interstate highways. Do not let Cincinnati pass up this prime opportunity for industrial (i.e. high paying) employment and a development that will only increase our standing with other metropolitan areas.

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1. Site Plan

SitePlan.jpg

 

2. Detailed Site Plan

DetailedSitePlan.jpg

 

3. Sections

SectionView.jpg

 

4. Looking west

Terminals1.jpg

 

5. Looking northwest

Terminals2.jpg

 

6. Looking east

Terminals3.jpg

 

7. Solar and wind power terminals

Terminals4.jpg

 

8. Looking east (the elevated rail area is preserved ROW for a potential high-speed rail system)

Terminals5.jpg

 

9. Looking west

Terminals6.jpg

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I really think this project should go through.  I understand some of the resident's concern, but realistically, Lower Price Hill is not going to become a hot neighborhood any time soon.  Adding some economic investment to the area, and securing employment and activity to an area that is largely abandoned could help spur some other reinvestment in the area.  Also, this would help streamline the congest freight yards in Cincy, and help Cincy rise to the top over other river cities in the shipping field.

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I really doubt they will construct the elevated line. That is going to be prohibitively expensive, and I can't see investors building an elevated line for a high speed network that doesn't exist here (yet).

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They're preserving the space and given the narrow site orientation they have to work it in somewhere unique if they're going to work it in at all. When I spoke with developer David Martin about this he mentioned that several politicians were pushing that he make sure that HSR could somehow be accommodated in one way shape or form if the 3-C Corridor does end up happening. I doubt you'll see it built at the beginning, but it's part of the plans.

 

And Union Terminal is sounding less and less likely to have 3-C Corridor passenger rail service - http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090504/NEWS01/905050311/1055/NEWS/No+trains+at+Union+Terminal.  I figure the politicians probably knew this and are planning ahead for riverfront alignments.

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That's good. If the ROW is preserved for the high-speed rail, that's great. I see they don't have the viaduct's reconstruction figured into the site plan; how is this going to impact the terminal development, given that the viaduct will be to the due south?

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I think this is a fantastic proposal.  The people in Price Hill need to calm down.  There getting a few more jobs in their neighborhood and a rather nice bike trail to connect LPH to River Rd.  If the design goes through though, I hope they straighten out that bike path.  It looks pretty, but it's impractical and actually kind of dangerous.

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That's good. If the ROW is preserved for the high-speed rail, that's great. I see they don't have the viaduct's reconstruction figured into the site plan; how is this going to impact the terminal development, given that the viaduct will be to the due south?

 

He said the reconfiguration of the viaduct will have an impact on the development plan.  When I pressed him about how much space would be preserved for the Ohio River Trail he could not say definitively as it could change depending upon the viaduct's configuration...as of now the Ohio River Trail would have about 60' of width that would traverse the length of the project.

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Queensgate Terminal gets county support

 

The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners Wednesday pledged its support for Queensgate Terminal, the hotly contested barge depot proposed for 31 acres of riverfront property in Lower Price Hill.  Commissioner Greg Hartmann introduced the unanimously supported resolution, claiming the terminal "exemplifies the future of containerized shipping and national multimodal transportation trends."

 

In order for the city of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to participate and compete in global trade, the construction of intermodal facilities like these are required to provide shippers access to river and rail, the resolution reads.

 

Read full article here:

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20090506/BIZ01/905070346/1055/NEWS/Queensgate+Terminal+gets+county+support

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this project really seems to make sense for the area of Cincinnati, maybe not the direct residents though.  It looks to be pretty secluded from the rest of the area and if the color is even 50% as bright as the rendering it should be a nice aesthetic addition to the area, not to mention the jobs and economic impact.  Overall rail traffic would also increase perhaps supporting greater infrastructure development and the environmental positives really stick out to me, such as the solar panels and electric 24/7 cargo container transporters.  The transporters appear to be quiet enough not to disturb the locals but it is a little hard to imagine that moving giant containers would be a quiet process. Means nothing but- I APPROVE 

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One thing that the neighbors certainly have a point about is that this project is invariably hemmed in.  There's no room to grow once it is done, at least not in the way that other ports (such as Hong Kong, London or New York, which are admittedly much bigger) have done.  These ports simply don't exist in the same space they did 70 years ago.  I understand the access to the prexisting railbed is and issue, but of course this is huge bottleneck as well.  Shouldn't the Port Authority be weighing in on this issue?

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I would be more interested in seeing comparisons to other inland ports - The Rhine and Elbe in Germany would be a great place for models that come to mind immediately. It would also be valuable to look at inland ports that are as far inland as Cincinnati is.

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A real key to this project will be if the railroads agree to provide trackage rights or direct access that would make the project a reality.  CSX and Rail America (Central Railroad of Indiana) would need to come to some kind of agreement for the CIND to serve the site.

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While I don't think the aesthetics of this proposed project will be as bad as the residents assume, their best point is that since this is a City owned site it should first be considered  for a public good, rather than sold or developed for a private company.

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We were at PrimaVista this weekend. I'm not sure with the amount of expressways and massive industrial plant that is the Mill Creek Valley that this is anything more than a drop in the bucket in terms to overall experience of the place.

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