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Sycamore Township: The Greens at Kenwood

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A Green Development in Kenwood, you have to be kidding me. One of the original, 1060s suburban developments in the nation. Now you are telling me they are going green?

 

I you call cramming $30 million or more of development or more on 12 acres of land and labeling it green you people are worse off than we were 40 years aqo.

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A Green Development in Kenwood, you have to be kidding me. One of the original, 1060s suburban developments in the nation. Now you are telling me they are going green?

 

I you call cramming $30 million or more of development or more on 12 acres of land and labeling it green you people are worse off than we were 40 years aqo.

Who are "you people"? I don't see anyone calling this a great, green development. At best, people are saying it's a little better than average for a suburban development, due to its density. Which does make it a bit more green than usual, but I see a lot of talk here about it being auto-oriented. Basically, I think people agree with your assessment. The LEED certification criteria have a lot of blind spots.

 

"You people" sounds antagonistic, which is especially weird when you don't seem to be disagreeing with anyone.

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A Green Development in Kenwood, you have to be kidding me. One of the original, 1060s suburban developments in the nation. Now you are telling me they are going green?

 

I you call cramming $30 million or more of development or more on 12 acres of land and labeling it green you people are worse off than we were 40 years aqo.

Who are "you people"? I don't see anyone calling this a great, green development. At best, people are saying it's a little better than average for a suburban development, due to its density. Which does make it a bit more green than usual, but I see a lot of talk here about it being auto-oriented. Basically, I think people agree with your assessment. The LEED certification criteria have a lot of blind spots.

 

"You people" sounds antagonistic, which is especially weird when you don't seem to be disagreeing with anyone.

 

Sorry about the global "you people" remark. I was thinking mostly about comments in the thread the local residents had gone to bat to get the zoning changes necessary. As I said, I grew up in that area, and the only reason the adjacent residential areas would ever vote for such a change is the hope in coming years it would expand southward and inflate their property value.

 

This is nowhere near a green development. It is strictly a money grab to build something on a sliver of  ground bringing more into the township treasury. The Kenwood Towne Centre is already a traffic nightmare, but I have noticed less as the number of patrons willing to put up with it is decreasing.

 

I believe the FBI building is a reality - am I correct? This is absolutely a horrible location to place a regional FBI headquarters. It belongs downtown with the rest of the federal agencies which will hopefully remain there. If the City is truly the vibrant core of the region, all Federal operations should be there. An FBI headquarters in Kenwood - Why? My guess is they believe their employees would rather live in that area than downtown. Whatever other reason is there? But the fact is the Federal agencies do need to be located downtown so they can best serve the requirements of the entire Cincinnati Metro area. What are these people in Kenwood going to go, converge on bad guys out in Loveland?

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Security is a reason to locate there. They can control not only the building but also the grounds around the building. If they want a fortress-style development, then I'd frankly prefer it not be downtown. If, on the other hand, they felt they could create a secure building which interacts well with the street and doesn't exhibit any "moat" features, I'd be happy with it downtown, for the reasons you state. A big guarded fortress would not be harmonious with a vibrant city center.

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Security is a reason to locate there. They can control not only the building but also the grounds around the building. If they want a fortress-style development, then I'd frankly prefer it not be downtown. If, on the other hand, they felt they could create a secure building which interacts well with the street and doesn't exhibit any "moat" features, I'd be happy with it downtown, for the reasons you state. A big guarded fortress would not be harmonious with a vibrant city center.

 

So do you believe a fortress style building can be better disquised in Kenwood than downtown? Where do you stick out like a sore thumb? Bury it downtown, as it is much more likely to get lost there.

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Kenwood is not trying to procure a vibrant pedestrian environment. I guess they could put it in Queensgate with minimal negative impact. Putting it squarely in a potentially vibrant pedestrian district, which would include all of the CBD, would be counterproductive.

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Security is a reason to locate there. They can control not only the building but also the grounds around the building. If they want a fortress-style development, then I'd frankly prefer it not be downtown. If, on the other hand, they felt they could create a secure building which interacts well with the street and doesn't exhibit any "moat" features, I'd be happy with it downtown, for the reasons you state. A big guarded fortress would not be harmonious with a vibrant city center.

 

So do you believe a fortress style building can be better disquised in Kenwood than downtown? Where do you stick out like a sore thumb? Bury it downtown, as it is much more likely to get lost there.

 

I don't think it's about disguising or hiding the building, it's about having a secure perimeter.  They wanted a more expansive site so there was a clear defensible boundary around the building.  That is very expensive to pull off in an urban environment.  For comparison, look at the US embassy being built in London.  In order to be secure in a downtown area, it's going to be the most expensive embassy ever built, anywhere.

 

The FBI building in Kenwood is akin to the CIA being in Langley.  It's easier to design a secure building in open surroundings.

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I know the Charlotte FBI office has also moved out of their uptown building and out to the suburbs. Probably happening all across the country.


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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It is clear that the new (actually newish....probably more than a decade old) policy at the FBI is to locate regional offices in a place with a secure perimeter.  Such a building in a downtown would obviously kill street life. 

 

About 10 years ago the FBI moved from the federal building in Cleveland (basically in the heart of downtown) to an office about 6 blocks away on the fringe of downtown.  While still basically downtown and an easy walk from its old location, it is basically a fortress, but not a real problem since it is not in an active part of downtown.

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It is clear that the new (actually newish....probably more than a decade old) policy at the FBI is to locate regional offices in a place with a secure perimeter.  Such a building in a downtown would obviously kill street life. 

 

About 10 years ago the FBI moved from the federal building in Cleveland (basically in the heart of downtown) to an office about 6 blocks away on the fringe of downtown.  While still basically downtown and an easy walk from its old location, it is basically a fortress, but not a real problem since it is not in an active part of downtown.

 

So are you telling me the current location of the FBI regional office is primarily because they can secure the periphery in good old Kenwood? I am sure the local residents were aware of this at the time?

 

Come on, find some other objectives. If I was a resident anywhere close to this Kenwood location and felt it was chosen because of a defendable periphery I would be screaming to High Heaven.

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It is clear that the new (actually newish....probably more than a decade old) policy at the FBI is to locate regional offices in a place with a secure perimeter.  Such a building in a downtown would obviously kill street life. 

 

About 10 years ago the FBI moved from the federal building in Cleveland (basically in the heart of downtown) to an office about 6 blocks away on the fringe of downtown.  While still basically downtown and an easy walk from its old location, it is basically a fortress, but not a real problem since it is not in an active part of downtown.

 

So are you telling me the current location of the FBI regional office is primarily because they can secure the periphery in good old Kenwood? I am sure the local residents were aware of this at the time?

 

Come on, find some other objectives. If I was a resident anywhere close to this Kenwood location and felt it was chosen because of a defendable periphery I would be screaming to High Heaven.

 

The way you dismiss the security concept baffles me. Do you live in post-9/11 America?

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Yes I do, but hopefully I am not paranoid about it. If it is necessary to protect all of our federal facilitites from potential terrorist attacks, then why consider a tranquil suburban neighborhood as the place to do it? To me this is rediculous. If a defendable perimeter is the base requirement, then keep it far away from civilian concentrations. This is right across the street from one of the largest suburban malls, Kenwood Towne Center in the area. So what do they have in place to defend this permiter? Mortars, laser guided missles, what? Sometimes these contentions just leave me with a blank look - What?

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I agree it is paranoid, but I recognize that is the way our government thinks nowadays. They can't go too far from population centers or finding talent becomes a big problem.

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I agree it is paranoid, but I recognize that is the way our government thinks nowadays. They can't go too far from population centers or finding talent becomes a big problem.

 

Ahh, the real reason. The defendable perimeter is just a rouse. The real reason is their employees are close to the desirable living in Blue Ash and Montgomery without the hassle of going downtown every day. Why can't they simply state that rather than some BS about a defendable perimeter?

 

BTW are the additional office tower and hotel for Kenwood Green under construction or on hold?

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The defendable perimeter is just a rouse. The real reason is their employees are close to the desirable living in Blue Ash and Montgomery without the hassle of going downtown every day. Why can't they simply state that rather than some BS about a defendable perimeter?

 

Just like the fortifications of our airports and closing Pennsylvania Avenue to cars were moves to cover up the fact that no one wants to live or work in cities anymore. :roll:

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I agree it is paranoid, but I recognize that is the way our government thinks nowadays. They can't go too far from population centers or finding talent becomes a big problem.

 

Ahh, the real reason. The defendable perimeter is just a rouse. The real reason is their employees are close to the desirable living in Blue Ash and Montgomery without the hassle of going downtown every day. Why can't they simply state that rather than some BS about a defendable perimeter?

 

BTW are the additional office tower and hotel for Kenwood Green under construction or on hold?

 

I think you misunderstood.  I used to work designing medical research facilities that housed some nasty stuff (infectious diseases, animal testing, etc.) and the requirements for a secure perimeter are absolutely real.  The places I worked on were in New York City and always located out on Long Island on a secure campus rather than in the city.

 

The type of facility that prefers a secure access campus needs to be in a semi suburban area, but they don't want to be too far from the urban center that they know their employees are rapidly preferring to live in, hence Kenwood. 

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Sorry, I still feel the FBI is nothing but a liability for Kenwood. If they are concerned so much about the defendable perimiter while also staying close to downtown why didn't they go to Madisonville and renovate about half of that downtown which sorely needs it?

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It's not as simple as that.

 

For instance, would you place the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in a building in downtown Clarksburg, West Virginia? Or in a secure facility on 900+ acres of land, with round-the-clock security, in a specially designed structure that is able to withstand bomb blasts and is self containing?

 

The same thing can be said about the FBI structures in the United States. After the Oklahoma City bombing, security at FBI buildings across the nation were increased, and new building standards were soon enacted. Not all are being relocated, but the major FBI outposts, such as in Cincinnati, are being moved to areas that offer more security and are more isolated to remove nearly any threat of bombing or malicious harm. Others, such as in Huntington, are being retrofitted.

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It's not as simple as that.

 

For instance, would you place the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in a building in downtown Clarksburg, West Virginia? Or in a secure facility on 900+ acres of land, with round-the-clock security, in a specially designed structure that is able to withstand bomb blasts and is self containing?

 

The same thing can be said about the FBI structures in the United States. After the Oklahoma City bombing, security at FBI buildings across the nation were increased, and new building standards were soon enacted. Not all are being relocated, but the major FBI outposts, such as in Cincinnati, are being moved to areas that offer more security and are more isolated to remove nearly any threat of bombing or malicious harm. Others, such as in Huntington, are being retrofitted.

 

So are you are telling me they could not have acquired a significant piece of property in Madisonville to build this facility? We are talking about what, 3 miles between Kenwood and Madisonville? Madisonville definitely needs a major infusion to uplift its infrastructure. It is a neighborhood defrinitely in need of assistance.

 

But no, go to Kenwood and build right across from one of the biggest retail malls in the area. Endanger them right? That makes a whole lot of sense to me.

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Madisonville doesn't have anything built on such a large scale. A fortress development would not fit in at all. Whereas, as you said, Kenwood has a big mall right across the street. While the uses are quite different, the scale is not so different.

 

I would not worry about security that's spilling from one property to the other, as both are set back quite a bit from the street. Which is sort of the point -- they won't interact.

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Madisonville doesn't have anything built on such a large scale. A fortress development would not fit in at all. Whereas, as you said, Kenwood has a big mall right across the street. While the uses are quite different, the scale is not so different.

 

 

 

I don't think that's completely right.  Isn't the Fifth Third Operations place in Madisonville on a pretty big scale?  They could have done something over there, I guess.  (I'd agree that doing something on Madison Road in "downtown Madisonville" would not fit in.)

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Madisonville doesn't have anything built on such a large scale. A fortress development would not fit in at all. Whereas, as you said, Kenwood has a big mall right across the street. While the uses are quite different, the scale is not so different.

 

I would not worry about security that's spilling from one property to the other, as both are set back quite a bit from the street. Which is sort of the point -- they won't interact.

 

Ahh come on. The new FBI headquarters is on 6 acres of land. You trying to tell me there is not 6 acres right in the middle of Madisonville available for redevelopment? It really could have used the infusion of jobs, taxes, the whole nine yards.

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KJBrill: Why do you want to force their hand? If there was no attractive piece of property in Madisonville, then so be it. MedPace and that whole development was begun before the FBI chose a location and is now pretty much being built out, so it can't be used. Fifth Third's processing center is 100% occupied, so there is no way that the FBI would even consider that. And with the completion of Wal-Mart on Red Bank, that removed one of the last giant tracts of land that the FBI would even consider.

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Madisonville doesn't have anything built on such a large scale. A fortress development would not fit in at all. Whereas, as you said, Kenwood has a big mall right across the street. While the uses are quite different, the scale is not so different.

 

 

 

I don't think that's completely right.  Isn't the Fifth Third Operations place in Madisonville on a pretty big scale?  They could have done something over there, I guess.  (I'd agree that doing something on Madison Road in "downtown Madisonville" would not fit in.)

 

You're right, I was thinking downtown Madisonville, which it's what kjbrill mentioned. It wouldn't fit in there at all.

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KJBrill: Why do you want to force their hand? If there was no attractive piece of property in Madisonville, then so be it. MedPace and that whole development was begun before the FBI chose a location and is now pretty much being built out, so it can't be used. Fifth Third's processing center is 100% occupied, so there is no way that the FBI would even consider that. And with the completion of Wal-Mart on Red Bank, that removed one of the last giant tracts of land that the FBI would even consider.

 

The FBI regional HQ was given notice to proceed in 2007 before MedPace or the current demolition of half of Madisonville.  It is actually a private developer that owns the property and leases it to the FBI.  The original developer lost financing for the ~$37 million dollar project and Molasky Co picked it up around 2009.

 

There was a list of criteria that the FBI required.  Inside the 275 loop, 5-6 acres (not sure of exact number), room for a weapons training facility (which eliminates downtown), etc.  If you notice on the site there is a large solid concrete building adjacent to the office building which houses weapons, training, and who knows what else.  Seeing this building makes me realize why all the final choices were suburban. 

 

If I was a resident near the building, I would be thankful since the FBI's perimeter requires a much larger buffer than a standard office building.

 

Also, the Madisonville argument is just stupid.  Not sure you understand how large 6 acres is or that Nutone wasn't even completely closed when the FBI project was given a green light.  I believe they still had employees picketing outside on Red Bank Rd. in 2007.

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By kjbrill's metric, there must be a serious lack of talent available outside the 275 loop.

 

But you see, with their current location you can actually be outside of the I-275 loop and still be to work in Kenwood as fast as you could be downtown. So who are the losers here?

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Madisonville doesn't have anything built on such a large scale. A fortress development would not fit in at all. Whereas, as you said, Kenwood has a big mall right across the street. While the uses are quite different, the scale is not so different.

 

 

 

I don't think that's completely right.  Isn't the Fifth Third Operations place in Madisonville on a pretty big scale?  They could have done something over there, I guess.  (I'd agree that doing something on Madison Road in "downtown Madisonville" would not fit in.)

 

You're right, I was thinking downtown Madisonville, which it's what kjbrill mentioned. It wouldn't fit in there at all.

 

Downtown Madisonville needs a major infusion or soon they will be bulldozing most of it to the ground. Six acres of ground, that is nothing. Go out on Madison Rd near Camargo, give me some bucks to play with and I will have you six acres of ground in a flash. I just don't agree there were several better selections than Kenwood for this facility. It is the old somebody greased some palms in this transaction.

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It's primarily an office building, not some ninja training camp.  They wanted a fairly isolated (read: not integrated in the urban fabric). I fail to see why you have such opposition to this.

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It's primarily an office building, not some ninja training camp.  They wanted a fairly isolated (read: not integrated in the urban fabric). I fail to see why you have such opposition to this.

 

Because it does absolutely nothing for the location which was chosen. It could have been an economic shot in the arm for so many other locations. That is why I hold my opinion. Stick it in Kenwood, right across the street from the largest retail mall in our area, and smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Tell me this was good sound urban planning and I have a few bridges to sell you. There is no reasonable criteria for why this ended up here. There is absolutely nothing isolated about this location, other than the fact they don't have to go downtown every day to work.

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Ok, maybe you need to look at where this site actually is.  It's not right across the street from the mall, it's not even on the same side of the freeway as it! The site is located behind another, much larger office building on the north, and 71 to the west. There is a neighborhood to east and south of the site, but there's a decent perimeter of landscaping/greenspace between the building and the neighborhoods. 

 

The development gives a 'shot in the arm' to Kenwood, and while I agree they might not need it as much as other communities, it was ultimately the FBI's decision where they wanted to locate.  There are plenty of businesses in Mason, West Chester, and Florence that absolutely could help struggling inner city communities should they relocate, but ultimately it's up to the organization to decide what location is best for it. 

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Ok, maybe you need to look at where this site actually is.  It's not right across the street from the mall, it's not even on the same side of the freeway as it! The site is located behind another, much larger office building on the north, and 71 to the west. There is a neighborhood to east and south of the site, but there's a decent perimeter of landscaping/greenspace between the building and the neighborhoods. 

 

The development gives a 'shot in the arm' to Kenwood, and while I agree they might not need it as much as other communities, it was ultimately the FBI's decision where they wanted to locate.  There are plenty of businesses in Mason, West Chester, and Florence that absolutely could help struggling inner city communities should they relocate, but ultimately it's up to the organization to decide what location is best for it.

 

I know exactly where this site is. I used to walk between Madeira and Silverton along Euclid Rd over to Ken Arbre and then Montgomery with my mother when this was all just farmland, no Kenwood Plaza, no nothing.

This development has nothing to do with helping a struggling neighborhood, it is greed pure and simple. I am amazed people on this forum cannot recognize there is zero urban content in this and recognize it for what it is, developer's greed.

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Sorry if I got on my high horse. But really, defending this as just a move of a facility to the suburbs, come on. There are so many more locations which could have benefited from this. It is a simple case of Money Wins.

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^ Love it or hate it, you're right - money wins.  We live in a capitalist society.  The FBI likely hired a real estate consultant to find a list of sites suitable for their requirements.  The site in Kenwood won, and now they're building.

 

If you want to move house, do you take into account which municipality gets your new home's property tax dollars as the first criteria?  Probably not - it's probably whether it's close to where you work or where your kids go to school and if the price is right and if the house has the features you want.  Same story with the FBI.  So why the anger?

 

I guess I can't see why all the kerfuffle.  It's a simple real estate decision just like thousands every day.

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