Monday, February 7, 2011

Uptown Rental Properties plans 72 more units

With two major apartment projects already underway Uptown, Uptown Rental Properties is eyeing another block for redevelopment.

The Cincinnati City Planning Commission on Friday heard a proposal from the developer to build 72 new apartment units on the , wrapped around 88 surface parking spaces. The three- to four-story, townhouse-style walkups would include 30 one-bedroom units, 30 two-bedroom units, and 12 studio units.

To allow for the project's density, the block would need to be rezoned from RMX Residential Mixed District to RM-0.7 Residential Multi-Family District. The area currently contains a mixture of multi-family and single-family residential properties, ranging in condition from slightly blighted to vacant to condemned.

Six homes facing E University Avenue, not owned by Uptown Rental Properties, would be rezoned but would not be redeveloped. The building at also would be retained.

The project is supported tentatively by the Corryville Community Council and conforms to the University Village Urban Renewal Plan of 2005, which supports denser multi-family housing in the blocks surrounding Short Vine to support neighborhood retail.

Cincinnati City Council will have to approve of the zoning change. The item is not yet on Council's agenda.

Uptown Rental Properties partnered with North American Properties to develop 65 West, a 129-unit apartment community currently under construction on the site of the old Friars Club building in Clifton Heights. It has also started construction on the Jefferson/Glendora Apartments, at 16-unit project at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and W Charlton Street.

Streetscape pending

Pending an okay of funding, work is ready to begin on improvements that should address pedestrian safety and aesthetic issues along the .

Cincinnati City Council is considering two emergency ordinances that would authorize the City to issue up to $2.5 million in economic development bonds and create a new capital improvement program project account to fund the work, which will include:

  • Wider, café style sidewalks;
  • A narrower street, paved with red brick;
  • Reconfigured parallel parking;
  • Underground utilities;
  • New street lighting; and
  • New street trees and planters.
Pedestrian improvements will also be made along portions of Corry Street and on Jefferson Avenue at the W Charlton Street and W Daniels Street intersections.

The bond debt would be serviced through revenues from the Corryville tax increment financing (TIF) district.

Planning and design of the streetscape, also funded through TIF revenues, was approved by City Council in April 2009.

Previous reading on BC:
Corryville apartment project receives LEED tax exemption (1/17/11)
One Cincinnati streetscape funded, another one starts (7/13/10)
65 West wins LEED tax exemption (6/8/10)
Rezoning approved for UC student apartments (8/11/09)
Cincinnati EDC to consider rezoning for UC student apartments (7/28/09)


Anonymous said...

Great! Here comes more cookie-cutter K-rap from Uptown Prop. at the expense of some of the best architecture/character left in Corryville.
Try going West on East Hollister from Auburn and look up above the roof tops on Vine and see just how massive and redundant the Friars Club development is.
How greedy can one get?

Anonymous said...

^ in addition to the above.
OK. I just read the development story about the above housing coming to the Short Vine area. Please tell me I'm wrong but, the rendering showing the new development coming to the Short Vine area is the same design as is being built at the Friars Club place - the same. It can't get any more cookie cutter than that. How unimaginative, how characterless, how boring, how communist-like, how cheap and stingy.
Maybe they will be a different color. Oh, boy!

Ryan L said...

This is a shame. Corryville Community Council has no respect for its own neighborhood. If anyone has been inside of the UPA apartments or McMillan Manor apartments (now Sterling Manor), you know that student oriented apartments are never as nice as original rehabbed buildings. With the developments at the old Friars club, the space between Calhoun and McMillan, and the Glendora/Jefferson apartments I don't think we need 72 more generic apartment spaces. CCC needs to show some strength and fight this. I am all for a redeveloped Corryville complete with new apartment buildings and streetscapes, but I cannot support such an awful thing to be done to the character of a neighborhood.

Neil said...

From when I lived there the Corryville Community Council was in the pocket of the developers. The head of it was a developer from Indian hill.

This is total garbage, Uptown has pretty much singlehandedly destroyed what could have been easily one of Cincinnati's best neighborhoods with their pseudo suburban vinyl sided CRAP!

Neil said...

Where the fuck is the Cincinnati preservation association in this?!!!

Jon said...

Totally agree-- At least when 3CDC does infill they mix it with the already existing buildings... I'm really not a fan of Uptown- I live in Clifton, and almost all of their buildings look like crap and age horribly. They have buildings in the gaslight district that are complete eye-sores. Nothing they design is timeless- very sad.

Dustin said...

Lets face it Neal, CPA is a joke! As is the City's Historic Conservation Board (HCB)! Our city was luck to have minimized the devastation of Urban Renewal at only a fraction (tho still much too great) as other cities in the country.

Honestly, little can ever be done to save such places until the HCB + City commission historic surveys and place LARGE areas into historic districts...and I am not holding my breath. After living on Ohio Avenue for a year and appreciating the Friar's Club almost daily only to see it ripped down for crap 'LEED Certified' "green development" (*BULLSHIT*) I have no hope.

As an aspiring Preservationist and Urban Planner this has ripped my heart apart. I have literally shed tears for the Friar's Club and rerouted myself to not go past the new crap devlp for the first few months. The 'Martino's' block of Short Vine is being bought up to put a tacky LA Fitness (to compete with UC's gym + CityRC facilities...?) and a bowling alley (heres an idea, but a bowling alley in one of the vacant warehouses in OTR and market to UC students).

BTW, McMillian Manor IS shit as Ryan L notes, and they can hardly keep student vacancy low in their PVC wrapped block of character-less over priced apartments.

Voices need to be heard at City Planning Commission meetings (for Land Use Spirit + Intent, + Neighborhood character concerns) to CPA, the City's HCB, and to Corryville Community Council!!!

David said...

Uptown Rental Properties has invested heavily in this area. The have given hundreds of students safe, clean and affordable housing. I give them credit for investing in an otherwise tough and run down Correyville......nice job and thanks for all you do!!

david aa said...

i drove down euclid avenue last night after reading this article and that block has some of the most beautiful intact victorians in the area. it is a real disgrace that so many gorgeous, inhabited, and unique structures are going to be lost to make way for such a bland development. theres plenty of room for uptown to infill around existing structures. so sad.

Neil said...

"Uptown Rental Properties has invested heavily in this area. The have given hundreds of students safe, clean and affordable housing. I give them credit for investing in an otherwise tough and run down Correyville......nice job and thanks for all you do!!"

Seriously, this thing must have been written by an employee. If that is the case I've been wanting to lecture you guys for a long time as to how to do infill right. GO TO CHICAGO! See how they build them there, note how this building right here is actually infill and not old construction:,-87.683558&spn=0,0.014033&z=16&layer=c&cbll=41.911092,-87.683581&panoid=1o1IRAOlW3PO3Z9BBOMA5g&cbp=12,86.32,,0,-7.94

Note how this while new doesn't look cheap ass, but still is cheap as they use cinderblocks instead of bricks, its cheap and it looks one hell of a lot better than vinyl siding:

What Uptown is doing is destroying Cincinnati's best asset, one block at a time. Its criminal and obscene. If they are going to do this, at the very least keep the design standards high, because without that Cincy will become another bland nowhere Midwestern USA!

Anonymous said...

You know I am all for development on Corryville, I think it needs it, but building these same, architecturally bland row houses is the same as it was when they did it 100 years ago. These apt. will look like shit eventually, and have no character or architectural value. That and the homes on this block are beautiful!! Please Corryville, don't tear down these homes for a shitty apt. complex.

Anonymous said...

While I would love to see the city preserve the houses, I think it's unrealistic to try to stop the redevelopment around the area. UC is growing, and the living options for students are becoming more slim. 3CDC does a great job of rehabbing buildings, but they are also in a different area of the city, attracting a different type of person. Though it may not be ideal, I believe Uptown should be applauded for their LEED buildings, and providing for the student community already in place.

Neil said...

"I think it's unrealistic to try to stop the redevelopment around the area."

At the very least Uptown should raise their standards. I wouldn't care quite as much if what they replacing beautiful irreplaceable buildings with was high quality.

Anonymous said...

The snobbery on this board makes me laugh. As if all the houses in Uptown were architectural gems. And even if they were, they are beyond saving.

So along comes an entity that finally builds stuff that actually attracts tenants, and the whining begins about bad infill development.

Put your money where your mouth is -- get together and do infill work that lives up to your high standards. The city won't stop you.

But it's ridiculous to set rules so restrictive that they chase away development and leave the neighborhood filled with run-down K-rap that might have been nice decades ago.

Anonymous said...

There is no "snobbery".
It is pure concern. Concern that has been voiced over the years. And Mr. wanna be big boy at uptown is getting away with it.
No not all houses in Corryville are stellar but they make up a great fabric. There are small to moderate to even good size houses similar to Northside. This 72 unit development will destroy a block of (a nice corner house has already been bulldozed) some of the best houses in the heart of Corryville - and for what - a 72 unit warehouse destine in time to become low income. It is basically a giant housing project exactly like the Friars site only not as mega scale. Which by the way, both developments have about zero green space to them. Infill it is NOT. And by the way, there ARE people who have bought places and are fixing them up.
If you do indeed work for Uptown, please try to get D. S. to find an architect that has expertise in urban design, not suburban mcmansion design only.

Neil said...

"The snobbery on this board makes me laugh. As if all the houses in Uptown were architectural gems. And even if they were, they are beyond saving."

I've got a game for you to play. Its called "Google Streetview US Architecture".

The rules work as such, put the Google Streetview guy in inner city neighborhoods at a comparable distance to where Corryville relates to downtown Cincinnati in a random large city and see what you find. Chances are what you'll find really is disappointing in comparison to Cincinnati. Only St. Louis (with bombed out hoods that makes Cincys seem not so bad) and Chicago's near west side really look comparable with large brick townhouses. Other midwest cities look more like Dayton, Columbus, or Des Moines, with lots of less significant frame houses.

Go to the Northeast, and one will find hoods that are dead ringers for Cincinnati in Cities like Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Boston. Though the difference is most of these areas are hot, very wealthy because in the last 10 years dense old urban environments are popular unless of course you live in the past (cough cough too much of Cincinnati cough cough).

Go to the South and the West and there is more disappointment. The south only really has parts of New Orleans, Charleston and Savannah; the west only small parts of Denver and most of San Francisco can compare.

Cincinnati is unique, its definitely in the top 3 cities in the Midwest, and one of the top in the country for its old heavily built ornate architecture from the 19th century.

I urge you to do this, and then realize just how rare neighborhoods like Coryville are in the US before you go about destroying perfectly good houses and replacing them with ugly redevelopment. This is the 21st century, not the 1960s.

Neil said...

Also, take a look for yourselves, this is what's "beyond saving":,-84.507608&spn=0,0.038581&z=15&layer=c&cbll=39.132454,-84.50758&panoid=WWJhErZY2CQuPHV8O3U4ig&cbp=12,231.31,,0,0.25

Neil said...

Paul Wilham has a new post on his blog that pretty much is saying what I'm saying but better written, and with better examples here:

Anonymous said...

Considering the village feel and character of Corryville, this housing project is way out of place.
Where is the city's design review board etc. on this one???

This is what happens when one person owns too much property - they can do as THEY please for their interests and profit - to hell with anyone else.

Not all leaders have good vision.

Kevin LeMaster said...

^ The UDRB only reviews projects in the CBD.

Ram23 said...

I'm usually the last person to complain about redevelopment, but Uptown builds some really, really ugly buildings, and in this case they're going to tear down a couple of the best looking houses in Corryville to do so. Why don't they just build on the empty land they have?

Also, Uptown bought the building I lived in for years from the landlord I had. They "renovated" it by squeezing an extra bedroom into each unit, upped the rent over 200%, and started tacking on fees for anything and everything. Somebody in that company is lining their pockets with student money.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the UDRB should expand - like NOW.

Don't these developments have to go through the Corryville community council? They don't have a design review board or members that have the communitys' interest as priority?

If you are a money-hungry, self-absorbed developer it's EASIER and CHEAPER to plug in the SAME design that is being built at the old Friars location than to think a little and build individual buildings with character that would enhance the neighborhood and help property values. Even infill could have had the same floor plan with varying facades. And green space could have been included in the front (like all the other houses in that area).

Anonymous said...

I love how anyone who disagrees with the comments must be an employee of Uptown. Very open minded of all of you...

rosenjm said...

This is so outrageous. The fact that this is allowed to occur is a testament to the mindless insensitivities of the Cincinnati community, which have allowed their best assets (Over-the-Rhine, Uptown, etc.) to deteriorate, due to their racism, stupidity, and greed.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is way deeper. The city needs to have better direct representation of the individual neighborhoods than the community councils.

While the Charter Party broke up the old ward system with "Aldermen" on council representing their wards, as a means to prevent a political machine from forming, the downside was that the system they setup is elected at large, and can be totally aloof to individual neighborhood needs. I remember reading that this was one reason for so much of the West End being urban renewed in the 1950s- if there was a voice of the West End on council, it might have been a lot harder to execute the massive urban renewal that destroyed the neighborhood.

In other words, if you care about this "urban renewal", attend your community council. The Corryville one should step up and update its website making it easier for residents to know what's going on. With the rise in blogs, this makes it easier to figure out what's really going on and make an impact in the community - the problem before was that communication in a particularly student oriented neighborhood was not as clear as it could have been.

The next meeting is April 12th - 6:30 pm.

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