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"Happy Days Are Here Again" - by Eddie Richter??

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: "Happy Days Are Here Again" - by Eddie Richter??
    Posted: Nov 23 2017 at 3:35pm

"Most downtown Middletown building projects are moving forward"

6:00 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015  Local News
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MIDDLETOWN


City provides wide array of support

Middletown city officials believe that a revitalized urban area is a great tool to attract millennials,

tourists, and it also provides services supporting businesses and residents.

City officials outlined several examples of the type of support they provide for downtown projects that

include:

* The city funds façade grants providing the matching funding up to a cap. It awarded a $10,000

matching grant for improvement to the Snider Building as part of that redevelopment efforts.

* Obtaining pipeline grants to support the historic designation of projects and it advocates to the state

historic preservation office for project listing on the historic register; Among the projects awarded from

these grants was for the Manchester Hotel and the Snider Building for listing on the Register of

National Historic Places.

* Creating Community Reinvestment Areas so that property taxes on real estate improvements can be

abated for a period of time.

* Jump-starting the redevelopment of downtown by supporting the development of Pendleton Art

Center, BeauVerre Riordan Stained Glass Studio, and Cincinnati State as downtown anchors.

* Designating much of the downtown business district as an entertainment district which is poised to

be the first city in Ohio to create an outdoor refreshment area for open alcohol consumption.

* Supported brownfield cleanup of several projects downtown as well as acquiring multiple grants to

facilitate projects, include a targeted brownfield grant worth approximately $30,000 for an updated

Phase I and Phase II for the Snider Building.

* Advocates the funding of projects, meeting with lenders, port authorities, and other grant and loan

providers; including regional authorities.

* The city funds a Small Business Development office to support small business growth as well a

portion of Downtown Middletown Inc.’s costs to establish a Main Street program.

* Participating with other regional organizations such as the Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Great

Miami River Corridor Committee to market the river as well as with Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional

Council of Governments and the MetroParks of Butler County and the Tri-State Trails Alliance.

* Working with a professional marketing team to assist in publicity for downtown and the city, and are

currently creating a downtown marketing collateral piece.

Slow progress is being made on several key building rehabilitation projects in the downtown

Middletown core, while others, such as the much-anticipated redevelopment of the historic Manchester

Inn hotel, have stalled for various reasons.

Revitalizing the downtown is one of the key strategies city officials are pushing in an effort to return

Middletown to vibrancy. City officials have invested hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in the

purchase of vacant buildings that they’ve turned around and sold at a reduced rate, and in some cases

given away, to investors and groups to redevelop.

City officials are banking on success stories like Cincinnati State Middletown and the Pendleton Arts

Center to be catalysts for change downtown. And there has been some momentum with a number of

new businesses and restaurants opening during the past few months and more events and activities

being planned downtown.

But progress has been slow, or as City Manager Doug Adkins is fond of saying,”you can’t change

Middletown on Thursday.”

Local developer Mike Robinette who has been working to redevelop the Goetz Tower, located at the

southeast corner of Central Avenue and South Main Street, said it has taken his group three years just

to get the project to the construction phase.

“If it were easy, then everybody would be doing it,” Robinette said of downtown redevelopment.

“Redevelopment is much more difficult than greenfield development.”


In addition to the demolition, painting, rehabilitation or other construction going on

downtown, the city is in the midst of creating Ohio’s first Designated Outdoor

Refreshment Area in which the downtown core would become an open container

area for patrons purchasing alcoholic beverages from designated bars to enjoy

outside. The DORA could be in operation in the next few months as it completes

the city’s legislative process.

In an effort to gauge the progress of the city’s downtown redevelopment plans, the

Journal-News spoke with city officials and developers last week to get the latest

updates on the status of various building projects in downtown Middletown.

The Goetz Tower

According to Robinette, the Goetz Tower is the midst of an ownership transfer. The

seven-story Art Deco building was awarded $600,000 in Ohio Historic Preservation

Tax credits and is qualified for an additional $600,000 in federal historic tax grants.

Robinette declined to discuss the status of the new ownership group as those details will not be finalized for several weeks.

However, he expects the project will proceed as previously announced to redevelop

the building into 24 market-rate apartments as well as 2,000 square feet of

retail/commercial space. The building currently houses a Fifth Third Bank branch.

The cost of the project has been estimated at more than $2.5 million, with nearly 50

percent of the cost being covered by the state and federal tax credits.

Robinette said all of the building code issues have been resolved and construction

documents and plans are in the process of being drawn up.

Robinette, a former Middletown and Franklin economic development director, said

the city can only do so much for a development project and that the state officials

have been very cooperative in assisting with the project and providing “clear

guidance” in obtaining the competitive historic preservation tax credits.

Rose Furniture

Robinette’s group is also working on rebuilding the former Rose Furniture building

for retail space.

The building, located at 36 S. Main St., was heavily damaged by rain in fall 2013.

The damage included a collapsed roof.

Robinette said the demolition work has been completed behind the facade, which

also included the removal asbestos from the site.

He said all three floors of the new building will be used for retail and that

construction plans are also being prepared for this project.

The Windamere

In less than two weeks, the former Bank One/Barnitz Bank building will reopen as

the The Windamere, the city’s newest event venue and art gallery.

“It’s crunch time,” said owner Mica Glaser. “We open in two weeks.”

She said the first event will be a networking event for 100 to 125 wedding vendors

in the Cincinnati/Dayton region. Glaser said the venue will be decked out as a

wedding reception.

“I’m really looking forward to introducing our building to people in the Middletown

and surrounding area,” she said. “We’ve already had a lot of interest from the

Cincinnati and Dayton areas.”

The Windamere’s first wedding reception will be on Oct. 24.

Glaser said renovations have been ongoing for nearly four months after the

purchase was completed on June 15 and has cost about $250,000. Some of those

renovations at the new venue will incorporate many of the former bank’s features

such as the two balconies that overlook the main room as well as the vault. In

addition, the renovation also uncovered a terrazzo floor that is being refinished as

the dance floor, Glaser said.

“It’s perfect for dancing,” she said.

Glaser said the 12-foot-by-24-foot vault still has all of its safe deposit boxes and

keys and is being offered to couples to store their wedding keepsakes.

“I already have two brides who have picked out their safe deposit boxes,” she said.

During the renovations, some former bank employees have stopped in to take a

look at where they used sit when they worked there, Glaser said. She said sections

of the bank teller windows as well as some of the safe deposit privacy walls have

been incorporated into the décor to take advantage of the old bank’s characteristics.

Glaser said she’s always looking for photos and stories about the building when it

was a bank.

In addition, Glaser said venue will also feature the gallery of local artist Chris

Walden, which is becoming another attraction for Windamere. She said 55 people

from the Cincinnati Art Club will be taking a bus trip to Middletown in the coming

weeks to see Walden’s work as well as visiting the Sorg Opera House and the

BeauVerre Riordan Stained Glass Studio.

Windamere will also host art shows and exhibits as well as other community events.

A grand opening and an open house are being planned for November, Glaser said.

Cincinnati State

As the Middletown campus continues to grow in enrollment, Cincinnati State will

have options to accommodate that growth and be a catalyst in driving economic

development efforts in the downtown area.

The buildings include the former Cincinnati Gas & Electric Building, 1 N. Main St.;

the former First Financial Bank, 2 N. Main St.; the former Butler County Job and

Family Services building at 1021 Central Ave.; and the former Middletown Senior

Citizens Center at 140 Verity Parkway.

Jean Gould, the college’s vice president of marketing and communications, said

the Middletown campus and its programs are growing.

As of now, Gould said the only real development at the downtown campus has

been some repairs at the former Butler County JFS building where the Midd State

Academy is located.

She said there were plans to house a welding lab in that building, however, the

college felt that would not be a good use of that space as Butler Tech had built new

welding bays at their facility. Gould said the Middletown City Schools approached

the college about housing 150 students for its Middie Academy where they can

earn high school and college credit.

The college and the school district signed a five-year agreement in June.

“It’s a great partnership with the high school,” Gould said.

Manchester Hotel/Snider Building projects

Last week, it was announced that plans to transform a vacant Middletown building

into a brewery and hotel are on hold, according to the developer behind the project.

A lack of support from the city is among the reasons William Grau said he is putting

the Snider Building microbrewery and Manchester Hotel projects on hold. However,

city leaders say Grau is expecting too much financial support from the city to keep

his project afloat.

“The Manchester Hotel and Snider Building/Brewery are currently on hold pending

an increase in outside support and interest in the projects … ” Grau recently told the

Journal-News. The Illinois-based developer also said he is considering selling both

properties.

For the second time in the past several months, Grau did not submit an application

for Ohio historic preservation tax credits for the latest funding round that had a Sept.

30 deadline. Last spring, Grau opted not to submit the tax credit application for

Manchester Hotel, saying the strategy then was to get the microbrewery in Snider

Building up and running first to create a destination venue before starting the hotel

portion of the project.

Grau said he also could not get grants from the Duke Energy Foundation or interest

from JobsOhio and the Ohio Development Services Agency for the projects. The

state agency oversees job creation and the historic tax credit programs.

Both buildings are structurally sound, according to Grau, and roof leaks have been

repaired. Ongoing inspections and repairs are being completed as necessary, he

said.

In the past year, Grau has run into snags getting through the pre-application process

with the State Historic Preservation Office to get the projects cleared to allow the

historic tax credits application to be submitted.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 23 2017 at 5:18pm
"Middletown city officials believe that a revitalized urban area is a great tool to attract millennials,

tourists, and it also provides services supporting businesses and residents."

In order to attract tourists, you have to have something of interest other than what is currently offered downtown. An example that would attract tourists would be a casino attracting a sizable amount of people to the area. Neither Millennials nor any other age group has been lured downtown in any quantity to notice even though many attempts and discussions have ensued concerning downtown living. To date, this statement is a pipe dream just as the Cincy State downtown foot traffic lure was years ago. Why do Richter and the city officials continue to embellish this nonsense?


"The city funds façade grants providing the matching funding up to a cap."

Let the owners fund the facade to their buildings. Not the taxpayers job to fund a private business entrance way. Does the facade grants apply to ALL areas of Middletown or just the downtown and if just the downtown......why Adkins? That is a discriminatory practice on the part of the city isn't it?

"Among the projects awarded from

these grants was for the Manchester Hotel and the Snider Building for listing on the Register of

National Historic Places."

Nothing outside the downtown area again?

"Creating Community Reinvestment Areas so that property taxes on real estate improvements can be

abated for a period of time."

Again, see above.......just the downtown area?   Why?

"Jump-starting the redevelopment of downtown by supporting the development of Pendleton Art

Center, BeauVerre Riordan Stained Glass Studio, and Cincinnati State as downtown anchors"

You used taxpayer money to do this. Don't remember you asking the taxpayer whether they approved of this use of their money.......or did you just tell them how their money will be spent?


In the case of BeauVerre, you loaned the Moorman's 65 grand or so of taxpayer money. Did they ever pay us back for the loan? Public money used to finance a private enterprise or purchase (repurchase-Seniors Center) property for downtown development. A no-no.

"Working with a professional marketing team to assist in publicity for downtown and the city, and are

currently creating a downtown marketing collateral piece."

I can see you are still stuck on aiding the dam downtown area only. Any publicity for the businesses in the rest of the city?

"The city funds a Small Business Development office to support small business growth as well a

portion of Downtown Middletown Inc.’s costs to establish a Main Street program."

"Designating much of the downtown business district as an entertainment district which is poised to

be the first city in Ohio to create an outdoor refreshment area for open alcohol consumption"

Please stop this nonsense.

"Revitalizing the downtown is one of the key strategies city officials are pushing in an effort to return

Middletown to vibrancy. (Wrong focus/city official ignorance and isn't working after years of trying....when will they learn Lord?) City officials have invested hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in the

purchase of vacant buildings that they’ve turned around and sold at a reduced rate, and in some cases

given away, to investors and groups to redevelop."

Yeah, and it has done nothing to revitalize anything for this city. You bought high and sold low or gave it away. A recipe for disaster financially. No common sense at all. Do you tell your investment portfolio manager to do this? Of course not. So, why do it with the people's money? Classic case of whipping a dead horse to get it to run.

"But progress has been slow, or as City Manager Doug Adkins is fond of saying,”you can’t change

Middletown on Thursday"

No, but you can show a small glimpse of progress after a FEW DECADES of trying. The progress isn't showing any promise Adkins for the amount in taxpayer millions that have been spent. You just aren't performing and you know it but won't admit it. "You can't change Middletown on Thursday" is getting old and no longer accepted by some of us long timers. "give us more time" doesn't cut it either. Either show some positive action or cut your losses and move on to a new idea of how to get this city off the ground. Time ran out for you and your downtown buddies a long time ago. You just don't realize it nor are mature enough to admit it.

"If it were easy, then everybody would be doing it,” Robinette said of downtown redevelopment."

But it should be easy for you Robinette. You have over 350 grand of taxpayer money city loans to use don't you? It has been suggested you have no money of your own to use on your projects yet you still can't make the city loan money work for you? Why bud? Where is the money if you haven't used it? Will you be paying the people back their money after the work is done..... IF and WHEN you work on your projects?

Funny, I didn't see Amy Vitori have this many issues for her new business venture downtown. Must be you.

"As the Middletown campus continues to grow in enrollment".....

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? "continues to grow"? What the hell? Let's go through this again for the umpteenth time....

Initial student enrollment projection over 5 years ago.......5000 in 5 years

Revised student enrollment projection once reality set in....3000 in 5 years

Actual reported student enrollment.....< 800 (and how many of those are on-line classes versus actual students who drive to the downtown area to create "foot traffic" which was the initial drawing point highlight from Mulligan and crew years ago at the ribbon cutting ceremony (and now conveniently forgotten and never mentioned by the downtown people I noticed) The bragging kinda dropped out of sight didn't it.

That's reality Richter. Not the embellished crap you try and pass as truth.

I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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