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I couldn't have said it better.....

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Joined: May 11 2017
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    Posted: Sep 14 2017 at 4:47pm
One of the many things that has always baffled me about the city of Middletown is just how much the old families and old money of the city (which represent a statistically insignificant portion of the population) tend to hold all of the influence.

I know, I know - it's the typical us vs. them argument - but when reviewing one of our fine candidates for council's website - I found something that just shows you how much tilt there is in this community AWAY from real, true, economic development in this city.

The website calls the entire east end of Middletown an 'amenity'.  An amenity.

In this person's opinion - the east end of the city (by and far the center of economic activity) is just an amenity?  An amenity - like a swimming pool at a hotel?

Of course - looking at the background of this individual, I don't know what I expected.  This person is entrenched in downtown, and I wish them all success with their efforts.

I hope those businesses survive.  But, I doubt they will.

Look, I'm not a man of hardened heart, I am a man who lives in the real world.  I attended one of Mr. Adkin's housing forums in August.  I met a wonderful lady who moved back to middletown after being gone for a while (same story as me, just more colorful) and she decided to actually reside on that part of town.  She and I spent a good hour after the meeting chatting about that end of town - she's quite optimistic, me, well, not so much.

She spent a good half-hour of that time selling me on all the benefits and all the great things going on down there - and I was almost sold on it.  Almost.

I took her advice and immediately - at 7:35 PM on a Thursday evening in the depth of summer - decided to go and see all this bustling commerce, entertainment and revitalization that she was referring to.  I voice recorded my entire 1.5 hours driving around and visiting places downtown....and those who don't want the entertainment can just scroll down to the last paragraph......and you'll see my point.

I took off from Rosa Parks Elementary and headed back towards the commercial district downtown.  I picked up my cell and started the recorder at Curtis st.  The following was machine transcribed and not edited, so read at your own risk.

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It is seven forty-five P.M.. On. Thursday August third two thousand and seventeen I'm currently at Central and Curtis street and I'm heading towards the river track. Doing this just for posterity said to say this is what it looked like in twenty seventeen multiple vacant storefronts to my left on the right there is a savage auto parts store. On the left of the Dublin house which has been there for a while senior living housing which is nice chambers on the right. Looks like a vacant place on the right parking central place reached on here ah what that building is but it's ugly. Thing or is here and some more of a can storefront Dobbin Meyers is. Of course here still on the left passing housing on the right some some big very ugly gentleman looking at me wondering what I'm doing. In town cabinets on the left hand side understand they make great things and we have a bunch more bank and store fronts Ted Reynolds Ted still on the left doing his rental stuff on the right is. A fairly junky looking Wireless store it's it looks like an ethnic hair care place to I think so yeah I see. A bunch of hair weaves hanging on the wall so I guess that's what that is. Looking Out here we see. There's Autozone on the left and. There's a bunch of empty storefronts again on the the right hand side. With literally blue plastic tarps and Harbor Freight hanging in the windows that's really tracked and then we have. The credit union. And I guess. Over there were owls is. Arouse next to know what that is across from the old Duncan line I think that's where they're trying to build the O'Reilly auto parts. I don't know if that's really. What I would do if I was on Riley but what do I know you know T twenty two I just left a. Community revitalization meeting where Doug Adkins was talking about all manner of. Stuff about housing in this community and I had a wonderful conversation with a young lady outside I forget her name on it but to she's a downtown or she just moved here couple years ago but Jones couple houses on Main Street and course main streets a little bit different than the rest of downtown but. You know at eight o'clock on the east side things are bustling people are still moving around people are shopping people are eating people are doing their daily things I come down here downtown I have turned around by the way I'm pretty much out right back to where I started. And. There's nobody about walking around. Literally nobody is on Central Avenue here there's not one body. We do have cars parked up and down the side of the street the coursers pawnshop that appears to be out of business Jazzercise but they appear to be out of business to. Jack's maybe it's a plot is a little but there's. Still open and here's the wonderful liberty spirits and I'm not a drinker. So liberty spirits is really no. Real value to me as a citizen. There's a Boost Mobile store that's how you know your communities thriving when. The only bright thing literally in a three might be when the dog. Right now here is a Boost Mobile store. There's more vacant the old theater fake and vacant vacant vacant on the left upholstery place bad. Game Corner OK beauty no. I don't want to look like their habitat they just have stuff in the windows Here's Finkleman is old stuff on the right as I come up on the place the slice that you know I'm glad and of course there's it's flanked by vacant storefronts but on the left is the slice and the slice. If it weren't for the sign that's hanging on the corner of the building that has neon or Eleni in lights or whatever. It looks on uninhabited two and they're open right now but the only way I know it's open because it looks dead inside it literally there's not a light on it I can see inside maybe actually closed and I don't know if. That might just be the case I'm not sure but if they're open all the science is open but there's nobody coming and going there's nobody parked anywhere near it either there's no foot traffic. And I came down the street about fifteen minutes before I decided to record and there was nobody in front of it walking around it or appeared to be in it or eating at it or any such thing. Looking ahead here on the. Other side of Clinton Street. Oh I see I see to the right a bunch of empty stuff still. Remember that little Chevron style sign there I don't know what was there but I do remember there used to be something there. You know here we got some nice little buildings ladies look good right next to crap right next to it more and more and more of a conflict in thinking we can make it seem like everything that was to come back here is this related to alcohol in some way it is have if we have created. Nothing more than a place for alcoholics to come and enjoy. This is odd to me. Now that I've crossed whatever the crap that was that's been Main Street now I don't know what it was called eight years and I still hear a song with great empty empty empty on the left or wind west central wind integrate and it's the penalty my time. And there's triple mine coffee you know it's eight thirty at night I'm not really in the mood for coffee yet and only two people in the entire joint I can see that because you can see all the way through their little place they are. Both very weird and stained glass help very nice can't afford anything and they're so forth leatherwork been there can't afford it. Myself the soap not a big I don't really care about so enabled which is with Grace Baptist I'm well aware of what they do there. Would be the [name redacted] and a lot of stuff there good people P.S. data services very interesting and then we come to this Cincinnati State this is interesting mid state little town school Cincinnati State oh yeah OK yeah this bustling little thing I'm granted this is the first week of August that I imagine there's probably really not classes going on here I guess I don't know maybe that's why it seems empty to me I'm confused. All bank buildings do not appear to be banks any longer on a third bank but but that's what it's a clue there are really well built new facade that's new construction one of the two not sure which. The old bank one over here is now the when the Mir I took the rest I worked there for one week in one thousand nine hundred four since I state nothing going on First National Bank across the way is now Cincinnati State. And I'm sure I mean I guess I'm glad somebody is putting the architectural buildings to use in some way. Not just turned on whatever crap street this is in the course. Cincinnati State. Sign company after company law office really nasty Lapid a little building right next to in the just he just want to look at that every day all day long. And. There's this I think I should know what does a building is but it's not all it's the Y. That's what it is Y.M.C.A. and of course right across from it is the old elaborately Manchester property boy does that look is that not an eyesore How many broken windows there's got to be squatters all or whatever place there's a security fence outside and I don't think it's working. And when you come to make it the old fashioned maybe old Manchester building. Boy it's neat looking from the outside but who the heck what ever want to try to tackle that thing and that's the Manchester and I'm here one done I'm Plaza who gives a crap. So now I'm over here a very there's a nice U D F built over here but it's really good kind of makes you want to stop and get some. Peanut butter and chip ice cream and. Maybe I'll pass for the moment I'll come back to it here in a little bit. Going back across over here to Clinton. I see the backside of flowers by Roger and other still here for how many of my come about like they wouldn't be here any more and there's a third one way street to Trinity Place and I have to go around to come back to. Try the place is still there it's actually held up pretty well. Not the kind of housing that everybody seems to think we need in Middletown but. You know confused I think there's room for everybody at all times but that's apparently. Just me. Because everybody else wants to build two hundred three hundred thousand. No housing as if that's going to change so how drastically change our city. And the answer is it's not. As if people got to go somewhere and they have nowhere to go besides this and I happen to know that because. One thing I where else to go. So you know it's sort of a sad sad situation although pretty places held up relatively well I think even you know you can tell by the vehicles that are outside of some of the. Places that. The demographic a shift in a tad. But. I will say this there's not as much Rusty vehicles and such in here as I sort of expected there are there trust me there is the full complement of. Everything here in this apartment complex but it has held up pretty well as a nice elderly lady who has water in her planters a guy who looks like he's going to work. Great people I'm sure. Pulling out a trinity on to whatever that free to hit because of course more faith can't take in Belize. So here we go we're going to cross back over Clinton. And get us back into this one is supposedly this humongous a viable downtown that we have. I'm just not seen as the problem I mean granted it may be something during the day but this is still this is still time a day of it that people are out and about and moving to do when and buy and sell and trade and. It's dead. It's not a thing to go off. And this is where I come to the point where people have to understand that you know this part of town is is is I'm not saying that there's not anything redeeming about that side of town as the lady has talking to over. I mean she described it as quaint. Well I don't disagree that there are parts of downtown that are quaint. That the problem is that quaint is nice. Every now and. But is quaint really. It's what I'm looking for is quaint really what this town needs. Is this town need a point or does this tell me. Commerce does this town need business this is timely Joe's or very simply put this is place just. Does it just need to be demolished I mean this is odd because there's such a dichotomy in this town there's two of them. There's East Middle town and there's West Middle. And the people on the east side kind of sneered downtown because. The way we look at it while being with only retrace the way I look at it as a as a Eastender I've never ever lived west of Brill Boulevard. So for me. When I look at Middletown I don't really care what's west of Brega the only big west to Brazil that really grasps on holds my personal attention. Is. Milton's donuts. Outside of that I could give a crap less about it there's the American Legion building whatever street I'm on now as you know can lead in building a lot about across second Street on the Eclipse as Main Street Yeah this is Main Street. But look at the houses I mean the architecture yes to my two. A wonderful point that she made the architecture is astounding and you don't find this in most communities but I've seen this sorg house which is right next door to me right now I've seen it. It doesn't make me want to keep coming down here every day yeah there's a fantastic leather work shop downtown so what I'm not driving downtown. I mean how much how much do I need to buy that's made from cow skin. It's going to make me come down there all the time and I see this is main street there but this I'm sure she lives in one of these houses I don't know which one. And there's Old South Park and see that's the thing is a nice tip over here like Old South Park old store beater called Old if you really expect me to come down here take a look at it and I don't look that old place. My point about Liberty Township Liberty County DA Luna but I love to go there all of my friends in this town who are going to go I don't know but we always end up in Liberty always in the questions to retitle as will we all end up down that way somewhere because. Frankly that's where everything is. So I'm going to turn around here because I've had enough of Main Street these houses are very very nice but it only willing to go one. On tenure at what street is a sawmill I don't even have to go one block off of Main Street to get trashed houses this is eighth eighth and Main but the houses on Main Street look great the ones that face a not so much those are the very houses that. Mr Adkins despises. I think that they're still viable residences. But you have to realize that manufacturing doesn't pop back up that you're somewhere and you don't put some employment out here that you're just not going to have people flock here they're not just going to flock to Middletown if the upper skilled people are who want to flock to Middletown did they did it out on the east end they didn't. In Renaissance they did it in the between Lebanon and Atari. Three just not going to come here and I'm not a member crust income kind of guy but this place does this hold nothing for me. heyshe's kind of cute she's cute but you know she ain't gonna drag me down here I'm a married man so there's a house somebody has rehab and but you have to ask yourself why what the crap are they really haven't for. I mean the research here looks really nice it really does but it's right across the street from at least one house that must be must be condemned by the city. And or but you know I mean the problem is again it's a private property just because the roof leaks on it doesn't mean the city has the right to come in and steal their property from so you have that commander as well here you have the whole thing but it's like you can't just take people's property they have rights they only if they paid for it it's theirs leave them alone and say here's more stuff I just turned on first and. Three houses in a row that I mean we just turned off of Main Street beautiful homes to crap. But you know these people have no reason to maintain Here's the journal building isn't that wonderful the journal building. And I turn left in front of it around a building just for esses and the Here is the Middletown turn a bit like empty. Appears to me absolutely nothing going on it a lovely parking lot to it next door though and here's old hey somebody is on foot. Hey hey what do you know all that's right because we're going to the canal pub. Again I'm not a drinker so. I'm not going to go to the canal publish Murphy's landing Oh I'm perfect landing a look that up later on Murphy's landing. All of that's awful Luton or it's junk or what. The penalty marks on or again or by. Central clouds eight twenty there's less cars on the street. And boy all the shops over here. Close close close close close close close close close close close close close there's Gracie's I can see her in a graces they got two tables at eight forty at night. And I sure hope they had more of the six. Because if not they're not going to last. In the beautiful sign for this box diner beautiful sign of that's where the land will be your light house or something like that I think not sure but it's close to I mean can't have business when you close people I don't. Mean if I was down here and I was running a business brother I would be I would be in it to win it I'd be open until. Ten thirty eleven trying to boost business I'd have clown standing on the sidewalk people and chicken suits but I'd be all over the place. Back Central had never area already been I'm going to stop and have a slice.
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Truly a bustling center of economic activity, right?  I saw a couple of bright spots, but the amount of money that it would take to make something viable out of this area is well in excess of its ROI no matter how long you stretch it.  I don't understand the attraction, I don't understand the addiction and I don't understand the absolution regarding the downtown area.  Could it be revitalized?  Perhaps.  Who's gonna pay for it?  Not me.

We need councilpersons who are committed to growth of the ENTIRE city - not just the west end.  This Kettering re-zoning thing is just another example.  Yes, it would be competition for Atrium, but competition makes it better for the end user, and the same works for our council and city leaders.

Bob
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."—Henry David Thoreau
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 15 2017 at 6:10am
Your observations are exactly what has created anger with some of us for years on this forum. Millions of taxpayer money, spent on friends of the city projects and more failures than successes to show for it. If you look back at the topics concerning the downtown development, you will read some "not so kind" observations from some of us long term citizens and members of this site. The "new breed" that has come to town doesn't have a clue what the town is about or the lifestyles of the people who live here. Some of us have never understood the reasoning for the downtown promotions and the millions spent just to end up with the situations you have described here. The city outside the downtown area has been neglected. The fascination with the downtown area and it's potential to these downtown supporters is a mystery to me. I do not see any potential in that area of town, especially with their persistent theme of arts, fru fru and culture. This is not an arts/fru fru cultural city and never has been. They have the wrong types of businesses down there that would attract the majority of this city. Simply not interested in what the downtown offers for 98% of us.

Wrong theme. Wrong ideas. Wrong demographics for any chance of success.

They just don't get it. Sad to see so many so out of touch with reality. Oh, and forget having any semblance of common sense. That has never existed in the downtown development.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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