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Hamilton's Catalytic Downtown Projects

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    Posted: Jun 18 2018 at 9:51am

Hamilton's Catalytic Downtown Projects


Mercantile Lofts

The Mercantile Lofts was the catalytic project the jumpstarted Hamilton’s redevelopment. The project consists of 29 market-rate loft spaces above street-level storefronts. Phase I of the renovations was awarded Heritage Ohio’s Best Mixed-Use Rehabilitation Project for 2011. The $11.1 million has been a resounding success and usually has a waiting list.



Artspace Hamilton

Artspace Hamilton is a mixed-use building comprised of 42 affordable live/work spaces for artists and 3,000 square feet of commercial space located in the heart of downtown. It is home to The Almond Sisters Bakery and Renaissance Fine Art Supplies. Artspace, a non-profit located in Minneapolis, MN, is the owner, operator, and developer of the $11.8 million project. With nearly 40 Artspace locations around the United States, Hamilton is Artspace’s first location in the state of Ohio.

Marcum apts-100

Marcum Apartments – Coming Soon

The City of Hamilton is collaborating with CMC Properties on a new high-end apartment complex in downtown Hamilton. The Marcum is a $12 million, 102 unit apartment complex with 4 retail spaces next to the new Marcum Park. Construction will be completed in 2018 and apartments are available for pre-lease now.

Marcum Park & RiversEdge

In 2013, RiversEdge Amphitheater and Overlook opened at the former Mercy Hospital site. It has become one of the most important hubs of activity in downtown Hamilton. The popular Summer Concert Series brings thousands of people to downtown Hamilton for free concerts throughout the summer.
In 2015, it was announced that Joe and Sarah Marcum are donating $3.5 million to the Hamilton Parks Conservancy to expand the park, transforming the current vacant greenspace and the amphitheater into Marcum Park. The new park will include a wide sidewalk designed to be accessible to food trucks and similar users for community events, a children’s playscape on the northwest corner, landscaping, and the great lawn. The park will open in May 2017.



150 High Street & STARTEK

In 2013, the Hamilton CORE Fund’s first purchase was the former Elder Beerman department store at 150 High Street, a large, very visible vacancy in downtown Hamilton. Between 2014 & 2015, five new tenants for the building were announced.
Most notably, international call center STARTEK announced that they would be moving into the building and creating 682 jobs in downtown Hamilton, the largest employment announcement in Hamilton in over a decade. In addition to STARTEK Hamilton, the building is also home to InsideOut Studio, Kettering Physician’s Network doctors’ office, and a Joslin Diabetes Center.




School of the Arts

In early 2013, a $4.1 million renovation of the former Journal-News building was completed, transforming the former newspaper building into a downtown cultural hub. The building is now home to Butler Tech School of the Arts, Miami Valley Ballet Theatre, and the Hamilton City Schools ABLE program. The project has been great for all of the tenants. School of the Arts high school’s enrollment jumped from 125 to 180 students their first year in the new building.



Courtyard Marriott

After a $10 million renovation, our downtown hotel was retrofitted into a Courtyard by Marriott. Opening in 2009, it was the first major downtown project undertaken. The Courtyard, located along the Banks of the Great Miami River, features the Plaza One Grille.


Robinson Schwenn

One of the first redevelopment projects focused on renovating the beautiful 1866 opera house. It is now home to Liferaynational sales office, the Lane Library Community Technology CenterMiami University DowntownLemonGrenade Creative, and True West Cafe downtown.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 18 2018 at 2:21pm
All fine and dandy - of course Hamilton's downtown district has between 5 and 8 TIMES the daily traffic per ODOT and the Engineer's office.

The thing is that this is the kind of stuff that Middletown can't support downtown.  We've not got the infrastructure to pull off the necessary 50k traffic in these areas to sustain such properties.

No major thoroughfares = no major investment. 

http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/Planning/TechServ/traffic/Traffic_Survey_Flow_Maps/2011_Survey_Flow_Maps/But_tsr_2011.pdf
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2018 at 1:52am
BUDDHA -- Did you mean to say daily traffic counts of 50,000 vehicles are necessary for the Central Avenue "downtown corridor" to sustain any property revitalization?  It's near impossible to fathom that level of traffic safely and efficiently plying east and west along Central Avenue.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2018 at 11:11am
NELSON -- What I said is that per DOT stats and traffic flow - Downtown Hamilton has a daily traffic of over 50k - while parts of downtown Middletown barely register on the traffic flow map.

You see - you can turn the old high school into affordable housing (it would be a nightmare to do so and it would take WAY more investment than tearing it down and building a brand new high-rise in its place.  There's no one running over there thinking they're going to do anything with it.  Why?

There's a problem that Downtown has.....it's traffic.  And frankly, it has nothing to do with what is or isn't there to attract anything - it's just flat out traffic.

Yes - all that development in Hamilton is great - but there's 50k cars a day running past all of it...and there's minutes away access to liberty, bridgwater falls, fairfield, etc.

Again - the whole issue with downtown was letting that highway go so far east of town that it obliterated that section of town.  Let's be honest - if we moved city hall to the east end....what would happen to downtown?  

If we moved all the city offices and city employees and the city divisions to the east end - would there even be a downtown Middletown?

I am a free market guy - and the answer is that if the market will bear it - private money will come running.  If we have to coax private money to invest - it's a bad deal all around.

I'm not against redevelopment - I'm against bad development.  This is why all the other projects you like to harp about here on the boards are so dangerous.....in order to convince people to invest we give away the farm....then they start counting the cost and realize that the project was insolvent from the get.

Those who have been willing to invest private money have and many have failed miserably - many to the point the prjects never get off the ground - and those that do, well, I've been spending more and more time downtown - those places can't be long for throwing in the towel based upon the people in the establishments at peak times (even during festivals and events!)
"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 (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2018 at 2:11pm
BUDDHA, once your city council campaign kicks-off, maybe you'll seek downtown property owners/merchants input relative to your "perception" of central city transportation and other deficiencies?  That'd be a great time for you to unveil your "specific recommendations" for corrective actions too!

BUDDHA, since you've spent much time observing downtown over the last number of months, maybe you'll choose to regularly interface with organizations like Downtown Middletown Inc., Moving Middletown Forward, etc.?

BUDDHA, it's near impossible to understand how the posting of occasional "best practices" or "success stories" are so dangerous as you say.  Isn't it a responsibility of municipal government to stay abreast of new, cutting -edge approaches to economically and successfully correct assorted shortcomings?  One more time, if you'll carefully review my posts, you'll again find that I'm not advocating the exact replication of same in Middletown.  I do maintain that information is power.

BUDDHA, it's time for you to present your "specific recommendations" for the betterment of Middletown rather than expending so much effort critiquing and criticizing well intentioned posts of others!

P.S.  I encourage you to review posts that I provided on the reuse of vacant, surplus public school buildings.  From a HUD - Arkansas Field Office news release, you'll read of the former Hot Springs, Arkansas High School housing reuse undertaking.  This was a professionally and personally rewarding career experience for me.  And, yes, quite a number of municipalities have had the foresight to reclaim structures like the former Middletown High School for productive and sustainable reuse.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 19 2018 at 2:54pm
This is why participation on this blog is so low.  You get to make all the points you want - and when someone disagrees with you - you go into post, delete, repost over and over again running down those who don't agree.

Frankly Nelson - I think that you are the one out of touch.  You no longer live in this community and under the circumstances of your separation from the City...it feels like you have an axe to grind.  It may be time for you to move on. I don't know.

I can appreciate what other communities are doing - but you can't take what works one place and make it work elsewhere.  I was in the old High School last week for the auction....there's so much work that would have to be done that I can't imagine it making sense (or cents) to do ANYTHING to that hodge podge of buildings specifically in the condition that it's in.  Add to it that the traffic counts by that property are a 10th of that of any of the projects you tout....and there's no viable solution!

I have no doubt about your ability to make projects like this happen through the fortuitous application of grants and such - but it still takes money.  Where are the money people who are going to make this happen?  Why aren't they already here spending money all over town to rescue these buildings?

The point is THEY ARE NOT!  They don't want to invest in downtown Middletown.

And no - I don't think I'd be running around with MMF and other organizations in Middletown.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting a different outcome.  That's the downtown Middletown experience.  INSANITY.

We keep doing the same thing.  We keep getting the same outcome - nothing.  

Insanity.
"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 (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 20 2018 at 7:13am
City of Hamilton, OH - Economic Impact Analysis
Silverlode Consulting
Silverlode helped a manufacturing-based community in Ohio to identify new target industry sectors.new target industry sectors.
City of Hamilton, OH
Service(s):
Economic Impact Analysis, Economic Development Services
Opportunity:
Hamilton Ohio, like many other mid-sized cities in the Midwest, disproportionately relied on manufacturing. To improve its competitiveness as a business location, the city needed to diversify its industries and strengthen its economic base.
The City of Hamilton engaged Silverlode to identify appropriate industries to attract and to conduct economic impact analyses.
Solution:
Silverlode's target industry analysis evaluated available real estate, labor costs and availability, utility costs, and quality of life – all crucial factors for companies considering locations for new facilities. We also evaluated economic indicators such as industry concentration and industry growth projections, to develop a prioritized list of high-performing industry sectors that could benefit from Hamilton’s location and attributes. The report also included a series of detailed marketing strategies to focus and enhance the City’s business attraction efforts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 20 2018 at 10:08am
BUDDHA -

In reply to your "assessment" about the "unlikely adaptive reuse potential" of the former Middletown High School, please note this nearby success story that highlights how a similar Eaton, Ohio structure was brought back to life.  As an aside, this city is located 23 miles west of Dayton and has a population of 8,407 residents.

News & Insight  Miller-Valentine Group
Transformation of Former Eaton, Ohio High School


July 22, 2016 / By Heather Denney, Marketing Manager

Former Eaton High School to be Transformed

Miller-Valentine GroupSt. Mary Development Corporation and the H.I.T. Foundation are proud to announce the development of their newest apartment home community, Residences at Eagles Point, located at 307 North Cherry Street in Eaton, Ohio.

The pet-friendly community involves the adaptive reuse of the former Eaton High School, which will include 40 affordable residential apartments as well as community space. The former auditorium, cafeteria and gymnasium areas of the building will be rehabilitated for public use.

Residences at Eagles Point is now accepting applications, and plans to open its doors in January 2017.  This beautiful, brand new community of one, two and three bedroom apartment homes will serve families who desire high-quality, affordable rental housing.

Future residents will enjoy amenities you would expect to find in an upscale home, at an affordable price: a fully-equipped gourmet kitchen with brand new energy-efficient appliances, exceptional closet space, central air conditioning, and a laundry room which includes full-size washer/dryer connections.

Residences at Eagles Point will offer several other amenities which separate them from their local competition; a business center, media room, fitness center and community room with a kitchen and dining area, where residents can enjoy the companionship of friends and family.

Unlike other apartment communities, Residences at Eagles Point has a personal attention, exceptional move-in, and maintenance response commitment that are made to every resident.  The professional onsite management team and 24-hour emergency maintenance service are just a few ways that Residences at Eagles Point Associates take care of the hassles of apartment living.

Brian McGeady, Partner & President of Miller-Valentine Affordable Housing Development, said that the company is excited to help the economy and bring its dedicated expertise in high quality, affordable housing to the area. McGeady explained, “Residences at Eagles Point allows Miller-Valentine Group to provide outstanding, brand new homes to an area that needs them. We are enthusiastic and privileged to serve the City of Eaton and show them that our passion is to positively impact their lives.”

For more information or to submit an application for Residences at Eagles Point, please call us at (844) 556-9382, email us at residenceseagles@propemail.com, or visit YourNextPlacetoLive.com.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote processor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 20 2018 at 11:28am
How do you know that the School Board didn't offer the building for sale and there were no takers?  I'm sure they would rather sell the building than spend all the money tearing it down.  Same with the Gym.  It's not like the building is in a desirable area of the city.  We certainly don't want the School Board trying to develop property.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 21 2018 at 9:51am
Processor -

A clarifications request plus random observations ..................

1)  who, if anyone, speculated about the MCSD Board and any property disposition efforts for the former high school?
2)  assuming the MCSD Board attempted to convey said school property, wouldn't there be a public record of same?
3)  wouldn't there be a record of a Request for Proposals/Qualifications (RFP/Q) deadline and list of any submissions?
4)  has the MCSD Board begun soliciting estimates for the potential cost of demolishing said school property?
5)  did the MCSD Board ever consider meeting informally with bonafide re-developers of similar school properties?
6)  has the MCSD Board ever considered the solicitation of an adaptive reuse feasibility study?

You're correct as there are some questions about the manner that the MCSD will proceed with this school property.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 21 2018 at 4:26pm
The problem is - I'm a realist.  I live in realville - and in realville - all the wishful thinking in the world won't make these old buildings useful in a forward looking approach to anything downtown.

The reality is that less than 1/10th of the population goes anywhere near downtown (based on the DOT traffic counts and flow maps) making the downtown area not an attractive place for anyone to invest their money (especially the millions it would take to convert the old high school into anything useful) .

I'm just simply pointing out that the last thing downtown needs is more income based poverty housing.  It needs jobs, it needs real development and it needs real leadership (and in the reverse I just mentioned it.)

Sure, it doesn't hurt to look at all this other stuff you've done and pushed elsewhere - but the reality is its not going to be conducive to growth in Middletown at this time.
"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 (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 21 2018 at 4:59pm
"The reality is that less than 1/10th of the population goes anywhere near downtown (based on the DOT traffic counts and flow maps) making the downtown area not an attractive place for anyone to invest their money (especially the millions it would take to convert the old high school into anything useful making the downtown area not an attractive place for anyone to invest their money (especially the millions it would take to convert the old high school into anything useful"
                                                             
                                                       - buddhalite

Exactly buddhalite.

Which begs the question......why are the city leaders investing so much money down there? The end result for the millions spent for development can't possibly be acceptable to anyone living here including the most die hard supporter. To make matters worse, it is taxpayer money in one form or another that is the source of the investment. The private sector money is nowhere to be found down there and this should have been the only monetary source from day one.The city taxpayer should never have taken the hit for all the failures down there and the city leaders should never have considered this an option. Hell, the downtown has been on life support since 1958 when the mass business exodus out of downtown headed for the Middletown Shopping Center and the east end. The failed City Centre Mall only exacerbated the issue by spending additional millions on a project that was never supported by the residents. (We won't mention the 13 million spent to demolish the Mall either).

"The reality is that less than 1/10th of the population goes anywhere near downtown (based on the DOT traffic counts and flow maps)"- buddhalite

Then why do we constantly hear from the downtown supporters that the downtown area is steadily growing and showing progress as to interest and development? Either you are wrong in your assessment or the die hard downtown supporters are embellishing their opinions on what is really happening. Buddha, I am betting you are closer to the truth. JMO
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2018 at 11:56am
Buddhalite -

I've digested your last critique about the questionable/non-existent feasibility of adaptive reuse of older buildings such as the former Middletown High School.  Given your continuing fascination with housing and community development matters that I've respectfully submitted over nine years, please consider the following "private message" comments made about the Wade E. Miller Gymnasium that I received this morning from a long-time, respected MUSA registered member

"I would love to see the city salvage the old high school and renovate it into some senior living apartments like I have read about in other towns. Knowing this town and Adkins penchant for demolishing everything in sight, I know that won't happen. Still, like to see them salvage Wade E. Miller Gym and use it to provide recreational services to the community. Not asking for much I don't think in that regard. Later, my friend....." 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2018 at 2:30pm
Okay - I considered it.

If this person wants to cough up the funds to make it happen - then let them have the building.  

If not - someone needs to just man up and understand that it's not going to happen and quit wasting time on dreams and buttercups.

Sorry to be so blunt - but you gotta realize the position you're in and pick yourself up and move on sometimes.

What I find so odd at the same time Nelson is your penchant for wanting every vacant building to be re-purposed and redeveloped - but then cry constantly out here about how every single project this city has undertaken has been a cesspool of wasted money.

Pick a side and stay with it.  I really don't know what to make of you sometimes my friend.

Our city doesn't need another failed project.  It doesn't need to waste even another nickel.  It needs to responsibly use the funds it has to serve its citizens.

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 (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2018 at 4:44pm
[QUOTE=Analytical]

Buddhalite -

I've digested your last critique about the questionable/non-existent feasibility of adaptive reuse of older buildings such as the former Middletown High School.  Given your continuing fascination with housing and community development matters that I've respectfully submitted over nine years, please consider the following "private message" comments made about the Wade E. Miller Gymnasium that I received this morning from a long-time, respected MUSA registered member

"I would love to see the city salvage the old high school and renovate it into some senior living apartments like I have read about in other towns. Knowing this town and Adkins penchant for demolishing everything in sight, I know that won't happen. Still, like to see them salvage Wade E. Miller Gym and use it to provide recreational services to the community. Not asking for much I don't think in that regard. Later, my friend....." 

[QUOTE]

BUDDHA - Okay - I considered it.

If this person wants to cough up the funds to make it happen - then let them have the building.  

If not - someone needs to just man up and understand that it's not going to happen and quit wasting time on dreams and buttercups.

Sorry to be so blunt - but you gotta realize the position you're in and pick yourself up and move on sometimes.

RESPONSE - An inappropriate response to a lifelong resident's heartfelt regard for the Wade E. Miller Gymnasium.

BUDDHA - What I find so odd at the same time Nelson is your penchant for wanting every vacant building to be re-purposed and redeveloped - but then cry constantly out here about how every single project this city has undertaken has been a cesspool of wasted money.

RESPONSE - An intentionally inaccurate example of unfavorably characterizing previous posts of mine.  What do you gain via these gross exaggerations?

BUDDHA - Pick a side and stay with it.  I really don't know what to make of you sometimes my friend.

Our city doesn't need another failed project.  It doesn't need to waste even another nickel.  It needs to responsibly use the funds it has to serve its citizens.

RESPONSE - Yes, I've cited some examples of the city's questionable priorities, policies, plans and programs.  Yes, I've noted some examples where the most cost-effective and highest/best use projects were not undertaken,  Unlike you, I've provided specifics for positive improvements.  Unlike you, I possess 40 plus years of experience in city planning, administration of HUD-funded housing and community development programs, private sector home building, real estate sales and residential mortgage origination.

It's immaterial what you think of me. On several occasions I've contacted you with the hope of a more positive, mature relationship resulting.  Those efforts were in vain.  Your penchant to critique and criticize doesn't seem like friendship.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buddhalite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2018 at 9:08pm
I thought the entire purpose of this board was to foster discussion.

I am participating in such discussion.  I am making counter points to yours.  I am trying to persuade and so are you.

I think your expectations of this city are egregious and impossible. You think I am a whippersnapper coming in here telling you that you're wrong.

I am only participating in the discussion.  FWIW - ok - save the gym.  Where's the money coming from?

I'm not heartless no was my response inappropriate.  If you want something - how do you get it?  You go buy it.  So, my response was - let 'em have it. I have no problem with that.

I was in the building no less than 2 weeks ago - it's a disaster.  Any ROI on making that place anything more than what it is would likely be 20 years or more in a rent-controlled situation.  Not to mention its location.  Oh yeah - it's location.

Excuse the fire out me for butting into conversations and trying to make some business sense out of things.  I'll crawl back in my hole and let you go back to dominating the boards with solely your posts and nothing else.  That's productivity.
"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 (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2018 at 8:17am
BUDDHA - I thought the entire purpose of this board was to foster discussion.

I am participating in such discussion.  I am making counter points to yours.  I am trying to persuade and so are you.

RESPONSE - topical discussion/debate is predicated upon the civil presentation of ideas/beliefs as well as counter ideas/beliefs.  IT'S NOT THE OUTCOME OF CONSTANT CRITIQUE/BLANKET DISMISSAL OF ONE'S IDEAS WHILE FAILING TO PRESENT ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTS.  Therefore, what concrete solutions have you ever suggested in the way of badly needed housing and community development improvements?  Aside from oft-stated opposition to public financial assistance of redevelopment endeavors, what are your priorities, policies, plans and programs for the betterment of Middletown as an aspiring city council candidate?

BUDDHAI think your expectations of this city are egregious and impossible. You think I am a whippersnapper coming in here telling you that you're wrong.

I am only participating in the discussion.  FWIW - ok - save the gym.  Where's the money coming from?

I'm not heartless no was my response inappropriate.  If you want something - how do you get it?  You go buy it.  So, my response was - let 'em have it. I have no problem with that.

RESPONSE - Your critique of my long-standing commitment to sound fiscal management is way off course.  And, I'm a realist in terms of what is possible/not possible given a municipalities' market dynamics and financial condition.

Since 1971 I've witnessed some glaring examples of wasteful spending of federal funds.  Being a fiscal conservative, I've always endeavored to bring cost-effective and highest/best use thinking to a normally bureaucratic environment.  Your assessment of my expectations as being egregious and impossible speaks volumes about your tendency to belittle others.

BUDDHA - I was in the building no less than 2 weeks ago - it's a disaster.  Any ROI on making that place anything more than what it is would likely be 20 years or more in a rent-controlled situation.  Not to mention its location.  Oh yeah - it's location.

RESPONSE - Like some people, I'm not so presumptuous in declaring myself to be an expert in determining the economic feasibility of utilizing the former Middletown High School for any adaptive reuse.  That requires specific expertise in the conduct of market analysis studies, the preparation of construction cost estimates, the packaging of assorted financing sources, cash flow analysis, etc., etc.

BUDDHA - Excuse the fire out me for butting into conversations and trying to make some business sense out of things.  I'll crawl back in my hole and let you go back to dominating the boards with solely your posts and nothing else.  That's productivity.

RESPONSE - I successfully spent eight years as a home builder in New England and know what it's like to compete in the private sector.  I know the ups and downs of having owned/operated a small business that provided homes for 77 customers.

Buddha, simply share "concrete" recommendations for solving Middletown's troubling deficiencies from now forward!  Generic, feel-good generalities are not what's needed.  The floor is now yours.  Use it productively. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2018 at 9:15am
buddhalite:

"If this person wants to cough up the funds to make it happen - then let them have the building."

"If not - someone needs to just man up and understand that it's not going to happen and quit wasting time on dreams and buttercups."

I will offer some suggestions/solutions to funding the gym to keep it intact......

Perhaps the Wade E. Miller Gym could be saved by tying the sports activities which would occur into the YMCA and the funds they get in running their operation. Perhaps the Miller Gym could be an extension of the YMCA where intramural basketball and volleyball leagues could occur. Perhaps the city could set up a membership program for all who would use the facility to help fund it. Perhaps the same grants used to fund the downtown projects and historic buildings could also be used to fund the historic Miller Gym. Perhaps refreshments and sandwiches could be sold on the premises to help defray costs. Perhaps the city could tie the gym into their "historic district" area and reap what benefits that would mean for the gym. Perhaps a community membership could be paid for those wanting to use the gym facility at their convenience. Perhaps corporate memberships could be obtained to have industrial league basketball in the gym. How about corporate donations helping out?

I agree with buddhalite that the location is a detriment. No doubt about it that the neighborhood has gone so far downhill over the last three decades that it makes it extremely hard to look at any positives as to usage for the high school building itself. It is a shame. It is a sturdy building. Has many examples of old school workmanship throughout. I also understand why it is targeted to be demolished as well. It is just sad to see yet another Middletown landmark being taken down. The downtown area, for the most part, is a shadow of itself in more prosperous times. Just hard to watch things disappear and not be replaced by newer buildings. Too many "Gilleland Greenspaces" in Middletown now. She may have liked the idea of greenspaces, but some of us older folks are sad to see so many of them now. Hell, we can't even identify our old hometown anymore in some areas. Sad to see. You know, progress comes with the "out with the old and in with the new" philosophy but we have a lot more "out with the old" going on and hardly any "in with the new" in it's place. Time to start replacing what you have torn down city leaders. What is your plan to do this?
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote processor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2018 at 1:27pm
If you really wanted to save the gym you should start with the School Board and see what their intentions are.  If it is to tear it down, you need to determine their time frame so you know how much time you have to find another purpose.  Then you would need to get with the people who could spend the money and organize the facility to be self sufficient.  Ask the Board at the YMCA if they could/would have a use for it.  Ask others who run sports programs.  Then you'd have to get the parties together to see what could be worked out.  My guess is that the School Board wants to what's good for the community but eliminate their responsibility for the building going forward.  I'd be surprised if they wouldn't consider other options.

Bitching about it on a blog, that few read, will accomplish nothing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike_Presta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2018 at 2:32pm
There are a couple of issues of which those who want to save the gym might not be aware:

1.  HV&AC:  The gym's HV&AC is piped over from the antiquated main system that serves the rest of the school and it is not feasible to save that system when the school is demolished. The cost of a new HV&AC system to serve the gym alone would likely be a deal breaker as it would add years to the ROI of any of the scenarios that have been suggested.

2.  ADA:  If the gym were to be remodeled to the extent required to serve as a stand-alone facility, it would have to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  This would add another big wad of dough to the costs that many of you may not be considering.

I am not trying to argue, either for or against.  I am simply trying to point out two big cost factors that some of you might be overlooking.  If you want to save this gym as a public facility, your best bet might be to look for someone who has $15 million or so that he would be willing to spend just to have a place to play pick-up games 
“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2018 at 2:58pm
Not complaining here processor. Just trying to talk through a scenario that may save the Miller Gym. Thank you for your suggestions. Was going to go to a school board meeting to talk to them about their intentions and the possibility of following up with any sources that may be interested..........

then,

Mike posted and shared some very valid points on the cost of replacing the HVAC and making the facility ADA compliant. Just wondering, since the last game was played there a year of so ago, why the gym wasn't made compliant before the closure and if it was never compliant, why? Being a public facility, I thought, by law, it had to accommodate the ADA laws. Anyone?

Guess the issues brought forth by Mike may be the nail in the coffin as to re-purposing the gym. Too bad. It has history and some quality built into it to salvage it. Lord knows, there has been more than enough of Middletown's past demolished during the last three decades with some demolition deserved and some in question.

We all know there is no one with 15 million who is eager to save the gym. Hell, no one has stepped forward with their own money to save any of Middletown's buildings........except the city government using YOUR tax dollars to fund THEIR private owner friends. That has been well documented within these pages.

Which brings to mind the following.......

Soooo, how about it city leaders. You bought the CG&E, First National Bank, Goetz Tower and the old Barnitz Bank buildings in the Thatcher estate package to save those buildings. You loaned your buddy Robinette taxpayer money to try and salvage the Rose building. You gave your buddy Grau the Manchester for a dollar after buying it and not being able to sell it to save that icon. The Duncan Oil deal ring a bell on our money usage? How about offering the school board some money to save the Miller Gym? IMO, it would be no different than the real estate deals you have made with the school board in the past would it? Why would the Miller Gym be any different?
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote processor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2018 at 3:05pm
Vet,
Good idea starting with the School Board.  They may have already run this down and could share their info with you...saving you some time.  I'm glad you plan on talking with them.

Years ago this was talked about and the issues that Mike brought up were some of the main drivers towards having to tear it down.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Analytical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 02 2018 at 8:41am
Posted: Jun 18 2018 at 1:21pm by Buddhalite
All fine and dandy - of course Hamilton's downtown district has between five and eight TIMES the daily traffic per
ODOT and the Engineer's office.

The thing is that this is the kind of stuff that Middletown can't support downtown.  We've not got the infrastructure to
pull off the necessary 50k traffic in these areas to sustain such properties.

No major thoroughfares = no major investment. 

http://www.dot.state.oh.us/Divisions/Planning/TechServ/traffic/Traffic_Survey_Flow_Maps/2011_Survey_Flow_
Maps/But_tsr_2011.pdf

Posted: Jun 19 2018 at 12:52am by Analytical
BUDDHA -- Did you mean to say daily traffic counts of 50,000 vehicles are necessary for the Central
Avenue "downtown corridor" to sustain any property revitalization?  It's near impossible to fathom that level
of traffic safely and efficiently plying east and west along Central Avenue.
Posted: Jun 19 2018 at 10:11am by Buddhalite
NELSON -- What I said is that per DOT stats and traffic flow - Downtown Hamilton has a daily traffic of over 50k -
while parts of downtown Middletown barely register on the traffic flow map.

You see - you can turn the old high school into affordable housing (it would be a nightmare to do so and it would
take WAY more investment than tearing it down and building a brand new high-rise in its place.  There's no one
running over there thinking they're going to do anything with it.  Why?  (What empirical evidence do you have to
support this opinion)?

There's a problem that Downtown has.....it's traffic.  And frankly, it has nothing to do with what is or isn't there to
attract anything - it's just flat out traffic.

Yes - all that development in Hamilton is great - but there's 50k cars a day running past all of it...and there's
minutes away access to liberty, bridgwater falls, fairfield, etc.

Again - the whole issue with downtown was letting that highway go so far east of town that it obliterated that
section of town.  Let's be honest - if we moved city hall to the east end....what would happen to downtown?  (Bob,
it was the Federal Highway Administration and not the City of Middletown that determined the final
right-of-way location for the construction of I-75 

If we moved all the city offices and city employees and the city divisions to the east end - would there even be a
downtown Middletown?

I am a free market guy - and the answer is that if the market will bear it - private money will come running.  If we
have to coax private money to invest - it's a bad deal all around.

I'm not against redevelopment - I'm against bad development.  This is why all the other projects you like to harp
about here (not a very civil or accurate comment, Bob) on the boards are so dangerous.....in order to
convince people to invest we give away the farm....then they start counting the cost and realize that the project was
insolvent from the get.

Those who have been willing to invest private money have and many have failed miserably - many to the point the
prjects never get off the ground - and those that do, well, I've been spending more and more time downtown - those
places can't be long for throwing in the towel based upon the people in the establishments at peak times (even
during festivals and events!)
Some recent food for thought for you, Bob.  Most people are inclined to trust the analysis and recommendations of professional transportation planners and affected business/property owners than anyone's personal conjecture!


Middletown group petitions for fewer traffic lanes along downtown street

March 27, 2018
By Ed Richter
Middletown Journal-News

MIDDLETOWN — 
A group of downtown stakeholders sent a petition to Middletown city officials seeking lane reductions and other traffic calming efforts on South Main Street to make it more friendly for pedestrians and bike riders.
The 15 stakeholders representing 19 properties along South Main Street said in their petition that they see the future of the downtown area as a vibrant and lively space supporting freedom of movement safe for pedestrian traffic.
“As Downtown Middletown citizens, property and business owners we are urging our leaders to act now to reduce the number of traffic lanes on Main Street in downtown to one lane each way north and south, using additional street area for: on street parking, loading/drop zones and a bike share path,” the petition said.
The group forwarded a copy of the petition to this news outlet.
The stakeholders said the recently completed Downtown Middletown Strategic Master Plan recommends that street calming measures be incorporated to slow and regulate vehicular traffic through downtown.
“Main Street in downtown has experienced redevelopment activity in recent years that has and will significantly increase pedestrian activity and the need for parking, bike share routes, pedestrian drop zones and loading zones,” the petition said.
The area of South Main Street targeted is between the foot bridge going into Smith Park at the northern point and south to the intersection with First Avenue.
City Manager Doug Adkins said the petition came to him for action and that City Council has seen it.
However, Adkins said it is just a concept so far and that the petition would be revisited when the city begins the downtown piece of the its new transportation plan that will cover all modes of transportation.
Adkins told this news outlet that the city hopes to use public works to clear out some of the wooded area behind the Hope House this spring and, if funds become available, design a new bike path between downtown and the River Center currently under construction by MetroParks of Butler County.
As part of his March 7 response to a petitioner, Adkins said work on the transportation portion of the city’s overall master plan will start in the fourth quarter and there is $75,000 in 2018 budget to start this process. He said additional funding may be required in the 2019 budget to fully lay out these transportation initiatives.
“We’re already on track to do what you are asking, but we will need several more months to be ready to kick off this piece,” Adkins said. “As we get closer to implementation of the transportation plan process, we’ll certainly circle back to downtown businesses and the Main Street community to add their input to the process.”
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 02 2018 at 1:13pm
The S. Main St. folks will have their way with Adkins and council. The Mulligans will see to that. The whole downtown money pit is designed to protect the S. Main St. neighborhood from property value loss. The city is willing to take all of the taxpayer's money and invest it into the downtown area to protect a few self important individuals who occupy the old historic district. They will be listened to. They always have been. It is a "Mulligan" kind of town we live in folks. Whatever they want, they get......and the rest of us and our wants and needs are ignored. SOP in Middletown these days.

The article says 15 stakeholders along S. Main St. have petitioned to reduce traffic lanes. That is enough to make it happen. I like the statement that these people see the downtown area as "vibrant". Embellished Horsesh--!!!! (Horsefeathers!!!!) I have no clue what they are seeing to label it as "vibrant". Apparently, we have different levels of "vibrant".
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Mike_Presta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2018 at 4:11pm
Kohler purposely decreased traffic through downtown and implemented measures that would PREVENT high traffic there.

It was part of his "traffic calming" brainstorm to make the area "pedestrian friendly".

“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012
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