Episode #34: Urban Housing

On the 34th episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, Randy, John, and Travis discuss several housing developments in the urban core, including The Banks Phase 2, which broke ground earlier this week. We ask why many Cincinnati developers are reluctant to invest in urban projects, even as demand has sharply risen. While there is demand for as many as 5,000 new apartments and condos in the urban core, only about 1,500 units are planned for the next few years. Finally, we speculate on whether rents will fall as more new apartments become available.

  • Neil Clingerman

    I’ve mentioned this before and will mention this again, but they really should have planned the bikeshare around the hillside steps – a station at the top of and bottom of the stairs would really help people further use that underutalized asset.

  • Kendall Jolley

    A couple of thoughts, first, nightlife north of Liberty is picking up with the investment going on in the Brewery district, more venues like Rheingeist should appease the crowd you’re talking about that ignores the community that’s already in place, but if they tried the Jazz Club at Schwartz’s Point, or Rake’s End or did the Brighton art gallery crawl, they’d find there’s already a fairly thriving albeit limited after dark scene, especially on weekends, which can be built on. I just don’t think there are a lot of people in Cincinnati aware of what’s going on there due to their perceptions of the neighborhoods in question. It also speaks to the negative impact of the gentrification that’s occurring when it’s considered that these neighborhoods are dead after dark right now just because they don’t have more of the white professional hipster offerings that are found lower on Vine. That could lead to the uprooting and displacement of the existing neighborhoods, as is happening in Pendleton right now.

    As for the Uptown hill, I don’t know if it’s as much an issue as you guys think, as I think some entrepreneur with a bike rack will figure out that a cheap bike ferry/rideshare operation up Ravine St. or Clifton Ave could be worthwhile. The city, UC or Metro should probably look into launching it first, but I’m guessing it will get done by private initiative. Another option for years from now, I know a few other cities, especially in Europe, have bike escalators on a couple of their steepest hills, and Pittsburgh’s considering them. Either Straight or Ravine street would probably be fine options for installing one if we ever get bold leadership in the city again.

    • There was talk at Metro about giving bikers free rides to the tops of hills from downtown to Uptown but it hasn’t as far as I know gone past talking.

    • I was not talking about nightlife when I mentioned that there is virtually nothing north of Liberty Street in terms of service retail. I was talking about things like convenience stores, pharmacies, banks, etc. A walkable neighborhood needs far more than a handful of bars of live music venues to work. I fear that many in Cincinnati view the redevelopment as just that…a glorified entertainment district.

    • Kendall Jolley

      “Findlay Market might eventually get there if it becomes more of a nighttime destination as well… If you’re thinking of moving to a place like Findlay Market, you know, outside the Market hours, there’s nothing else up there.”

      That was what I was referring to.

      I agree with you, however on that it can’t just be entertainment. The galleries and existing neighborhood artisans like Rookwood and the Brush Factory could potentially open retail stores there but there needs to be a greater push/incentive from the city to get them and other artisan shops to do this. There are some West End retail establishments, but they are too spread apart to make a cohesive walkable neighborhood retail district right now. Around Central Ave up at Brighton crossing where the galleries are has a lot of potential in this respect, but it needs more standard business hour activity and as you say, better transit options. The PBL should help some, however.

  • You hit the nail on the head regarding bikeshare and the mayor somehow believing people will ride it to Uptown. I commute to UC from downtown by bike weather permitting. But I’m highly motivated and I have a half decent bike that comes in around 22-24lbs. A bikeshare bike I believe is about 40lbs because they are designed to take a beating. Factor in upright seating in addition to the weight and any route to the Uptown area is going to be very challenging.