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Business Development News Politics

Just to clarify…

Apparently my post regarding eminent domain was a controversial one, and it seems that some people may have missed the overriding point I was trying to make.

I am not advocating the use of eminent domain all willy nilly…I’m actually not suggest any kind of measures to occur with eminent domain, but rather I am simply complaining about the current system we have in place. Sure we need to protect individual freedoms (imo, that only goes so far though). In some instances government goes to far (see the Patriot Act), and I think that is what many seem to think I’m advocating. It is not, let me explain…

I am making an observation that in many of the high profile eminent domain cases, it is not the small guy or the innocent property owner fighting the battle. It’s quite the contrary…as I pointed out, many of the people involved in these legal battles are absent landlords, LLC’s, corporate entities and the like. I don’t want to rob Peter to pay Paul…I just want to pay Paul for his efforts and enthusiasm in wanting to invest in the inner-city. Is that sooo wrong?

You may still disagree with me and that’s fine…I’m just looking at the situation and thinking, “Maybe we’ve gone a little too far with these rulings.” You know the knee-jerk anti-communist type reactions we’ve seen. I just ask that you cool your jets and look at the next eminent domain case that pops up…you tell me who is benefiting: the neighborhood, municipality, investor or some random LLC who has been stockpiling junk properties for years just waiting for this kind of thing to happen?

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News

Rewarding our bum landlords

This is something that I have been stewing about for sometime. It is the issue of eminent domain, and how I feel that the recent court cases are setting a dangerous precedent that will, in the long run, harm cities chances of revival and ultimately reward those bum landlords and tenants of the world.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are surely some instances where the property owner is completely legit in their stance and should not be forced from their home. But most of the time you end up with the logical/sane people selling and moving out, and the others just waiting to prey on the potential investors. This is where I get upset.

We live in a capitalistic market right??? Then shouldn’t we be rewarding the individual who is willing to take a risk on a project rather than rewarding the jerk who sat on some property for years and let it go to crap? With eminent domain you are typically offered higher than appraised value for your property, if that isn’t enough the potential investor is typically willing to up the ante. But for some, that still isn’t enough…they must thoroughly suck out as much as they can and send the redevelopment project into the red.

So you then have an investor who was interested in investing in an inner-city neighborhood who is now fed up and ready to build on a greenfield out in the exurbs. Who wins here…the neighborhood who had a few members stand up and say NO…the investor who lost a lot of money up front on a project that is no more…the municipality that may benefit from increased tax revenue and prestige of a major investment…or is it the few individuals that stood up for “property rights?”

This is a classic Lose, Lose, Lose, Win scenario…it’s great to see it happen before my very own eyes.

A couple recent cases in Cincinnati:
Cincinnati v. Clif Cor Co. (Calhoun Street)
Cincinnati v. Dimasi (Dixmyth Avenue)
Norwood v. Horney (Rookwood Exchange)

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News

Is Cincinnati ready to take that next step?

If you have a pulse you can notice the major changes occurring in/around Downtown Cincinnati. There are new restaurants, clubs, retailers, residents and overall just more activity at all times of the day. Now I’m not sure if city government should receive all of the credit for this, but it certainly deserves some. While all of this has been well and good; Downtown Cincinnati is still not where it could be…or where it used to be. Who is going to step up and take downtown and its surrounding areas to the next level?

I challenge city government to take this one by the horns and put downtown over the top. Downtown needs more everyday retailers, affordable shops, more affordable housing, and improved cleanliness/image. These are the items, the City of Cincinnati, should be focusing on in order to make downtown a truly great place to live, work, and play. Here are my suggestions:

1. Sell downtown to potential retailers that have been hesitant, in the past, to invest in downtown while making sure these retailers represent the people that you are trying to serve (urban dwellers…NOT SUBURBANITES).

2. Encourage middle-class housing development, by incentivising those developments that serve that segment of society. Push for better transit options (like the streetcar proposal) to help reduce overhead costs for new housing developments.

3. Finally, don’t be afraid to be positive…tell everyone/anyone about the great things happening downtown, and that they too can be a part of the change! Let everyone know that it’s not just a select group of people making a lot of noise, but rather a collective mass taking hold.

I hope our leadership can help the inner-city thrive once again; leaders like Jim Tarbell are a rare breed, and we must demand accountability from our other city leaders to make the city GREAT once again…we’re certainly on our way.

Categories
News Politics Transportation

Same news…two stories

The Cincinnati Streetcar Study was presented to City Council yesterday. There was little to no media attention giving the meeting publicity, but the media outlets were quick to report on the presentation after it happened. Interestingly enough the Cincinnati Business Courier and Cincinnati Enquirer had notably different takes/spins on the same story.

The most noticeable was the difference in headlines. The Enquirer’s read “Streetcar Price Tag: $100 million”…while the Business Courier’s headline read: “Study: Downtown streetcar could have $1.9B impact.” But nothing new with that…the Cincinnati Enquirer has had a consistently negative stance on events occurring within the inner-city.

However the differences do not stop there. The Enquirer cited that the total cost of build out would be $100 million; while the Business Courier wrote that it would cost $88 million. So, who’s right?? Well the Enquirer could have been rounding the $88 million up, but that would be a stretch even for the lousy Enquirer. The most likely explanation is that the Enquirer was using the higher of the two estimates. Most likely the system will only cost $88 million to build, but there is a chance that the price tag balloon to $100 million. The study put that in there to be safe and make sure they covered all of their bases…well it’s refreshing to see that the Enquirer choose the more negative spin on a positive story going on in the inner-city!

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News

What do you think about downtown?

So how do you feel about the state of Downtown Cincinnati? Downtown Cincinnati Inc. is currently conducting their 2007 State of Downtown Survey and now is the time to let your voice be heard! The survey covers such items as safety, cleanliness, events and services. It also asks you to elaborate on what you would like to see downtown to make it a better place to live, work and play.

So get to it! The survey takes about 15 min. and is well worth your time.