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Author Topic: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop  (Read 6045 times)

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Online subocincy

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1140 on: February 03, 2013, 08:36:25 AM »
^Yeah, you're absolutely right, wholtone!  I scrutinized all those U Square photos once again and decided they DO look like s**t.   :laugh: 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 08:37:28 AM by subocincy »

Offline willalbro

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1141 on: February 03, 2013, 09:00:43 AM »
^ So (I DARE SAY...), isn't this entire "Calhoun Corridor" looking damn good and doing what needs to be done, especially when looked at by a young UC student (and his/her parents), a Cincy visitor, or an old-timer (like myself) who, for years, begged for more?  Needless to say, I'm impressed and loving every moment of this new development.

I'm with you 100%. I live in the area and absolutely hated the field that used to be there. I can't wait for spring when the retail starts opening. And this development makes the entire area come alive. Plus the businesses that will open there, suburban in nature, will definitely stand out as an attraction to college kids and improve the entire McMillan / Calhoun corridor.


Offline CincyGuy45202

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1142 on: February 03, 2013, 09:51:18 AM »
That's all very true, but the materials are still crappy. It's going to be good, but with a little tweaking could have been great.

Offline willalbro

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1143 on: February 03, 2013, 10:20:34 AM »
That's all very true, but the materials are still crappy. It's going to be good, but with a little tweaking could have been great.

Well, with all the architectural mediocrity in the area, great would stand out like a sore thumb.  :laugh: :drunk:

Offline TheHemroid

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1144 on: February 03, 2013, 10:46:03 AM »
To be honest though, I don't think thousands of students will give a crap about the architecture.  They just want to drink, shop, and not be bored while close to campus and where they live.

Offline Krugkiw

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1145 on: February 03, 2013, 12:01:37 PM »
This is many a college student's wet dream, no doubt. There is now a smaller type of this kind of development at the University of Louisville right now. Only slightly better architecturally, with just as crappy a name (Cardinal Towne!). But if it had been there when I was a student, I would have loved hanging out around it, since UofL has a real dearth of entertainment options for students around the campus.

Offline Yves Behar

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1146 on: February 03, 2013, 03:25:47 PM »
To be honest though, I don't think thousands of students will give a crap about the architecture.  They just want to drink, shop, and not be bored while close to campus and where they live.

I know a lot of college students that would COMPLETELY disagree with you.

Offline jmicha

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1147 on: February 03, 2013, 03:28:39 PM »
I think UC's campus proves that wrong. Among many other reasons, an architecturally unique campus is a HUGE draw since good architecture attracts people from every walk of life, even if they don't realize it.

I'm curious how the little quarter circle plaza will turn out once this is finished. I'm hoping it's not just pavement or grass but actually has something interesting designed into it so it becomes a focal point for the development.

Offline el double u

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1148 on: February 04, 2013, 09:36:41 AM »
Noticed on the way to work this morning, crews seemed to be preparing to pour the streetscape concrete just past Shell on the McMillan Street side.  Exciting stuff.

Offline willalbro

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1149 on: February 04, 2013, 09:42:47 AM »
I'm curious how the little quarter circle plaza will turn out once this is finished. I'm hoping it's not just pavement or grass but actually has something interesting designed into it so it becomes a focal point for the development.

Well, if someone here is interested in attending, here's the info:

Quote
DATE:
Fri, 1 Feb 2013 10:39:44 -0500

FROM:
Quinlivan, Laure <Laure.Quinlivan@cincinnati-oh.gov>

Hello CUF Residents,

I'd like to let you know that Arn Bortz and his team will be presenting their plans for the U Square "piazza" in my Strategic Growth Committee meeting this Tuesday, February 5 at 12pm in Council Chambers.

Should your schedule allow, I encourage you to attend and sign-up to speak for 2 minutes. I think it is important that my colleagues hear the neighborhood's opinions on the design plans. Mr. Bortz's presentation will be first on the agenda.

Thank you & have a nice weekend,

LAURE QUINLIVAN

Offline wholtone

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1150 on: February 04, 2013, 07:20:25 PM »
an architecturally unique campus is a HUGE draw since good architecture attracts people from every walk of life, even if they don't realize it.

I'm a firm believer that the success of an area depends on its vibe, not its architecture. Broadripple in Indianapolis proved that to me. Absolute crap architecture, yet people flock to it. The reality is, for most people the buildings aren't important at all. What's important is the feeling that get when they go there, and how much fun they have.

Offline old edale

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1151 on: February 04, 2013, 10:18:15 PM »
More Retailers Sign on at U Square

"...Bortz said he couldn’t name the potential tenants, but described each of them. One is an independently owned ethnic restaurant, another is a sports apparel shop and the third is a “beautification” retailer whose services include body waxing.

In addition, U Square has a signed lease with Body Central, a retailer that sells apparel and accessories targeted at women in their late teens and 20s. Body Central joins a group of other apparel tenants in the eastern block of the development that also includes Altar’d State, Rue 21 and Moksha Yoga."

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2013/02/04/u-square-continues-to-draw-interest.html


Offline nicker66

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1152 on: February 05, 2013, 09:35:33 AM »
^Woah there! You're on urbanohio.com. Here, only anger and disappoint are permitted when describing new construction. :police: :wink:

Don't forget there is no concept of what things actually cost or what it takes to get financing  :-P
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 09:36:25 AM by nicker66 »

Offline mcadrenaline

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1153 on: February 05, 2013, 01:07:52 PM »
The clothing retailers signing on to this project seem like they don't necessarily meet the demographics of UC students. I have always percieved Rue 21 & Body Central as stores that cater more to the tween and high school crowd. Most of the people I went to school with at UC shopped at J.Crew, Nordstrom, etc. and were fairly brand conscious. I wasn't even in DAAP or a design-forward program either. I really don't get Altar’d State either, but hey, who knows.

Sounds like ULTA Beauty will open a location here which should do well.

Offline natininja

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1154 on: February 05, 2013, 02:08:15 PM »
The clothing retailers signing on to this project seem like they don't necessarily meet the demographics of UC students. I have always percieved Rue 21 & Body Central as stores that cater more to the tween and high school crowd. Most of the people I went to school with at UC shopped at J.Crew, Nordstrom, etc. and were fairly brand conscious. I wasn't even in DAAP or a design-forward program either. I really don't get Altar’d State either, but hey, who knows.

Sounds like ULTA Beauty will open a location here which should do well.

It will probably take a decade or more for a stable assortment of shops to settle. So it goes.

Same is true for the Banks. I'm still waiting for Johnny Rockets to disappear.

Offline old edale

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1155 on: February 05, 2013, 02:09:17 PM »
I think it's an issue of national retailers looking at demographic information, and basing their decisions off of that rather than UC specifically.  The student population is only there 9 months out of the year, so it would be hard to justify moving into the neighborhood just to serve students.  I think it's good sign that retailers are signing on to this project, even if they aren't stores that I would shop at.  It will be a long, long time before we see a J. Crew opening a store in a neighborhood business district in Cincinnati (possible exception being HP Square).

Offline mcadrenaline

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1156 on: February 06, 2013, 06:28:17 AM »
I heard a little clip on WVXU/NPR this morning about how the plans for the U-Square public space/circle/garden whatever you want to call it did not go over so well in yesterday's (I think) CUF meeting? Anyone know what the concerns were here?

Offline willalbro

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1157 on: February 06, 2013, 07:22:11 AM »
I heard a little clip on WVXU/NPR this morning about how the plans for the U-Square public space/circle/garden whatever you want to call it did not go over so well in yesterday's (I think) CUF meeting? Anyone know what the concerns were here?

I'll know soon enough, and when I do I will post up the info.

Offline TheCOV

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1158 on: February 06, 2013, 01:02:08 PM »
Drove by this development today on both Calhoun and McMillan.  Yikes, is all I can say.  These big continuous buildings just leave me feeling cold.  I don't like it.  There needed to be more variation in the streetwall.   I'm not a fan of these monolithic monster structures.  I'm glad to see this land finally become useful again, but wish it were scaled better.  At least, if it's going to be so large, make the quality of the architecture outstanding.

Offline jmecklenborg

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1159 on: February 06, 2013, 01:09:54 PM »
It feels totally fake and awkward.

Offline el double u

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1160 on: February 06, 2013, 01:37:17 PM »
I live across the street on Ohio Avenue in the 65 West apartment complex.  The EIFS/brick facade on U Square may not be ideal, but it's vastly superior to the bluish-turquoise portions of facade on 65W.  What was the dude smoking when he picked the color schemes back in 2009/10?

Anyway, the atmosphere in CUF, especially when we've been lucky enough to experience habitable weather outside, is unbelievable.  There is a genuine excitement among UC students/CUF residents who live close enough to the site to see progress on the project each day.  I think all CUF residents are looking for the weather to break this spring, as this will signal the near completion of the project.  While the architecture may be boring, dull and/or unoriginal, it's still extremely exciting to see this site finally being occupied.  When I first came to UC, the site was a field with random areas of tiled floors and gravel that people tailgated on for UC FB games.  I didn't even know there used to be fast food restaurants and retail between McMillan and Calhoun until last week..... 

So compared to that empty field, I am more than thrilled with U Square.

Offline natininja

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1161 on: February 06, 2013, 01:52:40 PM »
65W may be the worst example of urban construction in the city. (By "urban" I basically mean abutting the sidewalk.)

Offline neilworms

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1162 on: February 06, 2013, 02:01:05 PM »
Quote
While the architecture may be boring, dull and/or unoriginal, it's still extremely exciting to see this site finally being occupied.  When I first came to UC, the site was a field with random areas of tiled floors and gravel that people tailgated on for UC FB games.  I didn't even know there used to be fast food restaurants and retail between McMillan and Calhoun until last week..... 

Look earlier in this thread I believe, and you'll find some pics of some of the cooler historic buildings that were lost - not everything was fast food, though the pr campaign made it sound that way.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 02:03:01 PM by neilworms »

Offline el double u

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1163 on: February 06, 2013, 02:35:03 PM »
65W may be the worst example of urban construction in the city. (By "urban" I basically mean abutting the sidewalk.)

It actually wouldn't be terrible if people would actually go out on their balconies facing the street.  The balconies inside 65W always have activity, but I've never seen anyone on the balconies facing the streets.  Maybe this is because all of the units facing the streets are single units....

But I think the intention is to give Ohio Ave. a residential feel, meaning no storefronts just outdoor balconies and new streetscapes.  Plus the hill running along 65W on the McMillan side makes storefront pretty difficult to achieve.

Quote
While the architecture may be boring, dull and/or unoriginal, it's still extremely exciting to see this site finally being occupied.  When I first came to UC, the site was a field with random areas of tiled floors and gravel that people tailgated on for UC FB games.  I didn't even know there used to be fast food restaurants and retail between McMillan and Calhoun until last week..... 

Look earlier in this thread I believe, and you'll find some pics of some of the cooler historic buildings that were lost - not everything was fast food, though the pr campaign made it sound that way.

The only building I've seen is the Friar's Club, which I understand would have been very challenging to rehab and was worse than 65W in terms of abutting to the sidewalk.  I liked the landscaping, but the clubhouse at 65W also has a public gathering space with a garage door opening that was pretty sweet to pregame UC games with neighbors. 

Not all classic buildings are being targeted for demo.  Like the Urban Outfitters/Verizon across from Shell.  But some of these classic buildings are taking up space, like Old St. George Church and the school next to it.  Is that hotel ever going to happen? Anyway, not saying tear them down, just do something with them.

The bottom line is these new developments are providing better places for people to live, bringing new retail to the area, and adding parking.  It's also amazing how much more walkable Calhoun St. already is and McMillan St. will be this spring.  Complete change from my freshman year when walking from Siddall to "Stab n Grab" (Stop n Go) was sketchy.

Offline neilworms

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1164 on: February 06, 2013, 02:44:37 PM »
This is what the area looked like when I first went to college: http://cincinnatimonocle.blogspot.com/2012/01/photos-of-calhoun-st-and-mcmillan-st-in.html

There was a lot of fast food junk and the Prime Time building at on vine was a monstrosity from the 1970s, but the rest of the buildings were really nice if not in the best of shape - the kinds of buildings one would only really find in a handful of cities in this country.  Seeing that being a grassy field for 10 years was really frustrating, developers should have their finances in order before they are allowed to tear down existing structures.

The new stuff is consistently ugly, but if it was blended in a little more it would be nicer.  Refering back to the CUF thread, the development on McMillian at W Clifton should be handled that way.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 02:48:18 PM by neilworms »

Offline ajknee

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1165 on: February 06, 2013, 02:44:53 PM »
^^^as much as 65 West makes me want to puke...I kind of agree with el double u on these new developments in Corryville and CUF.  They're the right scale and they'll prove to be great nodes of energy within the neighborhood.  Hopefully, we'll get a developer who will see the development and try to one up it with quality architecture.  Until then...this is progess.

Offline jmecklenborg

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1166 on: February 06, 2013, 02:56:38 PM »
I have another photo somewhere of the building closest to the Shell station.  It was the only building of that style in the city, maybe more of a St. Louis style apartment:


So what you're looking at here is now the space for the hotel and the east parking garage.

Offline el double u

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1167 on: February 06, 2013, 03:28:48 PM »
^^^as much as 65 West makes me want to puke...I kind of agree with el double u on these new developments in Corryville and CUF.  They're the right scale and they'll prove to be great nodes of energy within the neighborhood.  Hopefully, we'll get a developer who will see the development and try to one up it with quality architecture.  Until then...this is progess.

Maybe as current projects progress it will encourage developers to spend more money on future projects like the one on McMillan at W Clifton?  Or maybe give better developers an incentive to bid on projects in the area?  I guess here's to hoping, right?

Offline wholtone

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1168 on: February 06, 2013, 05:46:48 PM »
I'm not too worried about U Square. I think it looks fine, not great at this point, but it will be successful, which is ultimately what matters. I know some people hate it, but every building project has had its critics, including great buildings like the Eiffel Tower and the Parthenon. I admit the parking garage by Shell doesn't look too hot thus far, but I'll wait until its complete before giving it my final verdict.

"Only fools and women criticize unfinished work."
-Frank Lloyd Wright  :laugh:

Offline el double u

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Re: Cincinnati: Clifton Heights: U Square @ the Loop
« Reply #1169 on: February 07, 2013, 07:28:21 AM »
Does anyone know anything about plans for the site at the corner of McMillan and Vine across the street from CVS?