Friday, January 27, 2006


Cirque du Cincinnati

Sounds like the Cirque show that Commissioner Heimlich hinted at last month is going to be a reality. They are finalizing the details and dates, but it seems to be a good bet. THe final decisions around location (Zoo or the Banks) is being decided. I'll register my vote for the Banks. Perhaps the $300k they'd spend preping the area would be progress toward the end goal. It would be a perfect lead in for the riverfront to Tall Stacks.

I'm going to be in Vegas for training in February, and I'll be catching Cirque du Soleil's "O" at the Bellagio. I think getting Cirque Du Soleil Quidam on the Riverfront for 2 months would be a welcome site for the location between the two stadiums...


Warren County - Last House on the Block

Interesting article about the balance of exurban (outside suburb area) growth and planned development, in this case it concerns Warren County and the prosed San Mare Gale development.

There are some things i find interesting about the debate. For anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time, you will know that I am a big supporter of urban development, infill and redevelopment of the inner suburbs. However, I also recognize that for many reasons the idea of moving to an outer suburb is appealing. The general availability and affordability of land to build on, safety (or the perception of safety), and schools would be at the top of the list for many. For me the commute to work and the lack of diversity outweighs the positives. Diversity not just in race, but in cultural and entertainment activities. Diversity in dining options, etc.

The debate in this article is how much development is too much, and is planned development better than adhoc. County Commissioner Mike Kilburn seems to base his vote purely on emotion. In my opinion he has adopted a position of my house and no more. Mr. Kilburn (based on his bio from the county commissioner website) has been living in Warren County his entire life and has been a commissioner since 1982. So for that point, you can not blame him for resenting those moving in to the area. It is surely not the community that he grew up in.

However, the facts state that the developer could (by building a water treatment plant) build as many as 6,000 homes on the proposed land (which they currently have the rights to purchase). Instead they are proposing a development of 2,400 units, with a town center, apartments and single family homes. Seems like a very reasonable approach. Mind you this is also a 30-year plan. So it's not as if they are going to build 2,400 units tomorrow.

And the part I find most interesting, is that based on the Warren County Property Search C. Michael Kilburn owns at least 7 and as many as 18 properties in Warren County. A few of which have been built in the last 10 years. So the question I have is... what makes it okay for Mr. Kilburn to pursue residential development and real estate rentals, while at the same time degrading the developer who has proposed San Mare Gale?


Covington has the 'Mojo'

Interesting story in the Post today about Covington. And I want to first say, I think it's awesome what Covington has done. They are pushing projects forward and getting things done. From The Ascent to Jump '06 to the wedding district, they are putting plans in place and making them a reality for developers.

The key thing that I want to point out in this article though, is the 'mojo'. The public relations, the positive attitude. That's what makes these projects reality. Mayor Butch Callery is nothing but positive in this article and any other article I've ever seen him in. He won't even hint at a negitive comment. Why? Well, he's either an immensely positive person, or he understands that even the slightest negativity will be eaten up by the media. So, it's one thing to discuss behind closed doors the concerns you have about a development or a city issue, but don't let the media catch wind.

What does this result in? Positive news coverage. Almost every article about Covington hits on the same things. The Ascent, the Arts District, the Wedding District. Very little dirt has been moved in any of those areas, but progress has been made and things are happening. There was a perfect opportunity for the writer in this article to talk about 'misses' for Covington. The failed Madison Theater, the disaster with the Covington Landing barges. Instead the article remains positive. I think a large part of that has to do with PR and the people in charge.

Bravo for Covington, but many of the projects they are discussing haven't begun yet. And a large percentage of them are awaiting HUGE government subsidies. So, why is that development different than the development on the Cincy riverfront (museum, sports stadiums, etc)? Certainly Covington retail and restaurant locations are in a better position because of those stadiums and entertainment venues.

One final point... One of the best things about the Covington developments is the focus on small business, and niche properties. I think that's fantastic and I hope they are successful with it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


One World Wednesday

'Keeping it Rio' is the theme as One World Wednesday takes a trip to Brazil. Don't miss the party next week, should be a blast as always:

All Night - 5:30 - 9:00 PM
Brazilian and Carnaval food sampling
Sampling of Brazilian drink Caipirinha
Art-making activity: Carnaval masks
Scavenger hunt through the Museum’s collection
DJ SplottyKaeco


CityBeat Engaging - Dubliner, Neighborhood Summit, Mallory Plan

It's been a while since I've picked up a CityBeat and found several stories I enjoy. This week was different however.

Dubliner Update
Margo Pierce has an update on the Dubliner's demise. It looks as though things are getting pretty nasty between former owner Mr. Kull, and new owner Mr. Neyer. Seems after Mr. Kull got the news he was getting the boot, he decided it was only the building and not the 'stuff' that Neyer bought. So he promptly took the bar, kitchen appliances and other 'stuff' out this week.

In addition, Margo indicates it wasn't a bad business deal with the Homestead that caused the Dubliners demise (as I had previously hypothesized). Rather, it was a bad business deal with investment in the defunct Ridge Market that caused the downfall. All in all, I feel bad for Mr. Kull, and hope he finds success somewhere. And I hope that Mr. Neyer (however nasty he was to Mr. Kull) is able to build a sustainable business district with the Dubliner property as it's anchor.

Neighborhood Summit
If you haven't heard about the upcoming annual neighborhood summit at Xavier's Cintas Center, you should check it out. Investing in Neighborhoods puts on the annual event, and it's your opportunity to hear success stories from other communities, find out how to tap into city, county, state and foundation funds to make an impact in the community you live in. Several council members, and the mayor will be on hand to encourage you to get engaged in your community. And best of's Free, thanks to several sponsors and the city of Cincinnati.

Citybeat has a great story on Jim Diers, author of Neighborhood Power: Building Community the Seattle Way. And I am sure you can guess by the name of the book, that Mr. Diers is a community activist in Seattle. He'll be at the summit, as well, relating stories about successful work that has been done in Seattle to bolster neighborhoods.

Mallory's Crime Plan
And finally... CityBeat has a good article on the recently released safety and crime plan of Mayor Mallory. It's a positive story, and although is not a glowing praise of the plan itself, at least reports on the continued cohesion seen on the current council. That I think is the key message. There aren't a lot of new ideas, though it does adopt some ideas that have been on the table for a while (computerized crime data, and mid-level drug dealer action), but what is new is a sense of direction. The plan was not released in a press conference to be followed by several competing press conferences with competing plans.

I've been critical of City Beat recently, but compare this news packed edition (I didn't even touch on the Music section (always great), or the front cover story of the annual Sundance Festival) to the Reality TV dominated CinWeekly edition. City Beat wins hands down this week!

Monday, January 23, 2006


Condos Galore

And the condo building boom on the river (mostly on the NKY side) continues to make progress. With the first of 3 buildings in the Harbor Greene development in Bellevue nearly complete, and the Ascent nearing groundbreaking in Covington, the SouthShore project in Newport is taking a step forward.

The developers have purchased the land for the project for $2.4 million, and hope to begin construction soon. The project will be in/near the parking area for Don Pablo's and the Chart House. The project which is seen below, is to include a marina (one of many on the drawing board for NKY).


Cincinnati College Basketball Coaches Like to Drink

What is it with basketball coaches at Cincinnati Universities and their affinity for drinking and then getting in their car to drive.

After Huggins and 2 incidents with Keith Legree, Xavier is now getting into the act with Xavier assistant Kenya Hunter.

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