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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Uptown Commons details emerge

Towne Properties recently announced some details regarding their development plan for the empty site right now in between McMillan and Calhoun (GoogleMap) streets in Clifton Heights. The $100 million project is proposed to include roughly 150 apartments, 77,000 square feet of retail space, 2 hotels and about 100,000 square feet of office space.

A public plaza near the western most terminus of the University Park Apartments (UPA) building across the street would also be an important feature of the development that would be privately managed and operated. The development would consist of mid-rise buildings that would sit atop parking garages serving not only the development but the surrounding uses as well.

Uptown Commons - Public Plaza Perspective

The Clifton Heights neighborhood business district (NBD) is already a great node for the community. A quality development here, with the right mix of uses could potentially create one of the biggest and best NBDs in Cincinnati (and that's saying something given the competition).

Rents for the apartments will exceed the $1 per square-foot range which is comparable to the rents charged at UPA. Those apartments actually have a waiting list while also boasting some of the highest prices per square-foot of any rental units in the city. The hotels and office space will add some much needed year-round traffic in an area currently dominated by seasonal students.

Towne Properties cited that work could begin as soon as next Fall if financing is in place. Financing that they feel confident will be there even amidst the financial crisis and lending freezes being seen across the nation. Towne also noted that the development has been drawn up with the streetcar in mind as they are expecting the streetcar system to loop their development.

You can download the detailed site plans courtesy of by Cole + Russell at the following links:

Uptown Commons - Site Plan

Uptown Commons - Upper Floors Plan


Dan said...

Does the DuBois Bookstore that was a Charles Fox designed fire station get tormn down?!

Anonymous said...

this should develop great considering how well the businesses below university park apartments are doing. nope.

Anonymous said...

"150 apartments, 77,000 square feet of retail space, 2 hotels and about 100,000 square feet of office space."

That's funny. Yeah right.

Christian said...


No. The development reaches just shy of the east side of W Clifton Ave. Those properties are not part of the development.

Randy Simes said...

Dan, no additional buildings are being torn down for this as it is currently drawn.

I think this project will be successful for a couple of reasons. Apartments in the area are extremely successful and these will probably see occupancy rates similar to UPA. The hotel market in Uptown is not being tapped, so another hotel would be a great addition and would probably do very well.

As for the retail that will be tough, although I would not look at the Calhoun Marketplace storefronts as an example for why these won't do well. Those store fronts could have been filled up long ago from what I've been told. The issue is that CHCURC is being selective in who they lease to.

It will be interesting to see how the office space goes, but it probably won't be built until they have signed tenants. The only change to the mix that I would make is add some more residential.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the retail under UPA: Those units were planned to be leased in a complimentary way with Block 4, (the current plans shown). Unfortunately by the time Block 4 land was assembled, UC was in the midst of a shake-up in their finance department; and the money that was promised for the development, apparently never existed; hence the delay in construction. Once the development is complete the plan will work just fine.

In related good news/bad news: The good news is, the ol' boys who were playing games with UC's money, got fired. The bad news is that little cabal, is now entrenched in the Uptown Consortium.

Anonymous said...

It is good that they are including some office space. The University Park area needs to become more diverse in its building programs and uses. However, the plan makes no attempt at porosity, instead focusing all of its activity on Calhoun Street and the majority of that on a single nodal experience. Its has one story to tell and after that it offers very little. It will have to offer more than that to hold peoples interest through frequency like a good urban environment, not through novelty like a mall. And it will have to be configured differently if it is to have a positive impact on its surrounding context.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad they don't have enough faith in the streetcar, in bicycles, and in the number of natural pedestrians around the university to minimize the parking spaces. It's going to be years before it dawns on developers here that the preeminence of the automobile is diminishing.

Anonymous said...

Until the streetcar becomes reality, and the office workers buy homes in Clifton heights they will most likely have to drive to work. No business is going to locate in a building with no parking.

CityKin said...

Thanks for digging up these plans Randy.

I think they are making a mistake pulling the buildings back from so many of the corners, such as at Hartshorn and Vine.

The curve in the Block 1 buildings at Vine almost look like they are anticipating a street or streetcar there.

Dan said...

Thanks all. I see that now.

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