Month: June 2010
Park + Vine, Cincinnati’s green general store, is relocating to the 1200 block of Main and will expand to include a grocery store. From the Park + Vine blog:
A major focus of the new space is a full vegan grocery store with bulk grains, local produce, bulk cleaning supplies, and a food bar with Fab Ferments Kombucha, fresh pressed juices and single-cup drip coffee and espresso from La Terza. The new store will feature a book wall, indoor and outdoor seating areas, bicycle parking, and a separate room for classes.
From the Vision Cincinnati Blog:
The Cincinnati Streetcar project has the potential to change the city of Cincinnati. As a mode of transportation, it is a baby step, the first step towards bigger things and towards connecting more people, and more places. However, as an economic development tool for the city of Cincinnati, the streetcar can leverage more private investment than any other capital project the city could undertake. The permanence of the fixed rails attracts businesses to set up show along the streetcar route in a way that does not occur with other forms of transit.
The Cincinnati Planning Commission has approved a 50% parking reduction for residences within 600 feet of a streetcar stop. Typically, residential units require 1 or 2 parking spaces, but for those new units that will be built along the streetcar line, the reduction in required parking will make housing more affordable.
The high cost of complying with parking requirements forces developers to either build only very high end projects or ask the city for tax rebates and credits to subsidize the construction of parking structures.
Building an above ground parking structure is very expensive, to the tune of $15,000 to 18,000 per space. An underground garage can be even higher, around $25,000. If a condo has two required parking spaces that adds up to $50,000 per unit. This may not be a problem for a $1,000,000 dollar condo. The parking would only by 5% of the total cost. However this is a problem for the $200,000 condo, parking would account for 25% of the cost.
Consider this hypothetical scenario. A husband and wife want to buy a condo downtown, own two cars, and have a budget of $200,000. Parking costs the developer $50,000; $150,000 covers the cost of the actual unit. If you have a streetcar, you can get rid of one of those parking spaces. That would drop the $200,000 condo to $175,000. In addition that household would only have to pay upkeep on one automobile, saving around $5,000 a year (gas, insurance, wear and tear, car payments) or $420 dollars a month that could be put towards the mortgage.
The couple can either have a $175,000 condo of the same size and an extra $400 to spend ever month, or put the money saved towards the mortgage and afford and extra $50,000-60,000 worth of house.
A place that wouldn’t be affordable now is, or that household can get more space and amenities for their money. Some people who would live and work downtown might not need a car at all.
Building the Streetcar will attract new residents to grow our tax base and save Cincinnatians money. Support our City–Build the Streetcar.
In addition to connecting neighborhoods containing over half of the jobs in the entire city and nearly 1 in 5 Cincinnatians, the Cincinnati Streetcar will connect the region’s two most popular attractions and the attraction with the most satisfied patrons. The map below shows the streetcar line and the top finishing attractions. From the Enquirer-
For the third year running, the Reds and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden topped the list of the area’s most popular attractions in an annual local entertainment survey, while the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra finished first in terms of customer satisfaction and best value.