Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Plot Thickens

Cincinnati's NAACP has voted to address the Ohio Ethics Commission about Cincinnati City Councilmember Chris Bortz' alleged conflict of interest regarding the streetcar proposal. They are claiming his employer, Towne Properties stands to make out like a rat if the streetcar is installed.
I think this is the first time I have heard them say the streetcar will be effective aa an economic stimulator. The local NAACP president has stated he thinks a better investment for the city would be speed bumps & handouts to particular developers who can't finish their projects.
On the NAACP website they list the properties they claim will make Bortz fabulously wealthy.

Suspect Properties in Red

yeah, another one of my BistroMaps...
People have stated that the development spurred by the streetcar will have an effect out to 3 blocks from the track. I think that's pretty optimistic. I would guess it would trail off at two.
On the map you can see the suspect properties are not all directly on the route and a few are actually in the third block range. You could probably argue that the route almost avoids the Garfield Place properties.
Now, these properties aren't all owned by Towne. Some are only managed by Towne.

A Property Manager

I don't know how much Towne will get out of this deal. It would depend on how their contracts are set up. If they only receive flat fees, it won't do them any good at all.
The advantage of the streetcar initiative over the funding of the sports stadia is that, while the sports facilities depended on the goodwill of the 2 sports franchise owners, the streetcar relies on a large number of more diverse, middle class entrepreneurs. Directly on the route there are about 500 properties owned by about 400 entities. Expanding out a block and adding cross streets you can probably add close to 1,000 more properties. Expand further & get even more.
The NAACP president has complained that the stadia & the current Banks project have shut out black developers and contractors because bids were for large projects that required large contractors with plenty of credit. He argued that by breaking the projects down into smaller projects the poorer black contractors would have a better chance to compete. Of course poorer white, latino & female contractors would also have a better chance, too.
The Development along the streetcar route will be driven by these exact same middle class contractors & developers.
The NAACP should be concentrating efforts on seminars and workshops educating and training it's constituency on how to form businesses, get loans, learn about real estate development, etc., so they can catch the wave and be a part of the revitalization of the core of our community. Instead they continue in a long march of bombastics, obstructionism & demanding hand outs.


CityKin said...


CityKin said...

Without doing any research I would say the map is highly innacurate. The red dot at 12th and Republic is Tender Mercies. And I've met the owner of 13th and Clay, and his name is not Bortz. One dot looks like it is on St. Louis Church.

Quimbob said...

A 10 minute BistroMap using NAACP descriptions.

Matt said...

well said

Norm De Plume said...

CityKin, that dot is on one of the Bremen Lofts buildings, managed but not owned by Towne Properties. Tender Mercies is across Republic.

5chw4r7z said...

Tell me if I'm wrong, but isn't the whole idea of the streetcar for a bunch of people to make a bunch of money?
That's how development works.
OH, I get it the local NAACP president doesn't own any property there!