Saturday, March 1, 2008

Cincinnati Part 2

Cincinnati is a preservationists dream. So much quality property and people just dont realize what they have. We spent some time down at Findlays Market. I was impressed by the architecture of course and overall the area looked very much like New Orleans or Charleston SC.

I took hundreds of photos.

We met with our realtor and the first house was a bit of a bust, key was not in the lockbox. House looked like it had potential, the details were all there on the oustide..if I just could have seen the inside. Second house has even better exterior details, much larger suffered from the usual maladies of being a slum property for 40 years but, I could see past that. High ceilings, nice trim and an extra lot.

While most would see a run down house, I could see the new two story carriage house off to the left in the extra lot, the stone walled courtyard with brick patio and fountain. I could see the new fourth floor, master suite with a rooftop deck.
As we walked the neighorhood with the realtor looking at homes I was struck by the fact that the few remaining residents there, that in 3-5 years they all be gone. Prices would go up, landlords under pressure to meet codes would sell and like gypsies they would be off to the next
enclave of section 8 housing. They seemed oblivious to their impending plight. The drug dealers would be gone, the bottles of cheap wine would no longer litter the streets and the neighborhood will have gone full circle. neighborhoods have a way of bouncing back given time, investment and desire by a few people to reclaim them. Its funny in a way, the suburbs, the place everyone went to to get away from downtown is likely where the unfortunates will wind up as people, driven by proximity to work and quality of like reclaim the city centers. You look at properties for sale for less than a used car and you just wonder how people drive by everyday and dont see the potential. Those are the people who move in 5-10 years down the road, pay way too much and don't have the satisfaction of earning their place in the neighborhood, they just buy it.
The area is just a few years away from trendy galleries, upscale pubs, antique shops and micro brewerys. Ive seen it too many times and I can spot it everytime. I think Cincinnati has potential, I think it will once again have a totally vibrant downtown. I think Over-the Rhine will be the new trendy neighborhood, You can see it as the 3-400K condos march down the hill. I hope it doesnt become another suburbia though!

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