Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Uptown Properties project would destroy historic block of Corryville

Corryville will be "blahville" if Uptown Properties is approved for their request to build apartments in the 2800 block of Corryville.

Corryville has been under "architectural assault' for a number of years due to the ever expanding need for University Housing but the proposal by Uptown properties to build 72 units on the site, rises from assault to  "Architectural rape" of a historic community.

I see this proposal as an over-intensification of use with its layout, it required large amounts of surface parking and results in the destruction of sound historic building stock. Looking at Uptowns other projects they just 'don't get it" and their projects are better suited for more 'suburban' locations where design does not have to be a primary consideration.

The problem is that developers seem unable to think out of the box. The properties on this site would be viewed as an asset by developers in other cities. The developer would seek historic designation for the property, restore the exteriors and be able to get 2-3 units per building, keeping as much historic fabric as possible.   The vacant lots would have new architecturally compatible infill of similar size and scope and likely executed as frame construction with hardi-siding and period appropriate details to blend with  historic houses.
Designs that keep the historic flair like this carriage house can actually be townhouses in disguise

Behind the houses new "period looking' carriage homes would be constructed of a wide alley and setback from the alley would be such as to allow for off street or if not possible then Units would be built behind every other house. They would have the appearance of a carriage house but would actually be 2 story townhouse units or top/bottom apartment units.

The net result would be almost the same density, preservation of existing houses and rehab would be offset by historic tax credits and abatements . The existing houses and new infill houses would present a historic shield to the new construction carriage house units on the alley. The property could even have gated entry and offer the advantage of better security. AND this development is poised for condo convertion and sale if market conditions change.

Preservationist need to voice their opinions regarding the Uptown proposal to CPA and the zoning/planning department or Corryville will soon exist no more.


Neil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil said...

As a concerned former resident of Corryville that suffered under the intense urban renewal that this neighborhood has experienced in the last 10 years I'm working on organizing those who are close to the neighborhood.

Anyone who reads this blog who lives in Corryville or on Campus, and is concerned about this "urban renewal's" affect on the neighborhood, please contact me and I'll give you more information.

Send an email to savecorryville@gmail.com

Jeffrey Jakucyk said...

The carriage house idea is a very interesting one. It's unfortunate that Cincinnati has so few alleys, and many of the ones that we do have are so hopelessly narrow that they're of little use for vehicular access. Still, it's an asset that could really benefit projects such as this (not that Van Street is a true alley, but functionally it might just as well be).