Thursday, April 2, 2009

Midway Streetscape

Another article in the Community Recorder today on Council moving forward with the street scape changes in the Midway. Some observations:

1. The article contains comments about Council moving forward despite a majority disagreeing with the plan. Does this sound familiar to anyone else out there? (can you say deer hunt?) The following is a quote from the article:

"John Coffman of Coffman's Realty, who attended the hearing, said while he appreciates the chance for property owners to speak their minds, he finds it interesting that the council decided to move forward with the project even after the majority of property owners at the hearing were against it."

2. Most business owners feel that the street scape is not the issue and the article mentions parking as the primary concern

I believe it is admirable that the city is working to create a more beautiful area - look at the benefits in the central business district. Despite the how much nicer it may look, all the investment there has done nothing to bring new businesses to the area. We have added the Mustard Seed but we lost Fort Thomas Wine and Spirits, Ciani's, Warners, and Gallery Zaum. That is not a good return on investment.

There must be other reasons why businesses are not thriving beyond street scapes. This could include the absentee, HUD housing that exists next door to the Midway Cafe that attracts the wrong kind of residents to a key retail area. This also could include parking, or lack of support for business owners such as being hard to work with for permits, inspections,

I hope that the quote:
Martin said outside the project, the city staff plans to continue working to develop parking in the area, which may require asking council for funds to buy some private property to turn into a parking lot.

indicates that they will look seriously at purchasing the old store fronts next to the Midway so more parking is provided and at the same time removes blight.

3 comments:

  1. Parking would be a nice but have you ever had a really hard time finding a space?

    Removing blight is also nice but be careful how it's approached. No eminent domain please. Let's be careful there.

    Anyway, last time I ate at Midway I regretted it. Hard to get too excited about that one. Not surprised to see Warner's out either. Not bad but not all that great either.

    Whatever happened to Pariani's? Some of the best food I've had in Fort Thomas (and it was only sandwiches!) and it closed...

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  2. I agree with the comment above. I think for an eatery to be successful in Ft. Thomas it must be a destination place - a place where people will go out of their way ('cause they'll have to) to eat there. I just don't think that Ft. Thomas has the population/demographics to support a restaurant (or other businesses) on it's own. Which means people from outside of town coming in, increased traffic, etc. I've said it before - for the most part, Ft. Thomas is a bedroom community and I like it that way. This push for more and more retail, etc. will turn our town into something I don't want it to be.

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  3. If a storefront can't support retail or office, I think it should be removed.
    I support low income housing. I support using vouchers to spread out low income residents so they are not all concentrated in small pockets of poverty.
    However, I do not support using storefronts for low income apartments. No one's living room should be 24" from someone walking by on the sidewalk. No child should have to walk by and see someone sitting in their underwear watching TV a few feet in front of them.
    Storefront apartments are signs that a town has died - you see it in Walnut Hills, Over the Rhine, etc. Fort Thomas needs to address this blight on our city. If the building owners will not cooperate, then the city needs to be more aggressive.

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