The South Park Kroger- or how to guarantee a lawsuit.

If a new Kroger gets built anywhere around South Park- it will be a major miracle at this point. So many mistakes have been made- and more are sure to come.

For those of you who don’t know the history- in a nutshell:

The existing Kroger, which has more nicknames than parking spaces (Creepy Kroger, Ka-Ka Kroger, full-contact Kroger, butt-crack Kroger, crappy Kroger- etc) is small by today’s standards, and not owned by Kroger.

They wanted a new 80,ooo sq ft. style store, and hired MidLand Atlantic to be a developer – and assemble a package of land at the North East corner of Wayne and Wyoming. Midland came in- made good offers above market value to property owners but had a few hold-outs and let their options expire.

In stepped the city- heavy handedly declaring the area “blighted” and threatening eminent domain. Note- this is use of eminent domain for a private entity- not the public good- something that isn’t that well received. Their offers to the home owners were for considerably less than Midland Atlantic’s offers. The residents felt like they were screwed- especially, since many people had stopped doing maintenance on their homes once the original offers had come. Once the blight designation was in place- their homes had been devalued by the city- a break in the basic trust factor that we believe our government is there to protect our property values through their actions- not devalue them- that’s why we pay taxes, damn it.

There is also a sticking point with the “Ecki” building. An interesting building that has been left to rot on the corner thanks to a landlord who pocketed the insurance money after someone torched it. Some claim it’s historic- others just recognize it for what it is- funky- and others who just say- tear it down – but, this is a minor sideshow to the big story.

So- now, we’re at an impasse. The city either has to step in and make payments comparable or better than Midland Atlantic- or face lawsuits to restore the value that they sucked out of the properties with their “blight” designation. Either way- the project has gotten more expensive.

Unfortunately- there were other options, for this development that were either never discussed- or were side-swiped before they had a chance.

One option was a plan put in place by Jeff Samuelson and Unified Developers to build a new store on the DMHA Cliburn Manor site that is to be vacated and raised by fall of 07. He had secured options on all the parcels but one- and the plan could have moved forward without that parcel. Somehow, Miami Valley Hospital, CityWide Development and our Neighborhood President, Karin Manovich derailed this plan before it had a real chance. This location would have helped enhance the Brown Warren corridor, provided a on-the-way home option for MVH, UD and NCR employees headed to US 35 and I-75, and also for Downtown employees heading back to Oakwood and Kettering- via the newly reopened 2-way traffic from Patterson to Warren.

But- it was never to happen. The sad thing is that the developer who has already proved his commitment to the area- with a string of successes on Brown Street- was treated like a second class citizen- while the carpet baggers from Midland Atlantic were allowed to talk trash and even waltz out some phony drawings of a development that would never happen here- as an option for the Cliburn site.

The last option- one that was never discussed, was putting Kroger on the corner of Stewart and Brown on property UD acquired in a sweetheart deal from NCR. This would provide students with a walkable grocery solution- as well as build on the strengths of the Unified Developers projects. It would also be accessible to the near West Side folks from Edgemont. No buildings to tear down, no parking lots to build. But, of course- we can’t even begin to talk about that. As an even more pie-in-the-sky idea, the Fairgrounds could also easily handle a new Kroger- but that’s a discussion for another day.

In the meantime, it’s too bad that Kroger doesn’t have the vision to try to build a new store on the old location- flush on the street- maybe with parking on the roof. If real estate was as valuable here as it is in big-cities, this would be looked at in a heartbeat.

The reason I penned this today- was because someone asked me if I had written about it on this blog. I searched- and didn’t see anything- so, this is my take on it.

No matter what Kroger does- I hope they realize that we don’t need a suburban sized store here- but, we would like one that has been taken care of and doesn’t feel like yet another one of it’s nicknames- the “Deliverance Krogers.”

Got Comments?

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40 Responses

  1. Kevin April 14, 2007 / 8:33 pm
    Did Jeff Samuelson personally tell you he was treated like a second-class citizen?

    I was there to see those carrot-in-front-of-the-horse drawings Midland Atlantic did for the Warren Street corridor almost 2 years ago: I admit I was ga ga. But I have also been convinced all of South Park’s problems will rest with Cliburn’s forever pending demise. Kroger’s option for that location would be a mistake. It would have turned Hickory and Adams into traffic hell for their residences. The pedestrians and cars from Twin Towers would have over-run everything and ruined living on those South Park streets. They are barely 2 cars wide with people wanting to park on both sides, you damn well know what that would have done. And as for Warren St., it can’t even handle the traffic now. I heard the number of 26,000 cars travel up and down Warren St. daily. They would have to reopen Burns up through Emerson School to Buckeye/Wayne. So the only solution I see to Cliburn and north of Burns is residential. If AIA plans come to fruit with grants for Burns/Jackson Park, that will not be an issue and that area will clean up.

    And as for the low digg on Karin Manovich, she certainly doesn’t deserve that AND you know it. Representing a neighborhood as large as South Park, you can’t please everyone, but she is greatly responsible for getting investors for our October Rehabarama and putting together the right people to win us the AIA 150 work you praised in your previous post. Can’t you give her some of that credit and not make her have to pay for it?

    Now back to the Kroger thing on Wayne and Wyoming, yes I agree with you, the process is taking way too long and is screwing those residents and property owners. But this doesn’t surprise me.
    I’m not sure what the hold up is with Kroger, but I don’t want to see the initial set-back-from-the-street plan happen. Unfortunately waiting for an answer everyone can agree on is causing more harm than good.

    There is no easy solution in inner city redevelopment.

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  2. David Esrati April 14, 2007 / 9:22 pm

    We’re all entitled to our opinions.
    The idea of South Park becoming a race-way from Twin Towers is a bit of a stretch- and there are other solutions- Buckeye was built to handle the traffic easily- but has never been used. As to Warren Street traffic- it hasn’t suffered by the new construction at the Hospital- which keeps on growing.
    Like it or not, there are people with agendas for Cliburn Manor- that haven’t stepped forward. The fact that we didn’t have a group from the AIA working on options for that space is a key indication that something will be “sprung” on the neighborhood.
    If nothing else- the neighborhood could have backed Samuelson as a better developer option for Krogers- on the Wayne Wyoming site. We didn’t do that.
    I’m glad we’re discussing this here at least.
    Thanks for your comments.

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  3. Kevin April 14, 2007 / 10:25 pm
    Was/is Samuelson interested in Wayne/Wyoming’s development?

    AIA project and a Cliburn Manor team is too specific. A set of parameters (five), as far as I was told, was determined before South Park was chosen as the winning community. That is one of the reasons South Park won. A plan was probably developed at a higher level than the Miami Valley AIA Chapter in order to get their grant money in the first place. South Park meets all the criteria and more to fulfill this.

    But whatever happens at the Cliburn Manor site is currently too small for anything other than an odd shaped infill housing plan, which I guess the AIA project is still partly applicable. But I don’t think that’s what we want to do. If I am reading you right, what we need to do there is something is much bigger, but unfortunately, it will have to go through the same fate as the 4 blocks at the NE corner of Wayne/Wyoming in order to obtain the privately own property. And Kroger there would do that as well. You can’t discuss this subject and not find yourself contradicting. Ya I want to see it improved, but no, I don’t want people to be forced from their American right to own land with value.

    Buckeye would also need to expand, but that maybe moot right now. Plans are already underway to try to get traffic to use Patterson more than Warren/Brown. Not exactly sure what that will mean, but it’s what Ken Clarkston has mentioned to me.

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  4. David Esrati April 14, 2007 / 10:43 pm

    Kevin-
    The Cliburn site was big enough for a Kroger- and Samuelson had acquired all the property he had needed- except the VFW- which could have been worked around. In addition- the whole Lincoln Pulaski area could be bought reasonably- to increase the area.
    As to Cliburn- the thinking that all that could go there is some odd shaped infill housing is very off- it is a large area, which interrupted a street grid, replaced the Estevez family home (Martin Sheen grew up there) and could be converted into any number of things- from a park, to a school, to a retirement community- it’s as empty of a sheet of paper as they come- perfect for the AIA team- and probably more appropriate than addressing individual homes for rehab.
    We will be facing that question soon.
    And, realistically- there isn’t a shortage of homes in Dayton- or in South Park- we’ve had a population loss- and an overbuilding in the suburbs. So- maybe we don’t need more housing- maybe it’s best use is another green space- until things change? A 3 hole golf course? A roller hockey park? T-ball park? A Fraze like venue? I’m just throwing out ideas- who knows what “the right answer” is.

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  5. Jeff April 15, 2007 / 8:22 pm
    Just kibbitzing here from from Warm & Cheerfull Centerville:

    From an architectural/urban design perspective fitting a big box (or even a medium box) + parking into a neighborhood that was built before autos and large-scale retail is always going to be a problem. I posted enough on this over at Urban Ohio (and I think I even linked to that thread on this blog), so I don’t need to say more about the aesthetic issues involved and how sucky that intial proposal was for W&W.

    The interesting aspect to this is that maybe eminent domain is really the only way to assemble a collection of small parcels for large scale redevelopment, as a way of getting around the “hold-out” issue. On greenfield development, or even suburban redevelopment, this isn’t an issue as the parcels are so large.

    As for Cliburn Manor, it will be interesting to see what the AIA comes up with. I hope they recommend saving those old houses and apartments over on Brown, that sort of screen Cliburn from Brown.

    I am more interested in what the plan is for that “Lower South Park” area (my name for it) between Burns and US 35. That could be an interesting place if the houses could be kept and fixed, and new stuff put in the vacant lots. I like it becuase the odd street angles give it a somewhat picturesque feel.

    It also has some of the oldest housing in Dayton outside of the Oregon & St Annes Hill, which should be of some antiquarian interest (even though it is not within the official historic district boundaries):

    http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=10386.0

    ..but the way it is going, I wonder if it is going to meet the bulldozer sometime in the near future?

    (oh, and thanks for that bit of info on Charly Sheen’s South Park connection..I knew he was from Dayton but didn’t know where!)

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  6. David Esrati April 15, 2007 / 8:36 pm

    The AIA isn’t working on the Cliburn space- that’s the problem. The hospital has bought at least one of the houses on Warren screening Cliburn- and the old Mudd Furniture building as well.
    And- it’s not Charlie Sheen- It’s his Dad- Martin Sheen’s family home that was torn down. I believe Charlie was born in CA.

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  7. shelley July 7, 2007 / 5:51 pm
    I live in the wayne wyoming area, I work hard I pay taxes just so happens I rent…….we jave no idea whats going on when or if or how we may be forced out? Our landlord hasnt come to collect rent in two months, should i take what ive got and go…..whats going on at this point was he bought out and im waiting to be put out by kroger?????????? This is a bad neighborhood, there are many problems here but kicking everyone out of there homes and forcing them to find housing elsewhere, only pushes those problems down the street and then what? The fortunate one left behind not forced out either feels greatful enough to shop the new store or feel the back lash and drama of being full frontal with a kroger in their back yard??? Smithville kroger faces problems being so close to that neighborhood, I just dont see why they cant use the property the exsisting krogers is on? And id like to know what I am expected to do and by when??????

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  8. David Esrati July 8, 2007 / 8:12 am

    Shelley,
    The existing Kroger leases that property.
    I agree- Midland Atlantic and the City have done a terrible job at informing residents of a timeline. As to it being a “terrible neighborhood”- that is a combination of many problems that have all been compounded by this announced “development” project.
    It’s too late to try to undo the mess, my advice would be to look for a new place to live, (although your free rent deal is hard to pass up), and try to find a more stable neighborhood with an active community association and get involved.
    Best of luck. You should try to contact your landlord and find out what to do with the rent, the last thing you need is a bad reference, which could make it hard to move to a better neighborhood.

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  9. Albert July 13, 2007 / 5:32 pm
    About 4 years ago I signed a purchase contract with MidLand Atlantic on a piece of investment property I own in the “blighted area” which they caused. Longs story short they failed to pay the Ernest money they had promised and me thinking they were gone to buy me out I decided not to maintain because I figured it was wasting money. Now my once nice house is an eye sore and I have not heard a word from the city. I am gone to have to start fixing my investment back up. The city does not care one bit and the neighborhood is the worst I have ever seen in my 42 years. I am for the development of the Kroger site at Wayne & Wyoming. I do not like to point fingers but I know the Mayor is the downfall of this project. She is staying focused on the West side and she as the Mayor should stay focused on the entire city. Could you please inform me of any updates. Kindest Regards!

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  10. gene July 15, 2007 / 7:38 am
    The area is a joke – crime, drugs, prostitution – all that shit was there 20 years ago, 10 years ago, so on and so forth. As for being worse – it was getting worse regardless of the Kroger deal. Many people who live there treat themselves like crap, why would you expect them to keep their properties in tact. I love the quote that I was not maintaining it becasue it was going to be sold – well, until you have the cash in hand, grow up and take responsibility and assume that it is YOUR problem until SOLD. Hard concept for a bunch dirt bags. I live very close to this area, I drive and used to walk/bike through this area, it is worthless. We, the citizens of Dayton, need to stand up and admit to ourselves that this area and many others are just bad for the city, neighbors of the area, people who live in the area, and businesses. The area is just a pain in the ass and a shot at our reputation – a reputation that I take shots at b/c our leaders are not really leaders. I am not sure what happened In Dayton or the USA for that matter, but my grandparents were POOR but were very CLEAN, HONEST, HARD WORKING, KIND, and GENEROUS people, not thugs who turned to crime. And if you lived there for 42 years you can vouch that people used to be more civil, and this area was getting worse before the Kroger deal. Set it on fire already. DO OVER. Please re-start the game clock. Wake up and smell the coffee. Or we could have the same bull shit that we don’t want to hurt people feelings, and that criminals have rights too, and that drugs really are not that bad for people who cant even spell their own names, and that finding a job is not really important. Let’s kick the losers out (BTW, not all of them are losers, so stop your crying) , take over their shit, and re-build with normal people. We need a new Australia – get rid of the thugs, send their ass to Mexico, or some competing hockey town just for kicks. Or, how ’bout arrest them for , ahh, well, ahhhhhhhh, BREAKING THE LAW. Until WE do it ourselves, it is just a bunch of bull shit. YOU KNOW IT AND I KNOW IT.

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  11. David Esrati July 15, 2007 / 8:50 am

    “shit” seems to be Gene’s new favorite word.
    I don’t have time to edit it all- take it at face value. I’m sorry his language skills resemble that of a fourth grader.
    I do agree that the “community standards” in some areas of Dayton seem to be one step up from ghetto and bario. Community pride is critical to inner-city neighborhood survival.

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  12. Albert July 15, 2007 / 9:09 am
    Hi David, Could you please keep me informed with the Kroger deal. Do you think the deal will go South? I know I should have kept my property up to par but made the mistake and counted my eggs before they were hatched. I feel the nice church that has been destroyed and the laundrymat and almost all of the property owners did the same that I did. I will say one thing about Gene he is an Egotistical Maniac. Kindest Regards!

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  13. gene July 15, 2007 / 9:13 am
    Sorry Mr. Proper – I thought your blog was to make a point, and you pointed out my point. I am trying to let, well, real people understand, that may not have visited this area, that it is indeed what I say it is…….. people can use words like blighted but that has not changed the area, so I call a spade a spade. Fourth Grader, Mask? Get a clue. You point out things but are too “Frickin’ ” embarassed that YOU have acted more like a child than anyone else regarding Dayton/Politics. Wearing the mask proves you are an adult. Where do you get off? ……….Oh, wait, don’t answer that.

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  14. Albert July 15, 2007 / 9:42 am
    Gene, This site is not intended for bashing. I admit the area is in terrible shape. I know for a fact the area was in great shape when Mayor Turner was in office and St. Marys Church rehabed almost every vacant house and sold them to the poor.

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  15. Bruce Kettelle July 15, 2007 / 9:43 am
    Gene is starting to sound like a frustrated property maintenance code enforcement officer. That’s a job full of frustration and under appreciated. These departments are terribly understaffed when you consider how much one-on-one time it takes to get some property owners to improve their property.
    I was tempted to jump on Albert much as Gene did but realize that Albert assumed the property would be torn down and he would not recover any new investment in the property until the option expired. Now he has every reason to make the property more appealing as it will raise the return he receives.
    Back to the code enforcement- Out here in Trotwood I have seen some very well kept neighborhoods and some troubled ones. In the latter it could realistically take a person six months to try and improve a six block area. Ouch, thats a major time investment. Perhaps the more effective means would be through a PSA type program to re-educate homeowners about their property responsibilities and its impact on neighborhood home values and crime. (Oh no, more “advertising”, that’s not in the budget)
    The other issue with code enforcement is that the courts don’t always seem to get it. Some of the judges have been very helpful when communites bring citizens to court to get results, but not always. Trotwood reportedly spent 6 to 8 months recently to take a junkyard to court (in a residential district) only to have the judge fine the owner $80 (a slap on the wrist) leaving the city prosecutor no choice but to start the entire process over again.
    I hope Dayton’s code enforcement court is doing better than that but I haven’t heard any updates since they started it.
    I was recently in Toledo (another struggling Ohio community) and they have tried some innovetive programs to inspire home maintenace with success you can see in some areas.
    Dayton, Trotwood, Riverside etc (the communities that have been most effected by the economic consolidation) should put extra effort into high traffic areas which is what 99% of the visiting population sees. I have seen some success with that approach in Dayton Trotwood but it takes money and time to get it completely right.

    There are a lot of players in the process to clean up neighborhoods and business districts, it’s not simply a matter of asking our leaders to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’, rather it is a mindset everyone must participate in. That includes both renters and landlors, neighbor to neighbor, pointing out an issue with a storefront to the manager, communications with the beat cop, calls to the city, and reminding Judges we need their help too. Tell your landlord when the building needs repair, tell your tenant they need to do a better job, nudge your neighbor to fix his gutter. Together we can make this happen if we share the message.

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  16. Jeff July 15, 2007 / 11:29 am
    “I love the quote that I was not maintaining it becasue it was going to be sold – well, until you have the cash in hand, grow up and take responsibility and assume that it is YOUR problem until SOLD.”

    I agree with Gene. Well said.

    You, I walked that neighborhood, taking pix of nearly every street. It is not uniformly bad when I was visiting it, though you could see the bad properties and where things were vacant and deteriorating. There was some creepy stuff there, and there were houses with well kept yards and pools in the backyards.

    As for Twin Towers, the whole neighborhood out on Xenia to Steve Whalen, between US35 and Wyoming, not just that little corner of it, would you al say thats the biggest probem neighborhood on the east side? The one with the most problems?

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  17. gene July 15, 2007 / 1:19 pm
    We do need REAL leadership. Why do the suburbs not have as big a problem with maintainence of house and yard? Pride? Common Sense? Enforcement? All three are a good start – small staffs are not a reason for non-enforcement. These really are important issues if you want to fix Dayton. This is like when cops don’t arrest drug users – it HURTS everyone. Enforce codes – enforce the laws. It really is that easy. A little pride, elbow grease, and leadership can go a long way. But then again we are too worried about hurting peoples feeling. And Albert, aka dip shit, you say that this site in not intended for bashing, but your prior post “bashed” me. Real consistent. And Mr. Esrati himself “bashes” many things, hence why we read this site. And if I am bashing, either on City of Dayton or David Esrati, I do it with the intention of getting “bashed” back and btw he is the one who called me a fourth garder first, so if you bother to READ IN ORDER you will find that I Bashed Dayton, David Bashed Me, I bashed David, you bashed me THEN you claim it this site isn’t for bashing. ahhh, What?

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  18. Albert July 15, 2007 / 2:11 pm
    I will still state that Krogers was the downfall of the neighborhood. Alot of homeowners moved out of there homes and took up residence some were else with the whole intentions of Krogers buying them out. You leave a house empty for a day the thiefs will break in and take the copper plumbing and even the sink. I know it happened to my house. I am stating the facts the way I see them. The city of Dayton needs to step up and help the community go foward and let the owners know if the Kroger store is gone to be built at that location.

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  19. David Esrati July 15, 2007 / 4:57 pm

    I don’t have an inside track on info on the new Kroger. When I hear things- I’ll post.
    As to upkeep and code enforcement- it can be said that there is a direct correlation to the perceived quality of the schools- if people thing the schools aren’t capable of attracting new tenants/buyers- they are less likely to invest in maintenance.
    Confidence in a community is a key part of investment. Right now, Dayton doesn’t have any pride what so ever. We need to change that first.

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  20. Jeff July 16, 2007 / 6:49 pm
    Its really tragic what is happening to Dayton, especially when I go back to visit family in Louisville and see how that city seems to be holding on and not falling apart.

    Tooling around Dayton, the song lyric that keeps going through my head is ….
    ….Rise up, my city of ruins.

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  21. gene July 20, 2007 / 1:22 pm
    Ummmmmmmm……. I walked though South Park today. Is there a law against cutting your grass in this area? And the nice boulavard is a wreck – a couple of guys (who were obviously residents) were trying to get this area into shape, but who is responsible for the upkeep. Again, it just makes these areas of Dayton seem like a bunch of pathetic lazy ass people live there. i dont get it.

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  22. Jeff July 20, 2007 / 4:45 pm
    What they need to do with South Park is set up one of those local improvement things like Walnut Hills did, and use the $ they raise to contract out upkeep of that boulevard in South Park, if the city isn’t going to do it any more.

    For overgrown lawns Huber Heights is fun to drive through. Since everyhing is more or less the same there, you can really tell the vacant & foreclosed properties by the overgrown front lawns. Its like Pleasantville on the slide down. Though HH does put up these little signs—they look like “For Sale” signs—telling the owners they need to cut their grass or be fined. Though no one is living in those houses to read the signs.

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  23. Kevin July 22, 2007 / 5:59 pm
    I think lazy-ass is hyphenated, Gene.

    If South Park’s only problem is slow grass mowing, then I’ll take it. But I’ll go further and say, those yards which are in bad need of mowing are typically from absentee landlords. So if you have a particular one that upsets you, call 333-4800. Or buy the property and show them how it’s done.

    As for people working hard in the boulevard on Saturday, here’s the deal:

    “NCR has chosen South Park as their community project. We are going to
    have 42 interns and 3 staff members from NCR in our neighborhood doing
    clean-up projects in our parks and around our streets on July 20th!
    Please make them feel welcome. They are putting together an article for
    their internal newsletter and also something they will submit to Dayton
    Daily News. If anyone would like to come and join us in our parks for
    the day they are more than welcome.

    Our tentative schedule is:

    8 am to 12 Park Drive from Wayne to Alberta focusing on trash pick-up,
    weeding, edging, pruning…..

    Then in the afternoon, 1pm to 5pm, we are going to do a perimeter walk
    along Wayne, Wyoming and Warren Streets for trash pick up and weeding,
    edging, pruning. If there is still time left we would like to do a
    quick alley sweep, focusing of trash removal and pruning weeds and
    overgrowth.”

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  24. David Esrati July 22, 2007 / 6:43 pm

    Kevin- thanks for clarifying how we do things in South Park. I doubt Gene will join the group- or that he volunteers much beyond his opinions. If I wasn’t out of town- I’d be out there helping.
    Thanks for doing so much for the neighborhood Kevin. You and your lovely wife have really taken on so much and it is very much appreciated, and respected by me.

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  25. gene July 22, 2007 / 7:00 pm
    I don’t live in South Park, but I do volunteer often, and give money to many causes. David likes to think he is the “God’s gift to Dayton.” Nice cut on someone you don’t know. Most liberals think they are soooooo giving. Look at the stats on that one pal.

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  26. Jeff July 22, 2007 / 7:12 pm
    Good post there Kevin…It is interesting that this is NCR’s project, given the historic involvement of NCR with the neighborhood. In a way they are continuing within that tradition.

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  27. David Esrati July 28, 2007 / 11:08 pm

    Update from Karin Manovich- president of Historic South Park.

    Dear Neighbors,

    The proposed Krogers at Wayne and Wyoming is in jeopardy . City officials and Krogers are looking for alternative sites due to a funding deficit. Neighborhood leaders from Twin Towers, Walnut Hills, St. Anne’s Hill, South Park, Huffman, Oregon, Downtown, and Grafton met last week to discuss combining forces to make this development happen at Wayne/Wyoming. A joint letter was written and delivered to City Hall yesterday (Thursday), offering innovative solutions to bridge the financing gap and stressing the importance of locating the Krogers at Wayne and Wyoming. A Krogers source indicated earlier this week that they don’t believe the project is a City priority or has the City’s focus at this time and that they (Krogers) would like a new store for this under-stored market but its tough to do without the City’s backing. The City needs to be convinced of the importance of keeping the project at Wayne/Wyoming. All the neighborhoods cited above will be working toward that end in the coming days.

    Your help is needed immediately in this effort to convince the City to go to bat for this development. Please plan to attend the City Commission meeting this Wednesday (Aug. 1), beginning at 6pm at City Hall at 101 W. Third St. downtown. Also, please send an email to the City Commission and City Manager voicing the importance of locating the Krogers at Wayne and Wyoming. Relevant email addresses are:

    [email protected] , [email protected] , [email protected] , [email protected] , [email protected] , Rashad Young [email protected]

    If you have any questions on the details surrounding the situation, feel free to call me at 461-3534. I have very limited email access right now, so telephone is the best way to reach me.

    Regards,

    Karin Manovich

    What is most embarrassing is thinking this multi-billion dollar company can’t pull a deal off without “city assistance”- they just don’t want to spend money where they don’t have to. Let the lease expire on their current location. Let them move out- and see who moves into their old building. Let Kroger have to get UD to give them space on Stewart Street- but the last thing we need our tax dollars to go to is funding a company that can spend millions on site acquisitions in “high value neighborhoods”
    If the Dayton Daily News knew how to do investigative reporting- you would see a record of how much they spent to build on Wilmington Pike near Bellbrook- or in Kettering at Dorothy Lane- and then compare what they are willing to spend here.
    There was a proposal from Jeff Samuelson and his development group to put Kroger in on Warren Street to replace Cliburn Manor- and Ms. Manovich along with MVH and others shot it down.
    Now they are crying for help.
    We need athletics in schools- not a subsidy of a grocery store.
    Priorities. It’s what we get wrong in Dayton so often.

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  28. Jeff July 29, 2007 / 1:29 am
    Actually those big open fields at the old NCR site would be a great location for a large supermarket.

    I don’t have a problem with the city or county helping make developments work (which happens in other citys, too), its just that that is a bad site. You have to tear out a chunk of a neighborhood and a local landmark buisiness block to make it happen. There are other less-complex sites to work with. You mentioned Clibourne Manor, which is a good site. Same with a NCR site.

    Also, one wonders about the committment of South Park preservationists to neighborhood conservation and historic preservation, when it comes to things outside their own neighborhood. Will South Park insist on a good design from Kroger, or will they just hand over the vaseline and bend over and take whatever Kroger decides to stick in??? Becuase they want that Kroger soooooo bad???

    So there are three issues here, problems with geting the city on board to make things happen, and what is the best site for a big box supermarket, and neighborhood activists who are shortsited about their neighborhood.

    As I said I don’t have a problem with public-private partnerships to make things happen, as this has been the situation in many other citys. Yet It seems the city cant figure out how to do these things, based on what is being said in Manoviches letter…you have a neighborhood group making recommendations on things that should be something within the competence of a planning and development department.

    Another thing is how opaque things are. What is the deal with Cliburne Manor, why was ths shot down, and why does MVH care about that site in particular? Why is Kroger not thinking W&W is not a city priority, or what is giving them that impression? What kind of gap financing is being proposed by that neigborhood coalition?

    There just are NOT enough details or discussion of WHY things are said, Frankly it is all quite frustrating, as everything here is innuendo and close-hold.

    I think there should be some investigative reporting done all right, and not just about Kroger site development costs.

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  29. Bruce Kettelle July 29, 2007 / 6:39 am
    In March Kroger withdrew their interest in building on the Landmark site in Trotwood. Has something soured them on urban renewal projects? Is this a pattern?

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  30. David Esrati July 29, 2007 / 7:18 am

    Jeff- the Brown Stewart location would be fine- without hearing directly from anyone at Kroger (they’ve only sent lackey’s from Midland Atlantic) we were told they want to stay at Wayne & Wyoming. We’ve also heard that it’s one of their most profitable stores- again, through lackeys.
    The Cliburn Manor site was shot down- again through lackeys- because “Warren street wasn’t built to handle the traffic” and irrational fears of South Park people about Twin Towers people walking through our neighborhood to get to Kroger.
    Please note- while SP wants Cliburn Manor down- they don’t have any idea of what should go there- other than a plot map for a plat of homes suggested by the Home Builders Association).
    Paul Woodie- the mastermind of MVH planning- is vehemently against the Cliburn site- but won’t tell us why. Now that he is working for County Commissioner Foley- maybe it could have another shot.
    While SP suggested a Sidewalk touching building- much like DLM in Oakwood- Kroger is insisting in a huge setback- with frickin out-buildings- and the Ecki building must go. SP hasn’t pushed hard for this- instead worrying that laying down rules- won’t work.
    Most of the movement on this has been done behind closed doors.
    Midland Atlantic isn’t the right developer for this kind of project.
    Look at Brown street- and you see why Jeff Samuelson and Unified Developers gets my vote of confidence- no matter where they build it.
    My idea for Cliburn includes a green roof- with a soccer field or dog park on top- but that was laughed at. No one here has the vision to see the advantages of a green roof- esp. to make up for some of the problems the huge parking lot causes with rainfall.
    If we had strong leadership in City Hall- someone would be on point on this and sheparding this thing through. Right now- we’ve just created a mess- and a bunch of lawsuits.

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  31. Kevin July 30, 2007 / 9:48 am
    ARGH! Again, David, it was EXPLAINED to you that Karin Manovich had nothing to do with your fantasy-bursting of Cliburn becoming Kroger, a Jeff Samuelson project or green soccer field. What becomes of Cliburn will probably be up to MVH, because money talks, bullshit walks. They already own the property at the Brown/Warren point. Forget about Cliburn and quit blaming Karin. You can also forget about Kroger ever going into one of the NCR lots. UD has other plans.

    It is disappointing about Kroger and the Wayne/Wyoming corner having so many problems, but it was mostly occupied up to 3–4 years ago, so the resistance is not surprising. I have not sat in on any meeting about this and I only know what this e-mail from Karin tells me as being the latest. So, why not call Paul Woodie, if he’d take your call, David, and find out what he knows?

    And, Jeff, don’t wonder if South Park is of one mind and opinion, because it’s not. If you actually lived around here you would know there are MANY people here who would like to see the Ecki building saved and/or utilized. It’s silly to think South Park residents don’t care about historic preservation beyond our neighborhood. ALL readers should remember that what gets reported or published is not always true and complete, and obviously it’s true for esrati.com.

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  32. David Esrati July 30, 2007 / 9:54 am

    Kevin-
    Sorry to tick you off-
    Paul Woodie will take my call- he just won’t speak honestly about what MVH’s plans are.
    As to UD- the plans aren’t finalized yet.
    But- wouldn’t it be refreshing if someone from Kroger actually came and talked to people- instead of sending lackeys?

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  33. Theresa Gasper July 31, 2007 / 9:36 pm
    Oh David, my friend, where to start???

    I’ll start with a disclaimer – all I can share is what I’ve heard – which is most likely rumor, or a mixture of fact & fiction. The problem is that when a project takes this long, the line between truth & fiction becomes very blurry.

    As I understand it…South Park was never given the opportunity to vote on Samuelson’s plan for a Kroger in Clyburn because KROGER nixed it. The reason? Because Midland Atlantic is representing Kroger and not Unified – Jeff, as I understand it, was pitching a Kroger deal he had no right to pitch.

    To echo Kevin’s comments, please back off of Karin, she does so much for the neighborhood that she deserves more respect. It would also be cool if you deleted her phone number. Her email was meant for the residents of South Park and not to be posted on the internet.

    Also, Paul Woodie told me the other night that there isn’t enough space in Clyburn to accommodate a Kroger – it would back it too far off Brown/Warren and would cause trucks & loading docks to back right up to the residences.

    As for the AIA 150 Grant, I was part of the planning kick off meeting and we discussed all of the options. A consensus was reached that Kroger/Midland would have their own plan and Clyburn/MVH would have theirs (both of which presumably would be shared with residents at some point) – it would be a better use of limited AIA resources to focus on other aspects of the neighborhood.

    I’ve also been in contact with the internal project manager at Kroger for the proposed Wayne & Wyoming site and they feel they are not on the City’s radar and are not a focus. He said the deal is not ‘dead in the water, but is certainly on life support’. Granted phones work both ways and he could easily call the City.

    Just out of curiosity, this isn’t directed at any one particular person, I fail to understand why the ‘hold outs’ in Twin Towers are so protected. Hate to say it again, but ‘as I understand it’ Midland had signed contracts with all but six property owners who were holding out for more money. It was then that they asked for the City’s involvement. I think those individuals’ names should be public knowledge so people know who the real problem is. It’s not Midland, Kroger, the City – but a handful of greedy absentee owners who thought they were sitting on a gold mine.

    Personally, I think Midland should sell shares of stock in the project and allow investors the opportunity to provide the gap financing for a return on their investment. The sad and unfortunate truth is that we don’t have anyone in City Hall who truly understands business or finance and can be creative enough to find a resolution.

    In the meantime, I think everyone should be writing Kroger of the City Commission and sharing their perspective. We’ve all been sitting back for too long waiting for something to happen, it’s time to MAKE something happen.

    Just my humble opinion!

    TG

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  34. David Esrati July 31, 2007 / 10:16 pm

    Hi TG-
    Karin’s number is in the phone book- I don’t see the problem with it being here- if she wants it removed- I’ll be happy to.
    As to Samuelson putting together a package- why not? He has a successful track record in the area- the same can’t be said for Midland Atlantic.
    Paul Woodie this, Paul Woodie that, why hasn’t he come out and told us what the “real plan” is for Cliburn Manor? The Hospital has repeatedly said they had no interest on the East side of Warren Street- yet they continue to buy property there.
    I agree the hold outs in Twin Towers should be known- and probably sued by the other property owners for causing them loss of the original deals.
    I also agree that no one in City Hall really has a clue on how to package these things.
    I’d like to see someone from Kroger show up Wednesday- that would be a first.
    Maybe, if they tried building a slightly smaller store- Cliburn or Wayne Wyoming would work. We don’t have to have 80,000 sq ft- we’ve been living with 30,000 for so long- and a shitty 30,000 at that.

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  35. Theresa Gasper July 31, 2007 / 10:36 pm
    I sent an email to my contact at Kroger tonight including the link to this discussion so he can see firsthand how people feel about the situation. I also told him that a year ago I told individuals in the City Planning Dept to get out in front of this and start communicating on a regular basis with the property owners. I suggested that Kroger may need to do the same thing and that perhaps Midland isn’t representing them properly. Ultimately Kroger’s name is on the front of the store and is the public face.

    Kroger is faced with interesting dynamics. Conversations with some neighbors show a strong desire for an upscale selection of food, wine, etc. Yet the store also has to serve low income residents on fixed incomes or food stamps. It’s a very complex situation all the way around.

    I agree that Samuelson has done remarkable things on Brown Street and would love to see him get a shot at other developments. I just understand it as Kroger told him to stop presenting the plan with them in it because they were committed to Midland & the W&W location. I also think there’s nothing wrong with spreading the wealth so no one builds too large a feifdom and creates a lack of competition.

    I still believe the bottom line is either that another development is trying to steal “our Kroger” or that someone is trying to drive out Midland to get in the developer of their choice. However, I just think the goal is to get a new, larger, cleaner, less smelly Kroger at the corner of Wayne & Wyoming that offers a greater selection than it currently does.

    Honestly, my real motivation is that I want the Kroger gas station so I can finally use my fuel credits!

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  36. David Esrati July 31, 2007 / 11:20 pm

    I don’t think there is anyone trying to steal it- or that we are truly in risk of losing it. Kroger is just holding out for a sweetheart deal- and hoping the city bites.
    The real problems were caused by Midland Atlantic- in their failed first attempt to gather the property- the second problems were caused by Kroger not sending their people in to work with the neighborhood- and really try to ascertain what would work best.
    Another store like their Woodman/Dorothy location isn’t the answer.
    I also think that we need to hear the straight dope on Cliburn- when, what, and who is going to do something with the space.

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  37. David Esrati August 12, 2007 / 9:58 am

    There may be new news on the South Park Kroger- soon to be called the Oregon Kroger- http://esrati.com/?p=355

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  38. Albert August 15, 2007 / 4:04 pm
    I did receive a call today from the city of Dayton Economic development and they are contacting the owners of the properties at the Wayne and Wyoming proposed Kroger site. I never new that Midland Atlantic was going to be the owners of the comple Wayne & Wyoming area and lease Krogers the new super store. I think there is a chance that they will build at Wayne and Wyoming.

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  39. Albert August 23, 2007 / 10:15 am
    The city of Dayton with the help from Mayor is making a total mess of East Dayton. At a recent public meeting she said YOU WILL GET YOUR KROGERS.

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  40. David Esrati November 16, 2007 / 7:00 pm

    Update on Wayne Ave. Kroger here: http://esrati.com/?p=412

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