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Is Equitable Development Possible? Cincinnati Says ‘Yes!’ But It Takes Work.

Two articles about development in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati show the pitfalls and inspiring potential facing a community dedicated to reviving its economy to benefit all residents. But it takes concerted planning and sustained local involvement. For example, LISC and many of our longtime partners are working to bring about the new mixed-use Paramount Square project there, which will encompass housing, commercial space and Esoteric Brewing, the region’s first African American-founded brewery.

The excerpts below are from:
Support for major developments highlights steady progress in Walnut Hills
by Liz McEwan, Soapbox Cincinnati

Can You Have Redevelopment Without Gentrification? Some In The Walnut Hills Neighborhood Of Cincinnati Say Yes.
by Hillary Copsey, Belt Magazine

From Soapbox Cincinnati

There are no quick fixes for a struggling community. Several years ago, when Walnut Hills leaders and residents began to formulate a plan for neighborhood growth and viability, they knew it would be a long journey. But for a community so dear to the heart of Cincinnati, with such a strong history and cultural heritage, the goal was worth the work.

Last winter, Soapbox kicked off its On the Ground embedded journalism series with a birds-eye view of the ongoing transformation in Walnut Hills, as well as its efforts to overcome growing pains and the hopes and fears of both long-term and new residents. Since then, there have been some significant developments, and leaders are capitalizing on them for the slow and steady growth toward an equitable community.

Some community members have been (and remain) skeptical of the recent flurry of market-rate development happening around them, but thanks to transparency efforts by Walnut Hills' area council, redevelopment foundation and business association, hopes are high that the neighborhood will remain affordable and accessible for everyone. Continue Reading [+]...

From Belt Magazine

Walnut Hills, a neighborhood inside Cincinnati’s urban core, is having a big year.

After the community suffered the loss of its only grocery store, the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation acquired the property and announced a $50 million mixed-use project. Renovation began on the Paramount Building, another key piece of commercial property at the heart of the neighborhood’s business district. Esoteric Brewing, the city’s first minority-owned-and-operated brewery, will open there in 2018. Meanwhile, more than 250 residential units are under construction.

But the most interesting thing happening in Walnut Hills might be what’s not happening any longer.

About five years ago, residents came together with the help of the redevelopment foundation to clean up and reclaim an overgrown, littered alleyway. Five Points Alley, picked free of trash and weeds, became an outdoor gathering space where the redevelopment foundation organized pop-up biergartens. Hipsters from all over the city came to drink in the alley, and developers took notice.

So did residents. They saw lots of people who didn’t live near them, who often didn’t look like them, flocking to their neighborhood, to the alley they’d revived.

The residents spoke up. Continue Reading [+]...