Uneven Redevelopment on Cincinnati's Vine Street

While the southern end of the thoroughfare is seeing rapid redevelopment and gentrification, the northern end has yet to reap any benefits from the nearby projects.

April 19, 2021, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Cincinnati Over-the-Rhine

Max Herman / Shutterstock

Cincinnati's Vine Street is starting to show a stark divide between its gentrifying southern end and the largely ignored section north of Liberty Street, reports Monique John for WCPO Cincinnati. In 2001, the fatal shooting of Timothy Thomas by a Cincinnati police officer sparked days of protests in the neighborhood. "The gentrification that took place on Vine south of Liberty can be explained as an attempt toward social reform triggered by Thomas’s killing." But despite the transformations happening a block away, John writes, "Northern Vine has remained in its distressed state."

Andy Hutzel, director of resident services at Over-the-Rhine Community Housing, contends that the historic nature of the housing stock on Northern Vine plays a role in the slow redevelopment of the area, explaining that "rehabilitating old buildings that dominate OTR comes at a hefty price." Local stakeholders are hopeful that plans to extend revitalization efforts to the north will come to fruition soon, and "experts project that the urban core’s rapid development in recent decades likely will not slow down as it moves into the northern portion of Over-the-Rhine."

Other locals worry about the displacement and higher cost of living that usually come with redevelopment. "Vulnerable residents are hungrier for amenities like laundromats, social spaces, and food establishments that they can afford." To address these concerns, "investing in affordable housing will be key to protecting vulnerable residents like those living on or near northern Vine from the drastic changes to come."

Thursday, April 8, 2021 in WCPO

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