Is Cincinnati ready to take that next step?

If you have a pulse you can notice the major changes occurring in/around Downtown Cincinnati. There are new restaurants, clubs, retailers, residents and overall just more activity at all times of the day. Now I’m not sure if city government should receive all of the credit for this, but it certainly deserves some. While all of this has been well and good; Downtown Cincinnati is still not where it could be…or where it used to be. Who is going to step up and take downtown and its surrounding areas to the next level?

I challenge city government to take this one by the horns and put downtown over the top. Downtown needs more everyday retailers, affordable shops, more affordable housing, and improved cleanliness/image. These are the items, the City of Cincinnati, should be focusing on in order to make downtown a truly great place to live, work, and play. Here are my suggestions:

1. Sell downtown to potential retailers that have been hesitant, in the past, to invest in downtown while making sure these retailers represent the people that you are trying to serve (urban dwellers…NOT SUBURBANITES).

2. Encourage middle-class housing development, by incentivising those developments that serve that segment of society. Push for better transit options (like the streetcar proposal) to help reduce overhead costs for new housing developments.

3. Finally, don’t be afraid to be positive…tell everyone/anyone about the great things happening downtown, and that they too can be a part of the change! Let everyone know that it’s not just a select group of people making a lot of noise, but rather a collective mass taking hold.

I hope our leadership can help the inner-city thrive once again; leaders like Jim Tarbell are a rare breed, and we must demand accountability from our other city leaders to make the city GREAT once again…we’re certainly on our way.