The Growth & Opportunities Survey for the City of Cincinnati (aka GoCincinnati) has finally been released – all 98 pages of it. I will venture to say that the majority of people will not read the report, and if you do, it will probably consist of skimming…so I have taken the liberty of reading it for you, and here is my report on GoCincinnati.
The report seems to offer a two-fold solution. First, the City should focus on its strengths (i.e. walkable communities, urban areas, culture, etc) for mid/long-term growth strategies. Secondly, the City needs to eliminate the edge that currently exists for suburban communities over the city in attracting office/retail/residential growth.
The analysis is overall not flattering, but does report a stable industrial market that is holding strong against regional competition…and that with a little more attention could easily establish itself as the premier industrial market for a couple of categories (i.e. Flex/R&D space and Green Industrial Parks). There are currently only 18 green industrial parks in the nation, and the potential of turning Queensgate into one poses possibly the greatest opportunity, and the ability to position Cincinnati as, “a global leader in ‘green development’ via the rehabilitation of these spaces.” (pg. 34)
The report also places a large emphasis on creating a multi-modal transportation system…which can be started with the streetcar proposal. The report states, “It is strongly recommended that the streetcar line be completed between Downtown, Uptown, and OTR in the 1st phase of its construction. There is probably no infrastructure investment that will have more long-term tax generation and economic development benefit to the city than this streetcar line.” (pg. 40)
Another key area of emphasis is on converting obsolete office space, in the CBD, into non-office uses…primarily in the form of residential spaces. This would allow for rates to creep up and possibly create demand for new speculative office construction, additionally it would inject even more people into the center city.
One final key note of mine was the recommendation of a joint Cincinnati and Hamilton County development authority. The report proposes that it be called the Cincinnati USA Development Authority (CUDA). It is recommended that the operations of the Port Authority be expanded to include all of the city/county. It also noted that this expansion, of the Port Authority, has already begun during this report process.
For any more information you’ll just have to read the report yourself…it’s good for you. All in all, I find this to be fantastically informative and well done. This is something that Cincinnati should really embrace and attempt to position itself strategically for economic and population growth.