This Week In Soapbox 6/30

This Week In Soapbox (TWIS) you can read about the future of the Kahn’s facility in Camp Washington, Nordstrom’s first Cincinnati location, the ripple effects surrounding the transition at Stratford Heights, a facelife for the 175 year-old Mercantile Library and Agenda 360’s rallying cry.

If you’re interested in staying in touch with some of the latest development news in Cincinnati please check out this week’s stories and sign up for the weekly E-Zine sent out by Soapbox Cincinnati.

TWIS 6/30:

  • The future of the Kahn’s facility in Camp Washingtonfull article
  • Nordstrom to open 138,000 square foot store in Kenwood this summerfull article
  • The ripple effects of Stratford Heights transitionfull article
  • 175 year-old Mercantile Library to receive major faceliftfull article
  • The Agenda 360 rallying cryfull article

Broad Support

What do the mayor of Cincinnati, eight of the nine incumbents for City Council and eight of the non-incumbent candidates for council have in common? It’s not their political party; Republicans, Democrats and Charterites alike are all on this list.

(UPDATE: The number is actually 16 of 18 candidates for Council. My mistake.)

All of them believe that proposed amendment to the City’s Charter that would effectively ban rail transit for our region takes us in the wrong direction. They believe that at this time of economic uncertainty, we should be looking for ways of keeping and enhancing Cincinnati’s competitive edge, not finding ways to diminish it.

There is no better way to maximize the attraction of our city to the young, talented, and mobile than by building the streetcar. It is an investment that will encourage and guide development while making people’s movement within the city more efficient.

But there is another reason that so many of our leaders of today and tomorrow are urging us to vote against this Charter amendment. The language in it is so broad that its passage would diminish Cincinnati’s ability to receive federal funding for regional high-speed rail. Even streetcar opponents are leery of this amendment because it puts an election, which is expensive, between the city and its request for federal dollars.

Just about every city and state in the nation bids for a limited pool of federal funding for specific transportation projects, like high-speed rail, so the competition for those dollars is tough. Only the regions best able to demonstrate a need, and do so in a timely manor, will be considered. Forcing a vote will delay our proposals, and we will all watch the federal funding to offset the local cost vanish.

To keep the city competitive, we cannot stand in the way of this golden opportunity to enhance local development by connecting our region to other successful areas like Chicago.

Tell us what you think: Do you think that this amendment would be beneficial to the city? Or would its adoption diminish our region’s competitiveness?

For further reading:
Pro-amendment: We Demand a Vote
Pro-progress: Cincinnatians for Progress
US Department of Transportation re: Ohio’s importance to High Speed Rail

The next phase for UrbanCincy

As of today I have started a new job in Atlanta that will have me traveling all over for the next year or so. In the mean time I will still be running UrbanCincy as always and look to engage additional writers and contributors to those currently on staff.

I will be back and forth between Atlanta and Cincinnati, but will not be able to provide that grassroots level commentary as much as I would like (this is where the writers come in). I will be taking what I learn from my travels and relay that information to you while offering up solutions to problems we have in Cincinnati, or just offer up ways in which we could be an even better city.

I will also continue to relay information about what is going on in Cincinnati’s urban core in terms of events, discussions and opportunities to get involved. Hopefully this site is both informational and insightful regarding Cincinnati’s urban life. The first two years have been great and steady growth continues to be realized. I can’t wait to look forward and see what the next two years bring for UrbanCincy and Cincinnati.

If you are interested in contributing to UrbanCincy please email and include you name, background, areas of interest, why you want to contribute. I would also love hearing your thoughts on Cincinnati so feel free to ramble.

Retaining Talent

This story in the Cincinnati Business Courier troubled me greatly. The article said that the majority of current college students in the state of Ohio plan on leaving Ohio once they graduate. Though no Cincinnati area schools were included, the numbers here may be similar.

I grew up in, well, not in Ohio, and came to Cincinnati because that’s where Xavier is. The school drew me to the region; Cincinnati didn’t draw me to X. I chose to stay here after graduation for a lot of reasons: UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning for grad school; good prospects for finding a job post-graduation; the low cost of living; the arts here; even Skyline. Actually, I typed “even Skyline” sorta tongue-in-cheek, but I recently left the area for about 4 months, and had regular Skyline cravings. Plus, the Indian food here is unreal.

What really kept me here was how much the area has to offer vs. the low cost of living.

If the city wants to continue to flourish (and it is flourishing – go downtown if you haven’t been in a while), we need to ensure that the young talent we draw here with our colleges and universities stay here. They will be the ones who will continue to grow our economy.

You tell me: how can we brand the city as a desirable place for potential new residents? What amenities are here for the young and mobile? What do we need here that isn’t here yet?

Health for Hip Chicks at the McAlpin – 6/27

If you’re looking for something unique to do this weekend look no further than the Health for Hip Chicks event this Saturday, June 27 from at the McAlpin Building downtown.

The health expo portion will run from 1pm to 5pm and will be followed by a fashion show from 7pm to 10pm on the Purple People Bridge (organizers tout a “surprise” ending). Event organizer, Art of the Spa, says that day passes (buy online) which include the conference and fashion show are tax-deductible as a charitable donation. $15 pre-event, $20 same day.

Health for Hip Chicks is part of the Red, Pink & Blue health series which benefits American Heart Association., Pink Ribbon Girls and Spa4Diabetes. Art of the Spa has plans in the works to take the Red Pink & Blue concept national starting in Los Angeles.

Art of the Spa says that they envisioned a “health event in an un-intimidating, cozy atmosphere that would get women excited about being proactive in their health.” The event is also being co-produced with CincyChic‘s involvement in Red, Pink and Blue.

For more information contact Candy Silvasy at (513) 543-0993 or

Health for Hip Chicks activities:

  • The premier of SpaSpace Silvasy’s spa-based interactive model for healthy living and design. Tour room-by-room as experts demonstrate how to use living spaces to create a rejuvenating sanctuary and live optimally. Observing healthy lifestyle in a real living environment will help guests interpret the tips at home.
  • Health professionals assess health status with free screenings and a one on one consultation with a medical expert to evaluate the results. Guests will receive guidance to help them become better advocates for themselves as medical consumers.
  • Tanya’s Image & Wellness Salon’s Spa Retreat which will provide complimentary facials, manicures, massages even hair makeovers.