Episode #9: Retail Planning

On the ninth episode of The UrbanCincy Podcast, Kathleen Norris of the Brandt Retail Group joins the UrbanCincy team to discuss retail in Cincinnati’s urban neighborhoods.

Kathleen was responsible for planning the first phase of retail in the Gateway Quarter of Over-the-Rhine, and made the decision to initially focus on destination shopping and restaurants over resident amenities. In the podcast, we discuss how far the area has come over just a few years. Kathleen explains some of the challenges that urban stores face compared to their suburban counterparts, and why Baby Boomers and Millennials are both becoming more interested in shopping at smaller retailers.

Keeping urban grocery stores open has been an important issue that has spawned initiatives like Buy 25 in Walnut Hills. We go depth on this topic, and debate what Kroger has gotten right and wrong in their approach to their Over-the-Rhine and Walnut Hills locations. We also discuss chains like Walgreens that are turning their focus to urban stores, and how convenience stores can be encouraged to carry more fresh grocery items.

Finally, we discuss the future of downtown’s Tower Place Mall, the growth of Restaurant Row, Short Vine, and the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Cincinnati. We discuss the unique opportunity the City of Cincinnati has to create a comprehensive retail plan for the Cincinnati Streetcar route, leveraging the different types of businesses that can be found at The Banks, the Central Business District, and in Over-the-Rhine.

Photo: Businesses along Vine Street in the Gateway Quarter.